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2019 workplace trends: The pedal desk

In 2018, the sitting desk became the standing desk. But what does 2019 hold in store for our rather sedentary workplaces? Hint: get ready to pedal while you work.

A recent pilot study by kinesiologists at UMass Amherst looked at "pedal desks" (think desk on top, at-home stationary bicycle down below) and found that light-intensity pedaling at work improved people's insulin responses to a test meal. Pedal desks can level up our fitness levels.

With so many health-conscious workplaces, we know exactly where this is going. Now we can literally feel like we're pedaling to nowhere at work!

I'm only kidding. Hey, many of us want to exercise and reap the physical rewards of a decent workout, so why not pedal in place while we prepare a PowerPoint for tomorrow's meeting? Pedal bikes are not widespread yet, but they're a trend that could be just up around the bend, as far as 2019 workplace trends go.

I have an exercise bike at home, and I've tried to read and write while I pedal. But it doesn't work very well. I often need to re-read what I've just read, and I feel slightly distracted.

Typing? That can be difficult, as well. I have to slow my roll to a crawl -- or stop pedaling completely -- if I want to keyboard my thoughts in full while cycling in place. My brain tells me that I can either pedal hard or think hard, but not both at the same time. If I'm actively working, my pedaling becomes very slow -- so slow, in fact, that I'm not sure I'm getting any exercise. The thinking distracts from the pedaling is the best way I can describe it. I couldn't write a blog post while pedaling a desk, but maybe that's just me.

I give employers credit for giving the pedal desk a chance, though. It could work well for Millennial and Gen Z employees who are able to make it work for them. Let this Gen Xer know if it works.


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