Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Desk Cycle - Easy Physical Activity Booster For Desk Workers

The Desk Cycle is a small stationary bike that fits under most desks. It allows a person to easily incorporate physical activity into times that would normally be sedentary, such as reading a book, watching TV, or while working on the computer.  I received a complimentary Desk Cycle and my family has been testing it out for the last few weeks.

The Desk Cycle has turned out to be useful to all four members of our family, so I'm excited to share our experiences with it. In this post I will focus specifically on the use of the Desk Cycle by my husband and myself while working on a computer.

Our Immediate Impressions

The Desk Cycle was well-packed and easy to assemble with the supplied tools. Given that there are so many poorly made products on the market these days, we were surprised by how well-built the desk cycle is. It is sturdy and has rubberized feet that keep it from slipping away while being used, though at higher resistance levels the bike can slide away if it's on a smooth surface. There is a simple solution included with the Desk Cycle, a Velcro strap used to secure the bike to your chair.

The Desk Cycle is amazingly quiet while in-use; we were able to use it unobtrusively while doing a variety of tasks. The Desk Cycle has an attached display unit that shows the speed and distance, along with other information. We have found the display unit to be easily read while the bike is under a desk, however, the display unit can be moved to the desktop using the supplied stand and extension cable.


Fitting the Desk Cycle Under Desks

For reference, we thought it would be useful if we included some measurements of our desks and legs. I am fairly short at 5 feet 1 inch, but my legs are a little long for my height such that petite pants are always too short for me. My inseam (from crotch to floor) is just short of 30 inches. My husband is 5 feet 10.5 inches, and his inseam is 32.5 inches.

At-Home Desk Measurements

  • Height to bottom of keyboard tray - 23.75 inches 
  • Desk height - 28.75 inches 
  • Depth of desk - 23.75 inches without keyboard tray extended; 32 inches with keyboard tray fully extended 
  • Seat height - 20 inches 
Husband's Work Desk Measurements
  • Height to bottom of keyboard tray - 26 inches (it has a support arm in the middle of the tray that extends downward, but doesn't seem to have any effect on using the Desk Cycle since it is in the middle of the tray) 
  • Desk height - 30 inches 
  • Depth of desk - > 5 feet since it is a corner desk Seat ht: 18 inches

How Does the Desk Cycle Work?

The Desk Cycle is quite simple to use. It has a knob that allows the user to easily choose among eight resistance levels. The resistance levels are actually achieved through the use of magnets, with Level 1 being fairly easy and Level 8 requiring quite a bit of effort.  The Desk Cycle fits well under most desks but can also be used while sitting on a couch or chair away from a desk.


My Husband's Experience Using the Desk Cycle at Home and Work

My husband has to be a little careful when using the Desk Cycle at our home desk, as he can bump his knees on the keyboard tray while cycling if he's not paying attention. For him, the Desk Cycle actually fits better under his desk at work than under our desk at home. At work, he is able to easily cycle without hitting his knees on his desk due to a combination of a higher keyboard tray and lower seating position.

The desk cycle is so easy to use while working that my husband has had to be careful to not use it too much, at least until his muscles become accustomed to it. He has been easily cycling about 5-8 miles per day at resistance level 2 on the Desk Cycle and is looking forward to going further once he is ready. His knees, which have always been problematic, were initially a bit sore from using the Desk Cycle, but they are getting into the groove of being able to use the Desk Cycle.

We wondered if the Desk Cycle would be a useful tool to help my husband overcome the disadvantages of his desk job. 40+ hours per week of sitting at his desk for over 11 years have given my husband chronically tight, weak lower back and hip muscles. After just a few weeks of using the Desk Cycle, my husband is able to tell that it is having a positive impact; his lower back and hips are more flexible and feel stronger. Though he has a long way to go, the short-term improvement has been surprising. Combining the Desk Cycle with some yoga stretching has even allowed him to begin doing some light strength training, which was previously hindered by his back and hips.

My Experience Using the Desk Cycle at the Computer Desk

I typically exercise 6-7 days per week with yoga, walking, hiking, gardening, and/or strength training. Nonetheless, I do sit at a desk ~15-20 hours per week. Our at-home desk, where I do most of my blogging and homeopathic consulting, works well for me with the Desk Cycle. I can easily cycle without having to rearrange anything.  

Resistance level 2 or 3 works well for me without breaking much of a sweat or messing up my typing abilities. My posture is actually much better while using the Desk Cycle, as I tend to sit up much straighter while cycling instead of slouching on my chair. Typically, if I am sitting for an extended period of time I will have some stiffness when I stand up, but I've noticed that if I cycle while I'm sitting I feel much less stiff when I stand up. 

Overall Impressions

Overall, my husband and I are very pleased with the Desk Cycle. It is a fabulous tool for helping us increase our physical activity levels and improve our physical health while at a desk. Although my husband and I have substantially different levels of physical health, the Desk Cycle has proven to be effective and enjoyable for both of us. In fact, the only real disadvantage is that testing out the Desk Cycle has made me want to have another one, so that one can remain at my husband's workplace and one can be used at home.


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1 comment:

Hilary Moshman said...

Thanks for the review! I've been sitting for work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and I need to move!