It's no secret that sitting still all day is bad for your health. Smart individuals are making time for the gym or their group exercise classes after work, but studies are showing that even that might not be enough to combat a day of sitting.
Check out "Office Workers Take to Pedaling at Their Desks," a LiveScience article by Stephanie Pappas. A recent study gave some office workers a way to fight back: the study authors supplied 18 office workers with pedaling machines that fit right under their desks. Quiet and mindless, workers can pedal as they type or talk on the phone.
And did they use them? Pappas writes, "On average, the women used the machines 12 out of a possible 20 working days, the study found. Time pedaled per day varied from one minute to 73 minutes, with the average being 23 minutes. The most enthusiastic peddler burned an extra 500 calories a day according to the machine, though the average was about 180 calories per day."
Use declined toward the end of the trial period, so if you take this up with a group in your downtown Denver office, remember to build some incentives into the program. Who can pedal for the most minutes each day? What happens at the end of the month for the person who accumulated the most time?
Keep in mind that these machines are simply a good way to keep moving. If someone who is used to being sedentary starts using them, the person might experience some weight loss. The average calorie burn in the study was about 180 per day -- that's about as many calories as are in a glass of reduced-fat chocolate milk.
Any exercise, if done for the same duration at the same intensity day after day, will start to lose its effectiveness as your body adapts to the demands. Desk pedaling will keep you moving, but if you're after serious fitness goals or battling a weight loss plateau, try tackling our 14ers or getting a membership at one of Denver's outstanding gyms -- and taking advantage of group fitness classes that present you with varying challenges every day.