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    Posted on May 20, 2018

    We Sit At Work All Day, So We Tried A Bike Desk To See If It Helped Us Feel Better

    Every day I'm cyclin'.

    by , ,
    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    Hi! We're Krista, Mike, and Asia and WE. SIT. ALL. DAY. So, when we heard about a desk that allows you to cycle while you work, we knew we had to try it out. (Well, me and Asia did – Mike took some convincing.)

    BuzzFeed

    The Flexispot Bike Desk is exactly what it sounds like – a compact bike desk on wheels. It allows you to work while you exercise. It can also be converted into a standing desk.

    BuzzFeed

    The Flexispot Bike Desk has resistance that ranges from -1 to 8+. It features a distance calculator, a timer, speed tracker, RPMs and calories burned. It is on wheels, so it is easy to move and it is easily adjustable to what feels comfortable to you. Plus, there's a cupholder!

    We are going to be using the Nokia Heart Rate and Activity Watch to help us determine how healthy this bike actually makes us.

    BuzzFeed

    The watch hooks up to a free health app on your phone that monitors things like your heart rate, sleep patterns, etc.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
    Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

    Krista: I am really excited for this because I have been wanting a standing desk for forever. Sitting all day makes me groggy and a lot of times my back starts hurting – not to mention it's depressing when I look at my step tracker at the end of the day and have under 2,000 steps. I think having this bike desk will help keep me awake and make me feel better at the end of the day. The only thing I am worried about is that the seat might be uncomfortable.

    Asia: I'm not sure what to expect here. Anytime I've ever tried to get work done while working out, it hasn't gone so well because it seems like competing parts of your brain, so I don't know if I'm sold on the idea of this thing. It sounds like it could be a fun way to burn a few calories during breaks or writer's block. But does it support productivity? I guess we'll find out! And anyone who sits all day for work would figure that having an exercise bike as your literal desk can't hurt, right? Right?

    Mike: Let me make this clear — none of this was my idea. If Krista hadn’t pitched the idea of all of us trying the bike desk for a week (and if I hadn’t reluctantly given in to the peer pressure), I would be living the sedentary lifestyle at my desk, waiting for a Slack message about leftover donuts being in the canteen. I’m sort of intrigued by the idea of getting exercise while at work, but more worried about getting tired out and not being able to type/think/be creative. We shall see how this goes! And can you eat a donut while riding?

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
    BuzzFeed

    Krista: My resting resting heart rate was 61 before I hopped on the bike. It immediately hopped up to 77 after pedaling a few minutes (yay). Throughout the day I played around with the resistance, but I found that if I put the resistance all the way up, it was hard work at the same time. My heart rate fluctuated, but it did reach 121 at one point. I found myself getting up to just walk around a lot because I needed breaks, which is fair if you're biking for a full day of work. I completed 17.77 miles today. The bike says I burned 429 calories. (It is also important to note that I did not cycle the FULL day, there were times when I stood, walked around, and just sat there not pedaling.)

    Asia: I kept the resistance low, so that I could just get adjusted to working and biking at the same time today. Even still, an hour and a half into this, my butt and thighs were begging for a break, so I went for a walk, and that's when I realized that this bike is not kid stuff. My gait had definitely changed a bit and I felt every single step. I was also really aware the whole time how small the desk was. I'm a person that has a ton of stuff on my desk — several note pads, my phone, a coffee, a tea, and a coke (don't judge my caffeine habit), etc...all these things contribute to my productivity (swear!), but this desk only gives you four-ish inches on either side of your laptop (about the size of one of those high-school desks), so it was a little crowded. But by the end of the day, after a few breaks, I'd burned 412 calories!

    Mike: The first thing I noticed upon sitting on the bike was its size. I'm 6'2 and 210 pounds, so it felt small — as a bike and a desk — and as I started pedaling I sort of felt like a bear riding a bike at the circus. Once I got going, though, I was surprised to find it wasn’t incredibly difficult to work and pedal at the same time. Typing and pedaling together, especially, was more manageable than I would have thought. I didn’t pedal the whole day — I had a couple meetings and also used it as a standing desk — but I was pleased to see at the end of the day I’d burned 290 calories (which I promptly wasted by inhaling a candy bar, but I digress).

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
    BuzzFeed

    Krista: It is VERY hard for my brain to cycle and work when the resistance is high! It's like you have to focus on pumping your legs, which is distracting. I am definitely working a little bit slower than I would if I was just sitting or standing. I wore workout clothes today and I switched the resistance from 3 to 6 throughout the day. I felt myself starting to sweat when I was pedaling at 6 pretty quickly for twenty minutes – and I learned it probably wasn't a good idea to wear my hair down. No lie, today I went home drained and exhausted. I was only able to get in 13.51 miles and burned 326.3 calories today.

    Asia: OK, last night was painful. I was so sore from the waist down that I had to sleep with my old pregnancy body pillow. But when I woke up, I was ready to go again! UPDATE: Midway through the day, the seat is really hurting my butt. I keep shifting forward and backward to try and get more comfortable and it's just not working. Moving a little slower now, so I'm increasing the resistance to a 4, and alternating between pedaling forward and backward is keeping things fresh. Still biked around 14 miles and burned 338 calories, but they were definitely harder to earn today.

    Mike: I injured my knee a couple years ago, and when I got up in the morning, I could feel it barking. So, to not aggravate it any further, I set the resistance low. I did get into a real groove, though, working and pedaling, and I got a real sense of how this desk could work. I even worked up a bit of a sweat! Later, though, as I walked (make that hobbled) around the office, my old knee injury was hurting even more. So, for the rest of the day, I decided to use it as a standing desk, which ended up being good for my bad back (yes, I also have a bad back — I realize I’m a freaking mess).

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
    BuzzFeed

    Krista: When I woke up today, my butt was sore. Not a "workout" sore, more like a "you've been sitting on a bike desk for eight hours straight" kind of sore. So, when I got in, I started off standing for a while before transitioning into cycling. I made sure to stand a lot because my butt hurt lol. I have also switched to pedaling backwards because I need a change. I have been treating myself to more snacks throughout the day because my brain is telling me I earned it! Today I biked 16.11 miles and burned 388.9 calories.

    Asia: I I felt good this morning and came in with a pep in my step. I decided to start by standing for a little while to see how this desk supports that. Also, the seat is really uncomfortable to me, so I wasn't ready to jump on just yet. I finally started biking after lunch, but it was really hard to get into it — and also, really hard to work at the same time today. I took several standing breaks and was pedaling slow, so I turned the resistance up, so I'd at least burn a few calories. But I barely did 9 miles, and only burned 217 calories today. Maybe Day Four will be better.

    Mike: Knee issue be damned, I gave it another shot with the resistance low. However, after pedaling a while, I was less worried about my knee because I discovered I had numbness in my, shall I say, lower region. Was this a biking in tight jeans issue? Whatever it was, things quickly returned to feeling normal once I got up and walked around. Alas, I wasn’t exactly excited to start pedaling again. I mainly used it as a standing desk after that, before ending the day sitting at my desk. I felt a little bad about not keeping up the “pedaling all day” thing, but not as bad as sitting at my desk felt good!

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
    BuzzFeed

    Krista: It is Thursday and today I am focusing on distance, not resistance. I plan to do -1 all day because, honestly, it is just easier. I find that I am able to focus better and work faster (that or maybe I am just getting used to it). At 12:45 p.m. I had already completed over 17 miles! My heart rate has been staying steady at 76 bpm. Maybe it was because I went to bed earlier last night, but today I feel was my best day yet. I really felt energized.

    Asia: Today started out great — I came in with a lot more energy this morning, and for the first time wasn't actually dreading getting on the bike. I started pedaling backwards slowly, at a resistance of 4, but picked up the pace after lunch and got into a rhythm I actually kinda enjoyed, TBH. However, the seat still hurts today after a while, so I had to take a few breaks even when I wanted to (and had the energy to) keep going. Finished the day having burned 220 calories.

    Mike: My knee was hurting me even more this morning, so I started at my desk, but when enough of my coworkers hazed me — “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be on the bike!” — I begrudingly got on it. (Related note: I’ve vowed to haunt my co-workers after my death.) I couldn’t really bike much with my knee issue, so I mainly just sort of sat there. When my co-workers started to mock me for just sitting there, I turned it back into a standing desk.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
    BuzzFeed

    Krista: I am 100% used to this bike by now, so much that I did THREE posts in one day (talk about productivity). I put the resistance as high as I could and cycled for thirty minutes at the end of the day. Today I completed 24.59 miles, burning 593.8 calories. I will say that once you get used to it, it is really a great alternative to sitting.

    Asia: Today's pep in my step is directly related to the fact that it's my last day on this bike, and I'm hoping this excitement pushes me to burn some serious rubber. UPDATE: I had a busy morning — and stood up for much of it — so I got a late afternoon start on the bike, but the good news is that my body is kinda used to to it now, so my butt doesn't hurt at all today. Turned the resistance down to 2 so I could get some miles in. UPDATE II: I had to leave early today, so my biking was cut short, but I still managed to squeeze in about 200 burned calories, and honestly, I miiiiiiiiiiight just miss that sucker a little bit tomorrow.

    Mike: Not gonna lie to you guys, I sat at my desk on the last day. I kind of felt bad — like I was the guy in the group project at college who let everyone else pull the heavy load and still put his name on it — but what are you going to do? My knee wasn’t feeling good and I didn’t want to do any further damage to it.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
    Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

    Krista: I will admit, after the first two days, I was kind of sick of the bike. BUT I think that is just because I wasn't used to it. There is definitely kind of a learning curve because your brain has to think to pedal and then think to write and concentrate on work. Ideally, I think this is a healthy alternative to sitting maybe for a couple hours out of the day – not the full eight hours like we did. It also works nicely as a standing desk. I will add that the seat is actually pretty comfortable, usually bike seats are awful to sit in, but I didn't think this one was bad at all. I will be using it again!

    Asia: I think this is a good option for a person who wants to stay active while working a desk job. You can take it as easy or not as you want, and honestly, it might help fight that after-lunch slump. But, to be honest, the seat wasn't comfortable enough for me to sit in it all day voluntarily. But I'd totally do some intermittent "workout" hours here and there if I had one!

    Mike: The desk didn’t quite work out for me because of my knee issue, but, after the experience, I DO like the idea of getting exercise while working — and found the two more compatible than I imagined. This desk, though, is probably more ideal for people under 6’ tall. Still, I’d recommend that anyone who is intrigued by the idea should give it a try!

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    According to Livestrong, a 150 pound person will burn 68 calories per hour while sitting. However, if you cycle – depending on the resistance and your body weight – you can burn a lot more calories. Livestrong says that a person weighing roughly 155 pounds will burn 520 calories if they are "moderately" cycling for one hour. So, just being on the bike for an hour at a decent resistance can really make a difference!

    The bikes are available at FlexiSpot or Amazon for $499 and the Nokia Heart Rate & Activity watches are available at Nokia or Amazon for $179.

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