Desk-ercise: Working on a Bike is Working Out

A few months ago I started a new job with a great company that provided some budget for setting up home-office equipment. I decided it was time to try out a standing desk for real, and I added an extra special acessory, a stationary bike that fits under a desk.

I have a real on-again-off-again relationship with fitness. I tried standing at my desk at work 8 years ago, but gave up because I didn’t have a powered desk that goes up and down easily. If I wanted to stop standing I had to move my laptop and extra monitor off the shelf. More recently I have tried Fitbit trackers over the years, but stopped wearing my Versa 2 about 6 months ago.

So I’m back into the gadget zone, I have the standing desk from Flexispot the Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series and to go with it a Sit2Go Fitness Chair.


I started out using the bike at the 2nd difficulty setting (out of 6). And this was comfortable and fun, it got me moving and it felt easy to rack up 10+ miles on the display each day. I could still talk and think clearly during meetings without being winded. I’ve been pretty regular about using it for the last month.

Then I decided to put my fitbit again and start working towards a tracked goal. Since I don’t get to walk every day especially during the winter months, I set my primary goal as “Active Zone Miunutes”. The fitbit uses it’s heart-rate sensor to detect when you are in the fat-burn zone (worth 1 minute) or cardio zone (worth 2 minutes) and that seemed like something I can do easily each day from my desk. I set the goal to 22 minutes, which is the default, then tried to get my minutes counted.

Unfortunately, when I ride the bike normally I only get my HR up to about 100bpm. This isn’t good enough! I only earn AZM minutes on the fitbit when my HR is above 115. And I only get my 2X cardio minutes when I’m above 130. So I cranked the difficulty level up to 4 and started really pumping on those pedals. Unfortunately this means I can’t do the exercise during meetings anymore, I have to find a spot where I’m not expected to talk or think deeply for 20+ minutes. But at least I don’t have to go to the gym for it.

Also I love the standing desk, it has 3 different height settings. Of course I still don’t love how shaky and bouncy my monitor is when I move or type, but that problem could only solved by switching back to my heavy steel workbench.