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Paige Waehner

New Review: FitDesk

By April 21, 2011

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We all know how hard it is to stay fit at work, particularly those of us who spend much of our time with BIC (Butt In Chair) in front of a computer. The hard thing about it is that you have to stop working if you want to stay active because, well, it's awfully hard to type on your computer when you're running up and down the stairs or doing jumping jacks in the bathroom (which I used to do in my office days, causing no end of embarrassment when co-workers walked in on me).

I'm a firm believer that we all need regular activity breaks from the computer, both for mind and body, but there's something out there that may allow you to exercise while you work. It's called a FitDesk and it's awesome.

I never thought I'd use the word awesome when describing a stationary bike but, in this case, it's true. In fact, I'm actually typing this as I pedal on my FitDesk bike. Yes, my cats stare suspiciously at this contraption and my husband thinks I'm weird, but it really is a great idea and very well-executed.

Now there are other choices out there - a treadmill desk comes to mind - and it won't work for everyone, but if you work at home or you have space in your office, it's one more way to stay active while you work.

You can find out more in my detailed review and be sure to leave a comment if you've tried it or if you have other ideas for staying fit at work.


April 21, 2011 at 11:46 am
(1) Ariel says:

There’s a problem with things like these – should someone use it, you KNOW they won’t be doing a fully focused workout but something akin to a lazy stroll since their focus is still going to be on typing, writing, whatever. Now this would be fine if it did not become a substitute for a more committed workout where they are pushing themselves to some degree, but we know that it won’t. It will become a substitute for an actual workout where your attention is on getting a serious workout. Now if it were used not as a substitute but as a supplement, then that’s a whole different story, and as you say, awesome!

But the sad truth is that most people will find an excuse to not workout or eat right because it’s easier (unless they are truly committed to a healthier lifestyle or truly enjoy exercise in all its forms). If this were not the case, the health of the people in this country would not be where it is with a largely sedentary population that likes to eat fast food and processed foods.

April 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm
(2) Fitness fan says:

When you’re trying to do two things at the same time, either one task suffers because you’re more focused on the other, or both tasks suffer because of the divided attention.

This reminds me a bit of texting while driving or biking. The consequences may not be as dangerous, but most if not all of the time at my computer at my desk at work (prior to my retirement) required my undivided and undistracted attention to work.

April 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm
(3) 1stthing1st says:

Options are always good. Especially when it comes to exercise. With out much proof needed most would agree that getting in more movement into your day is one beginner step to that next level. If you are already at the next level getting in more movement will only help you build base miles.
Multi-tasking may not be for everyone but exercise and thinking are a very unique type of multitasking that has roots as far back as ancient Greece. Light to medium cardio exercise can actually increase your ability to be creative, analytical and many other skills needed in daily office work. Proof is given in Dr. James Levine’s book “Move a little, lose a lot”. He’s from the Mayo Clinic. If nothing else it will help you feel more awake, at least if your blood is moving more.
These products will help increase your options to take back control of your health. And maybe your time too.

April 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm
(4) Debbie says:

I LOVE my FitDesk. I use it almost everyday and i multitask. I get a vigorous workout while working on the laptop, or reading, or even gaming, as my son does. I actually bike more on the FitDesk than a stationary bike because I forget I’m pedalling and before i know it, I’ve doubled the time I intended.
I take my FitDesk outside, I move it from room to room, and i actually put it together myself when i received it last year. It’s light and durable. I LOVE it!! I would highly recommend it to anyone. It’s innovative, priced right, and most importantly, i’ve toned up nicely
because of it!!

April 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm
(5) Kathy P says:

I can’t afford this at the moment, but I’d love to have one. My legs cramp up from sitting still so much, but can’t seem to get myself off my butt and on my feet. This might help a lot…

April 22, 2011 at 9:34 am
(6) Ted says:

I agree with the multitasking argument. However doing something is better than nothing. Also if used with a heart rate monitor you might do even better. Also as we all know cardio is fairly mindless so this is not like talking on a cell phone while you drive a car.

Also there are some forms of training which are designed to allow you to perform higher level functions while you experience heavy body stress – such as interns who work 20 hour shifts without a break or the famous SEALS hell week training.

Another point – even sitting at a desk there are times when you are waiting – being placed on hold or waiting for an email to arrive or a file to download. During those times you can focus on your workout and use those breaks to push yourself.

I would suggest that if you are someone who would consider this device you most likely would take full advantage of it. Just like the other little tricks – parking far away to walk more, always taking the stairs instead of the elevator and the like.

My favorite when your standing in line at the grocery store you can use the little basket and work your arms and standing on one leg or toe lifts. Then again I am a little crazy. I always grab a full load of groceries in my arms and then RUN back to the car……

April 22, 2011 at 10:53 am
(7) kbk4Jesus says:

For a long time, I have struggled with finding time to stay in shape. Also, staying consistent has been a challenge. I live in a climate where I am unable to consistently go outside for runs or walks or bike rides. My wife is the one who found the FitDesk, and I LOVE IT! I started using the FitDesk about 10 months ago. I ride it about 1 – 2 hours a day as I reply to emails, surf the web, do bills, work, etc. I am usually not one to jump on the latest exercise machine, but this one, I could not pass up!

This is actually the first cardio exercise machine I have ever purchased, and it will be my last (until I wear out my first one, then I will get the updated model). It is a great fit for my needs. On the FitDesk site, there is a link to a great article which talks about “NEAT”. Read it! Trust the reviews. Try one! You will NOT regret it! I have lost 30 pounds since using the FitDesk.

Ariel and Fitness fanís comments are unfounded. Maybe Ariel and Fitness fan cannot multitask, but this is certainly not a reason to throw the idea under the bus. My job as a software developer has not suffered as a result of using the FitDesk. It actually has helped my job performance!

The FitDesk is a GREAT way to avoid sitting in my desk chair (or exercise ball which is what I use when not on FitDesk) all day long. Anyone who finds they are sitting around at home a lot on the computer, playing video games, or watching TV should get a FitDesk and USE IT!

April 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm
(8) Fitness fan says:

I can be strongly opinionated and perhaps narrow-minded at times. There’s a lot of good feedback here. Even though I’m not working right now and don’t see how the FitDesk would have helped in my particular case, the FitDesk sounds like a great tool for others. Can’t argue against the improved blood flow while exercising the gray matter.

For the office, I’d like to see a version where the exerciser is actually integrated into the desk or separate but fits under the desk, so one can access his desktop as far as easily answering the phone and looking at open paper documents while keyboarding and pedaling.

April 23, 2011 at 9:48 am
(9) Dan says:

kbk4Jesus said: “Ariel and Fitness fanís comments are unfounded.”

That’s not true. I found them both right away.

Seriously though, many people actually think better while engaging in moderate physical activity.

Think of Immanuel Kant taking his long daily walks, for instance.

The FitDesk looks like a cool idea, unlike the Hula Chair, which would be taking the concept too far.

April 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm
(10) Angela says:

For those looking for a cheaper alternative, I bought my elderly, diabetic father an exercise for father’s day last year. It’s essentially only the pedal portion of a bike on rails, and it has a non-skid bottom. He can sit it in front of the TV and pedal away. You can pedal really fast with it and I don’t think you can adjust the resistance but it’s also only around $30 at big box retailers and chain pharmacies. It might be worth a try for those who like the idea of the bike at work but don’t have the space or money for the FitDesk.

April 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm
(11) Erica says:

The only other problem I see with this, other than the multitasking problem, is the fact that it’s only for laptops. I’ve actually considered getting a pedal exerciser to use while I’m working at my desktop, but I’m not sure how effective a workout it would be.

April 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm
(12) meg says:

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t spend a lot of time sitting on a bike seat comfortably. I also wonder how stable it would be for someone pedaling fast or hard. I’d be concerned that the whole thing would be wobbly, because it doesn’t look any sturdier than a cheap exercise bike.

Another issue is whether the FitDesk is adjustable – distance from laptop holder to seat, height of laptop holder, height of seat. I’m short and have short arms, so the seat height and distance to the laptop would be issues for me. From the picture, it looks like only the seat is adjustable for height, and there’s no adjustment in the distance from the laptop holder to the seat. In this case, one size does not fit all!

Concern # 3 would be posture and strain on the shoulders and neck. I looked at the FitDesk website, and the video shows a man leaning forward on the armrest while typing. Anyone who types for long periods of time knows that this posture is just going to hurt your back & your neck.

Sometimes multitasking is NOT a good idea.

April 26, 2011 at 11:46 am
(13) 1stthing1st says:

Have no fear about the comfort, stability or adjust ability of a FitDesk. Just look at the reviews on Amazon.com. You can’t make this stuff up.
Sure these are great concerns. But what really needs to be considered is that if you sit for hours at a time your health is going to pay a price.
There is always going to be doubters in the beginning. But over time the ones that take a chance on a product that puts you on a path to increased health and productivity will want to tell others. Paige is at the top of the food chain on this. She wants you to know that this could help you get started or maintain that healthy lifestyle we all want.
Don’t wait! Try a FitDesk and see why the reviews are so “real”. FitDesk has a 100% money back guarantee with paid return shipping.

May 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(14) Lisa Ard says:

Okay- because of your review I bought a Fitdesk- My husband just assembled it and I am typing this comment as I pedal. It is more cardio than I thought it would be. I just thought it would help me burn a few calories during the day. I haven’t quite the hang of it all yet. I find I stop pedaling when I have to concentrate on a thought, but I pedaled the entire time I was reading. My back is sweating and I don’t really sweat unless I exercise. I hoep it will help me lose a few pounds. I will provide an update each month to report on my progress.

May 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm
(15) 1stthing1st says:

Thanks Lisa,

Love to know you are using your FitDesk. It is designed to be used light and consistently. After ~6mo of this you will begin to feel a noticeable amount of added energy and your joints should feel pain free too. This is what I have felt and heard from others.
Key is to stick with it. Use your email, and daily web chores to get you started. Once you start it is easier to stay on. Keep us posted.

July 24, 2011 at 11:48 am
(16) EdResearcher says:

While the arguments about “multi-tasking” by working out and working at the same time seem logical on the surface, they’re actually contradicted by evidence from research … which is a good thing, in this case. We are actually able to pay attention better and retain what we read better when we are active doing it. Physical activity complements cognitive tasks. Trying to do two cognitive tasks at once (like working on multiple things at once on the computer or handling emails while trying to write, for example), DO compete for “traffic space” (if you will) along the same channels in the brain. And trying to do two physical tasks at once also competes – like driving and texting. But pairing a physical with the cognitive can actually complement BOTH. We often encourage students to try to work out (walk on a treadmill or something) while they read or study. This not only improves their health but improves their comprehension and retention of whatever they’re reading at the time. As humans, we’re wired very well for this, so I think this is a GREAT concept that allows us to take advantage of multiple benefits, not just the physical health.

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