If I can’t walk or cycle while I work do I have to change my career?

If I can’t walk or cycle while I work do I have to change my career?

I keep on reading how bad it is for your health to sit still for long periods, even if you exercise every day. I spend about 99 per cent of my time in front of a computer or on the sofa so, other than changing my career and becoming a gym instructor, what are the options?

There’s the treadmill desk, of course. But they’re huge – and hugely expensive. And I’ve never been convinced I could walk and write at the same time. Research seems to bear that out. According to research cited in this article, exercise workstations slow down your typing speed and accuracy by 16 per cent and your fine motor skills by 11 per cent. And, of course, there’s also a danger that you’ll fall off.

I’ve heard about the little cycles you can fit under your desk but didn’t really take them seriously till I came across a few quite favourable reviews. But I can see four problems.

One, again, I’m not sure I could pedal and concentrate simultaneously, though at least I’m not likely to do myself a physical injury by falling off my chair.

Two, I have a rolling chair so I envisage myself being propelled all round the room every time I push a pedal unless I have nailed myself to the floor.

Three, even if I could find a way to keep still, my knees would keep hitting the underside of my desk. For me, the most worrying aspects of spending so much time typing are potential problems with my wrists and shoulders. I have ergonomic everything – split angled keyboard, an upright mouse for each hand – and I have my seat at its highest setting, with a cushion for good measure, to keep my forearms at the correct angle. That means I have no more than a few centimetres of space between desk and legs.

The promotional material for one under-desk cycle says lower your chair – which I can’t do – or stretch out your legs. But it also says you must pedal downwards, not forwards as you would with a reclining bike, and I don’t see how the two compute.

Perhaps I could lower my chair and just pedal while I’m doing research, and so not using my keyboard. They are quite cheap, so I might give it a go. If it doesn’t work, I suppose I could always pedal when I’m sitting on the sofa, but that feels like taking exercise a bit too far.

Which brings me to the fourth problem. I hate, hate, hate cycling. So, chances are if I did end up buying one, I wouldn’t use it and end up feeling even more guilty than when I don’t have one sitting under my desk.

Are there any other options, I wonder?

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