Be active at work
Studies show that sitting at a desk chair, for the 7.7 hours that is typical of most Americans, is a serious obstacle to our health and we believe that all that is needed to make a much needed change is a simple shift in mindset.
That is why in 2015 we produced the Autonomous SmartDesk - a sit to stand desk to get people of desk chairs and on their feet. Then in 2016 we brought out the ErgoStool to get people engaged in active sitting to put their muscles and joints to use in a way that you just can’t from a regular desk chair. Now we have, what we think is the next step in office activity and health: The Office Bike.
Get your daily exercise in the office
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not trying to push out the desk chair altogether or to bring the gym to work. We definitely don’t want to see our colleagues in lycra, with sweat flying off them and into our morning coffee.
What we do know, as reported on the BBC, is that being active throughout the day has a greater effect on countering the sedentary nature of sitting in a desk chair all day, than an intense hour at the gym after work!
Studies have shown that exercising after work isn’t that effective at countering the negative effects of sitting for up to 8 hours a day, sitting at a desk chair all day is really that bad for you. Check out our article “Health Benefits of the Standing Desk’, for a thorough run down on the health concerns associated with sitting.
Improve your health and productivity
The benefits of bringing exercise into the workplace and challenging the all day use of a desk chair are twofold because not only is cycling at work innately good for your mental and physical health, it’s also good for business.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one but believe it or not, being active at work is still proven to enhance productivity. By getting out of the desk chair and exercising you increase circulation around your body and most importantly to your brain meaning longer periods of concentration and better focus. It has also been shown to enhance cognitive function which includes important acts like problem solving as reported in Forbes.
We recommend combining short periods on the Office Bike with periods in your desk chair and periods standing for the best results.
Now we know a lot of people imagine that they’ll look silly straddling a bike seat while at the desk while all their colleagues are in a desk chair. That’s why we made a bike that is compact and simple and which fits so seamlessly into the office, that it looks like it was always a part of the furniture.
The Office Bike is about the height of a stool which means that, assuming you’re equipped with a standing desk or sit to stand desk, you look no different than anyone at an Ergo stool or any other mid height stool.
We’re not saying that people won’t be able to tell that you’re on a bike, of course they will, but we don’t see that as a problem. On the contrary, we’re quite happy to lead to the charge in changing the shape of work and content to be different from our colleagues who are comfortably seated in their desk chairs.
What we care about is an office bike that is suitable for the workplace, one that will allow you to be active whilst enhancing focus and productivity.
Change attitudes for health and well-being
Until now, one of the most common models for the Office Bike is the ‘under the desk bike’, one that can be kept quietly under your desk and used from your desk chair.
One of the main features of this model is that it is unintrusive, in other words, nobody can see it. However this comes at the cost a few issues. When sitting at a normal desk chair the longer knee’d among us may find their knees repetitively banging the underside of the table. Equally. for anyone with a wheely desk chair it can be a battle just to maintain a position - one that can cause considerable strain on the quadriceps and hamstrings. It also means that you often slip down in your desk chair and have to constantly reposition yourself.
Our Office Bike isn’t designed to keep you in your desk chair in order to maintain the status quo. It is designed for you to be active and productive with ease. Our first concern is keeping you healthy and we’re prepared to flip the office upside down to serve this cause. So we’ve pushed the desk chair aside and brought the bike out into the open and it’s ergonomic, adaptable and it looks good.
What’s more is that, unlike the smaller bikes designed to be used from your desk chair, gravity is on your side. With you sat on top of it, the Office Bike isn’t going anywhere so you don’t have to worry about slipping around or maintaining your position in your desk chair. Altogether it makes for a much easier ride and one which is closer to actually riding a bike.
Simple and Effective
With a manual magnetic resistance controller you can easily customise the bike to the level of activity you want to partake in. Equally the display screen has four options for measuring your activity: ‘calories, time, distance, scan’ and they are easily interchangeable with a single ‘mode’ button.
The Office Bike is designed to be as adaptable and simple as possible so that it doesn’t distract you from the work at hand but you can still customise the level of activity to suit your workflow. We believe it will be no different than working from a desk chair except, of course, that you’ll be cycling instead of sitting.
Take back your workspace
Beyond the benefits to health and productivity the Office Bike, like the SmartDesk and ErgoStool can improve your psychological experience of work. As reported in the Harvard Business Review, studies have shown that having autonomy over your workspace can significantly improve productivity, work culture and consequently help in attracting and retaining talented employees.
As you can imagine, having a choice over whether you sit in a desk chair or stand, are passive or active, or are in the office or working remotely can make a big difference.
It doesn’t just mean that you can get out of the desk chair and stand when you feel restless or do some exercises to boost your energy, it helps to improve your relationship with work overall - it allows you to feel unconstrained and more ‘you’ in your workspace.
It only takes one slow day at the office to make you feel like you are back at school, waiting for the school bell to liberate you. On these days the desk chair becomes a prison and instead of thinking about work, we find ourselves thinking about what we might do when we leave.
It’s the kind of research which makes perfect sense, which feels like less of a breakthrough and more of a ‘common sense moment,’ like a lightbulb has finally been switched on.
By pushing the desk chair aside for a few hours, incorporating the Office Bike into your workplace and creating more flexible and adaptable ways of working you can begin to transform your relationship with work and your productivity in a big way.
Tried and Tested
Last year, when we took the office to Neo Con East and Ergo Expo Las Vegas we found that everyone who tried out our Office Bike alongside our SmartDesk fell in love with it. The appeal of its simple but smart design allowed people to see that moving out of the desk chair and exercising at work could work.
Everyone who made the first step and gave it a go began to recognise the power of putting your body to work while you work and the possibility of leaving the desk chair days behind. We’re convinced that once you try the bike you’ll never look back.
You can order yours at Office Bike now. We look forward to hearing what you all think.
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