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Active Desk lets you burn calories while checking your email


January 24, 2013

Burn 300-800 calories a day with leisurely pedaling on the Active Desk

Burn 300-800 calories a day with leisurely pedaling on the Active Desk

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Many of us sit at a desk for extended periods each day – and that has doctors worried. Researchers are beginning to understand the associated health risks triggered by sitting for long durations, and suggest that people need to stand up, walk, and generally be more active throughout their day. One way to get more exercise might be to try out the Active Desk, which combines a recumbent exercise bike with a work desk, allowing you to leisurely pedal off the pounds throughout the day.

Because you still remain seated at an Active Desk, it's unclear if it will reduce the health risks as dramatically as a standing desk. However, according to its inventor Jim Martin (Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the College of Health, University of Utah, and a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine), users can expect to burn 300 to 800 calories a day with low intensity pedaling.

According to an overview by James A. Levine, M.D. and Ph.D. published online at the Mayo Clinic's website, those who spent four hours or more sitting in front of a television or computer had:

  • A nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause
  • About a 125 percent increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain or heart attack
  • Active Desk is currently raising funds at the crowdfunding site RocketHub, where US$2,000 will purchase one of the first desks off the production line. That's considerably cheaper than the US$13,154 WeBike, which has a similar function but sits three people.

    The desk features a sliding tray designed to support your elbows, which keeps your body steady as you type or mouse your mouse, and has an adjustable seat for different height configurations. You can watch the Active Desk video pitch below.

    Source: RocketHub

About the Author
Jason Falconer Jason is a freelance writer based in central Canada with a background in computer graphics. He has written about hundreds of humanoid robots on his website Plastic Pals and is an avid gamer with an unsightly collection of retro consoles, cartridges, and controllers. All articles by Jason Falconer

Sedentary people who only have a few miles/kms can just ride a bike to work. That'll provide the exercise + save money on gas.

Freyr Gunnar

That small seat doesn't look like it would be comfortable for a full workday. I think I would prefer a treadmill desk with a slight modification, a stool with footrest that can swing out to sit on if my legs need a short rest.


They are charging 2,000 for a recumbent bike/computer desk with patent pending elbow support. I built one of these things without elbow support for less then 400. Mine was kind of ugly. Of course I was using junk on hand: recumbent bike and a free standing laptop stand. What I found was that I did sweat decently but that my joints would begin to feel a bit over used in my legs. The elbow idea is interesting but not really worth 1600. But it is pretty so who knows.

Jonathan Seigler

Treadmill desks are cheaper and healthier. If one wants to stave off the negative effects of sitting for 8 hours a day, they're not going to manage it by sitting for 8 hours a day.

Joel Detrow

I have enough trouble just eating while I check my email.


Why don't they link it up to an electricity generator so you produce zero carbon electricity to run your laptop while you're cycling?

Christopher Keene

If you are still asking "How many Calories should I eat?" you are clearly in the wrong direction! Weight loss is a biological sequence, not a magical one.

Carmen Johnson

Why don't you just separate your email from your exercise - what happened to work / life balance? Not that sitting on your fat, useless backside thumping keys is work.

Making things is work. Putting out fires, is work. Catching bad guys, is work. Reclaiming waterways, is work.

Not producing endless spreadsheets, charts and PowerPoint presentations

Aloysius Bear
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