A Clemson University professor’s latest research project suggests it is beneficial to work out while you work.
Psychology professor June Pilcher said she found a positive link between light physical activity and students’ motivation to complete work. Using 38 student volunteers, Pilcher compared the effects of studying at a traditional desk versus studying at a stationary bike workstation called a FitDesk.
She found that students using the FitDesks were not only able to complete their work in a productive manner, but also had improved moods while doing it.
Pilcher’s idea for the research stemmed from her personal experiences using a FitDesk at home in the summer of 2013.
“First, I started to use it while I was reading a book or something like that and then I started to broaden it reading email or maybe grading tests from students, that kind of thing,” Pilcher said. “Based on my own personal experience, I thought my ability to read or grade a paper was not negatively impacted by using the FitDesk.”
Clemson currently has FitDesks in three locations on campus, including Brackett Hall, Cooper Library and the Academic Success Center. Pilcher hopes they will become available in classrooms and other public spaces in the future.
“I hope… to have them available at any location where really we’re encouraged to be sedentary,” Pilcher said. “To me, that’s like every doctors office, every waiting room, you know even at the DMV, there’s chairs there. Instead of a few chairs, they could have FitDesks and people could sit at the FitDesks and pedal while they wait.”