Now You Can Bike At Your Desk When You Weakly Take A Break From Standing

One day, will we look back fondly at a time when our desks didn’t have any activities attached to them?

First came standing desks, then sit-stand desks. Now one company wants to sell you a sit-stand-bike desk, so you can bike or stand until you get tired, lower the desk to sit down for a while, and then stand up again.


“Our bodies thrive on changing positions,” says Dan Lee, director at NextDesk, which just launched the new desk, called the Velo. Standing in one place all day, while better than slumping in a chair, isn’t particularly active, and can lead to health problems of its own.

Having a bike in sight may make people more likely to move. In one 2015 study, workers with pedals under their desks ended up riding an average of 50 minutes a day. At the end of the 16-week study, workers had lost weight, lowered their resting heart rate, and were better able to concentrate at work.

NextDesk thinks that their desk, with the option of standing, will make people even more active. “Our pilot studies indicate that the average user will spend 45 minutes to an hour per day on the bike, about two hours standing, and the remainder sitting,” says Lee. Even light cycling burns roughly three times as many calories an hour as just standing.

A button raises and lowers the desk to a standing, cycling, or sitting height, and the bike rolls out of the way when it isn’t needed. An app tracks progress online; if you want to, you can compete with your coworkers for distance cycled or calories burned while you answer your emails.

While biking at work seems like it might be distracting, people quickly adjust. “It’s one of those things that you get used to in just a couple days,” says Lee.

Have something to say about this article? You can email us and let us know. If it’s interesting and thoughtful, we may publish your response.


About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.