A recent pilot study at the University of Massachusetts Amherst by kinesiologists found that pedalling while conducting work tasks improved insulin responses to a test meal.
The investigators led by Dr. Stuart Chipkin found that insulin levels following the meal were lower when sedentary workers used a pedal desk compared to a standard desk. In addition, work skills were not decreased in the pedalling condition.
It is believed that sedentary work environments have been linked to higher rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease through insulin resistance and other mechanisms. a pedal desk can be used in a seated position at the user’s own pace for as little or as much time as the worker chooses.
For this the researchers recruited 12 overweight/obese full-time sedentary office workers, six men and six women, and tested them in two conditions, pedalling at self-selected light-intensity pace for two hours, and working while seated for two hours at a conventional desk. In both conditions, participants performed computer-based tasks and were tested on mouse proficiency, typing speed and accuracy, reading comprehension and concentration/attention.