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Do Office Under-Desk Bikes Work and Can You Lose Weight?

Despite what you may hear online, cycling is a great way to get in shape and lose weight. The same applies to stationary under-desk bikes, which are a convenient way to get in a workout while on the company dime. Using an under-desk bike, like LifeSpan's Solo Unde Desk Bike, will result in weight loss, but the amount of weight lost and the pace at which you'll lose weight will depend entirely on external factors such as nutrition, sleep habits, and alcohol consumption. 

Using an under-desk bike will engage a majority of your leg muscles, such as your glutes and quadriceps. Combined with a healthy diet and decent rest, an under-desk bike is as good an option as any if your goal is to lose weight. 

Why Under-Desk Bikes Are Effective for Weight Loss

You don't have to bike a lot to get the effects of an under-desk bike. In fact, just 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week on an under-desk bike is enough to keep your heart healthy, according to the American Heart Association. For the office, we recommend cycling at a speed between 7 to 8 mph to achieve a moderate pace. 

What about calorie burn, you may be wondering? Well, according to a Harvard study, a moderate 30-minute stationary bicycle workout burns anywhere between 210 and 294 calories, while a vigorous workout can burn between 315 to 441 calories. The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn. Increasing the intensity, the length of the workout, or both, will lead to more calories burned. 

What's important is that your heart rate is elevated. If you're aiming to cycle on the under-desk bike with moderate intensity, your heart rate should be between 64% and 76% of your maximum heart rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a lower intensity is what you prefer, then consider 64% of your maximum heart rate as the cutoff.

Maximizing the Benefits of Under-Desk Cycling

If you want to get the most out of your exercise bike workouts, there are a few things to consider:

  • Eating healthy
  • Goal setting and tracking
  • Interval training
  • Proper seat setting 

First, you'll want to eat healthy. Combining routine exercise with a healthy diet will produce the best results. If you're not sure where to start, remember this piece of advice from Micheal Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." So if you stay away from processed foods, pay attention to portions, and eat more plants than meat, you'll be on the right track. Additionally, using a weight loss calculator can help you determine a game plan for your weight loss. 

When using the under-desk bike, it's ideal to have some goals in mind. They don't have to be big goals, but having them will help motivate you. You can start by setting a time or average speed goal. Along with setting goals, tracking will help you stay motivated and focused. Logging your workouts on your smartwatch, an app, or a notebook will give you perspective — you'll see how far you've come. 

As we previously mentioned, working out at full intensity in the office is not ideal. But if you want to get your heart rate up to meet your physical fitness goals, you could try doing interval training. Rather than go long stints on the bike, you'll do several short bursts of vigorous-intensity exercise with short breaks in between. You can use this interval training template from Healthline, which recommends switching between medium and high intensity over a 30-minute period. 

Finally, you'll want to ensure that the ergonomics of the bike are adjusted to your height and comfort. Since the under-desk bike will likely be in the office and shared by everyone, it's important that you adjust the seat every time you use the equipment. A badly adjusted seat can ruin your posture and affect your performance. 

LifeSpan Under-Desk Bikes — The Answer to Better Physical Health in the Workplace 

Physical fitness, not weight loss, is the most impactful to your health. While the two are inextricably linked, you should aim for consistency first — weight loss will come later. It's all too easy to get discouraged when you're not seeing progress right away, but you just have to give it time. You won't see huge results when using a stationary under-desk bike since it's a low-impact exercise, but you will eventually. If you stick to eating healthy and maximizing your time spent on the bike, you'll start to notice that you're feeling better and losing weight.

With LifeSpan's Solo or C3 Under-Desk Bike you can provide your employees with the right equipment to achieve their fitness goals. LifeSpan Spaces takes office fitness a step further, providing you with room configurations that place fitness front and center, giving employees the right environment to stay focused on the task at hand. When you're ready to modernize your office with LifeSpan's industry-leading office fitness equipment, talk to one of our sales representatives

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