Lose Your Lunch

Portable pedal machine helps workers combat sedentary workday

(RxWiki News) Portable pedal machines could address the health-impairing effects of sedentary jobs, according to a new study.

For the study, 18 full-time employees at sedentary jobs (average age 40, most of whom were female and overweight) were given a pedal exercise machine to use during work hours for four weeks. The workers used the pedal machines for about 12 days out of the 20 working days during the study for an average of 23 minutes each day. The distance covered ranged from about one-third of a mile to more than 13 miles per day with anywhere from 9 to more than 500 calories burned.

Researchers said just 23 minutes per day of pedaling could bolster health, and the study participants all claimed the device was easy to use.

The pedal machines, which make little noise and can be set up in front of most office chairs, are now commercially available, according to the researchers.

If you’re sitting at your desk for 8 hours (or more) every day, why not get a little exercise while you’re just sitting there. Burn off that breakfast taco, lose that lunch, cancel out that candy bar. Anything is better than nothing.

Jim Crowell, owner of Integrated Fitness in Pittsburgh said, "Movement and Intensity are the key to physical fitness. When you are forced to sit down at a desk for long periods of time not only does it inhibit physical activity but it can also lead to long term tightening of the muscles and joints which makes working out even harder. A little activity during the day would help in both the short and the long term."

Another recent study suggests just getting up and walking around while at sedentary jobs provides needed health boosts. According to research from the University of Queensland, Australia, individuals should take breaks from sitting often -- even for short, minute-long intermissions -- as these mini-bursts of activity appears to benefit cardiovascular health and slim waistlines in the process.

Review Date: 
February 15, 2011