The FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro in all its glory.
It is now common knowledge that sitting still for hours every day is bad for our health.
But many of us work in office environments, where a sedentary position is necessary.
Standing desks have become quite common over recent years, but they don't allow you much scope for physical exertion.
Therefore, when FlexiSpot contacted me to ask if I would like to trial their Deskcise Pro, I jumped at the chance.
In short, it's a desk with pedals, which allows you to cycle while you work.
I chose to give this particular product a go because it ticked a couple of vital boxes for me: one, I am a relatively keen cyclist; and two, it seemed like it might be amusing to get everyone in the office to have a go.
After all, watching someone furiously pump the pedals while trying to type is sure to raise a few chuckles.
Was it any good?
Before the desk arrived, I had some reservations; I couldn't really see it working that well. My main concerns were that it would be too noisy in an office environment and that I wouldn't be able to type as I bobbed up and down with each pedal push.
In both regards, I was pleasantly surprised. The bike is silent and, actually, typing while cycling is quite easy. Because of the range of adjustments to saddle height and desk position, it is easy to find a setting that works for you.
Over the course of a few days, I spent a few minutes to an hour testing the Deskcise Pro. However, I was careful not to work up a sweat; our office is relatively small, and I didn't think that would be fair on my colleagues. That said, I could imagine that keeping my blood pumping and muscles working might benefit my health in the long run.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience, and I will continue to use it sporadically. However, I am but one man, so I asked my colleagues to try the contraption for themselves. Here's what they had to say.
James is not dressed for physical activity.
James, our senior editor, had the following to say:
"The FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro was surprisingly easy to use, and I soon found myself working, unconscious of the fact that I was cycling away!"
"Changing the settings was simple enough, and the desk component provided welcome wrist support."
"My desk setup is quite busy, however, and it was tricky trying to fit everything onto the surface that the device offers."
However, he goes on, "I would also recommend wearing cool, loose-fitting clothing when using the FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro; I got quite hot wearing jeans!"
The picture above demonstrates the rather complex desk setup that James needed to make up for the lack of desk space. It also shows his inappropriate cycling attire.
"Surprisingly comfortable, the cycle desk helps to keep you focused and alert. It feels good to be moving while working rather than being slumped in a chair. It was also surprisingly easy to read and type documents while maintaining a rhythmic cycle."
Copy editor Isy
She goes on, saying, "However, the wrist support was in the wrong place for me so hindered typing somewhat. There is also not much space on the desk for anything other than a laptop, so it would probably need to be an additional desk for someone, rather than their main place of work."
Popular all round
The desk seemed to win over some members of the team who were, initially, resolutely against the idea. For instance, despite initial hesitations, news writer Maria seems to have been wooed by the desk.
She explains, "I am not a very physically active person, and I am most definitely not into cycling. However, I decided to give the Deskcise Pro a try and see how I would fare."
"Although, as I said, I am not the sportiest of people, I often begin to feel fidgety at work, and I have especially restless legs, so I wondered if the desk could help me deal with that and increase my focus. And it did!"
"Cycling helps me keep my restless legs occupied and my mind free to deal with the business at hand."
"I also appreciate," she adds, "how customizable the desk is: it's great that I can set it to fit my (very short) height, and I also appreciate that I can customize the pedaling resistance so that I can move at the pace that I'm most comfortable with."
"The only problem is that I fear I may soon become addicted and start fighting my colleagues for it!"
News copy editor Jasmin was similarly impressed, saying, "When I first saw the bike, I was worried that the motion of my legs while cycling would make the desk wobble around, or that the wrist support would be positioned strangely and make typing awkward."
"How wrong I was! I knew in my first few seconds of using the bike that I would become attached to it."
"The seat is so comfortable, the pedals move so smoothly, and the desk is the perfect size — not to mention the super useful cup holder," Jasmin adds. "When you're sitting at a desk all day like we in this office are, using the bike is a welcome break from shoulder ache while still being able to carry on working when we're crunched."
"I've heard that exercise can boost concentration and productivity, and this bike is proof of that! When I use it, I'm crossing things off of my to-do list faster than ever before. To summarize: an excellent addition to the MNT office."
So, despite initial reservations in some camps, the FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro is a hit with the folks at MNT — although it might be improved with a larger desk area and an adjustable wrist support.