As more fitness trends are becoming available, finding time to fit exercise in students’ hectic schedules is becoming easier.
One of these fitness trends is the FitDesk Bike Desk, which is appearing in college libraries.
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The Bike Desk is a combination of a stationary bicycle with a desk platform that allows users to pedal while reading, writing or using a computer.
The Bike Desks have been installed at colleges including UCLA, Florida State University, Mississippi State, Clemson, Tulane, and Troy University.
June Pilcher, alumni distinguished professor of psychology at Clemson, introduced the FitDesk Bike Desk to Clemson in fall 2013 when she wanted to research the effects of activity when doing a necessary task such as studying.
As part of the research project, Clemson has 12 Bike Desks in its library.
Most students who use the desk enjoy it, Pilcher said.
“If students are already in the library studying, they go ahead and use it,” Pilcher said. “I encourage students that are falling asleep to get on the FitDesk.”
Pilcher said she is impressed with the Bike Desk and its stability, and over time she hopes to move the FitDesk around to random places on campus that are more available to students.
For example, she said she hopes one day there will be a bike where students might just be sitting or waiting for class to start.
Pilcher said she recommends the Bike Desk for other universities.
“I think putting them in places where students are just waiting for class to start would be interesting,” Pilcher said. “I think most students would find it enjoyable.”
Josh Parker, freshman in mechanical engineering, said the Bike Desk is an interesting idea, and thinks it would attract students.
Danielle Wadsworth, associate professor of kinesiology, said at first the FitDesk might be hard to use because it involves multitasking.
However, she said ultimately it can help with memorization and retaining certain information because students will associate the activity with what they are studying.
Wadsworth said she would not prescribe the FitDesk as an exercise regime, but rather a way to increase memory capacity and the ability to pay attention and focus.
Wadsworth said she recommends study breaks with the FitDesk.
“You definitely can only retain so much information over a period of time,” Wadsworth said. “Every 30, 45 minutes you definitely should get up, take a break, walk around and do something.”
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