Looking to try and get more active while you’re working? We tried out desk pedals with a few different testers that were used to sitting at traditional office desks and chairs for the majority of their workday.
The desk pedals we tested were Fitneff Integrate Desk Pedals. They can be used to cycle or as an elliptical and feature a knob to change the resistance. The desk pedals also feature a digital display showing usage time, number of steps, steps per minute and calories burned. Here’s what we found when we tested them for a few weeks.
The desk pedals are super easy to integrate into your workday. They take less than 15 minutes to build and all of our testers jumped into using them right away. People had no issues integrating them into their workday with most people recording their highest number of steps and usage the first couple days and no one reporting any soreness. For anyone that’s worried about their ability to multitask and keep doing work while you pedal, almost everybody was able to use them while they were doing their usual work tasks. The only time the desk pedals distracted people was when they would get slightly jarred and people would have to adjust their feet slightly to continue pedalling.
Most of the testers felt that the desk pedals could help with work. People reported feeling better during the workday when using the desk pedals and a few also thought that it helped them think, stay focussed on tasks and relieve stress.
Having the option to pedal forwards and backwards and adjust the resistance definitely helps to use different muscles and keep the desk pedals interesting. Most people played with these options at least a couple times a day. Having the ability to use it as an elliptical was also useful for people who had adjustable desks. They also do add to the size of the desk pedals though so they may not be necessary for many people.
The Potential Problems:
Despite the fact that our testers felt the desk pedals were easy to use and beneficial for their health and work, people’s use tapered off quite fast. After the novelty wears off it can be easy to stop using the desk pedals and revert back to sitting stationary. That’s where the display tracking usage time and other information comes in handy. A simple glance down lets people know if they haven’t moved as much so people can step or pedal it up if they notice that their numbers are dropping.
One of the biggest problems with initiatives to get people more active or sitting less at work is that people start becoming more sedentary at home when they are more active at work. While no one reported missing workouts or being more inactive away from work when using the desk pedals, a tester did say that they didn’t feel as bad skipping their morning workout because they could at least move while they were working.So if you are thinking of getting some desk pedals, try and make sure you stay just as active outside of work.
Depending on your desk and chair setup, it may not work. If you have a shallower desk, don’t have a keyboard tray or are only using a laptop the desk pedals may not fit well under your desk. Non locking or non adjustable chairs also proved problematic for some people with the desk pedals.
Overall desk pedals are a great option for anybody that is looking to move more while they are sitting. Since you don’t have to switch out your desk, they can be a good option for an office which isn’t receptive to standing desks.