Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lose weight sitting at your desk?

I go to a gym and exercise regularly, so the "Lose weight without exercise!” ads are not only misleading and straight out false, but just plain annoying. You can not just sit around and lose weight, that’s not how it works. But what if you could? What if enough people dreamt of a way to sit at they're desk and actually lost weight came true?

Possibly with the Jedi force, Geek-a-Cycle may have possibly heard enough dreamers wishing they could do just that and have come up with Exercise Workstation.

What is it?

A recumbent exercise bicycle built with an ergonomic designing which allows the bicycle to comfortably sit under a Geek-a-Cycle desk. You can order just the bicycle by itself and they do provide the measurements to ensure the bicycle will comfortable fit under the desk to provide maximum work-station productivity.

New work / exercise fusion ideas such as these are starting to pop up across the innovative business world. Fifteen obese office workers participated in a study where they walked and work at a vertical computer workstation on a treadmill at the slow pace of 1 mile per hour. On average, they burned approximately 100 calories per hour. If they used the treadmill workstation for 2-3 hours a day, the researchers estimated they could lose 44-66 pounds per year. British Journal of Sports Medicine: "The energy expenditure of using a ‘walk-and-work’ desk for office workers with obesity." Original study article

Things to keep in mind

Walking at 1 mph is tougher than walking at a normal walking pace of two to four mph (miles per hour). Those using any type of treadmill need to have proper footwear to prevent additional health problems. In other words, just because your sitting down doesn’t mean you can wear heels, sandals, or dress shoes.

Recumbent exercise bicycle users must be careful of Plantar fasciitis, a partial or complete tear in what is called fascia (fibrous connective tissue) -- the bottom of the foot. Also, if you do work at a desk for eight plus hours a day, there’s always the risk of carpal tunnel… so always keep physical safety in mind regardless of how minor or unlikely it may seem.

Proper posture is also important, whether at a desk or on a treadmill workstation. If you are hunching over the keyboard, you are. This is one of my bad habits I don’t notice until my back muscles have just about had enough of that. I was reminded of this again last night as I was standing up for more than ten minutes and notice I was resting my weight on my back muscle, which was putting strain on it. Not good for someone with back problems. Throughout the standing up time, I constantly had to remind myself to stand properly or get tired more quickly. Good posture is the main principals in ergonomics which helps prevent shoulder, neck, and back problems.

Pay good attention to your posture so you aren't leaning or hunching. If you can't get the right angle with the screen, you might have to order the custom treadmill workstation or find a friendly handyman to put one together for you. For a short span of time, you can try a DIY (do it yourself) exercise desk such as this maker. The DIY exercise office