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Heroes

Check out these under-the-desk bike pedals, the newest tactic for surviving office life.

If you're slowly becoming one with your desk chair, you may want to try this wacky idea.

After a long day of staring at screens, my eyes get twitchy and I find it difficult to concentrate. If you sit at a desk all day, you probably know that feeling all too well.


This is me. Well, not it's not. But it's definitely how I feel at 3 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. Photo via Thinkstock.

Research confirms that sitting all day isn't good for us.

Sedentary behavior can lead to a higher risk for diabetes and obesity. Yikes. Lots of sitting is even linked to mental health problems and heightened anxiety.

A little bit of movement during the day can help, but according to the BBC, we're not getting up very much at work. In fact, a 2015 survey from the British Heart Foundation found that roughly 50% of women and 40% of men spend less than a half hour per day walking around when at work.

But there are some sweet, science-backed solutions to this problem.

You can buy an ever-trendy Fitbit. You could get a standing desk. You could bounce through the day on a yoga ball rather than sitting in your chair.

Fitbits have become a popular way to track your movement throughout the day. Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images.

But my favorite new solution? Under-the-desk bike pedals.

In a new study, bike pedals were distributed to people who sat at desks all day.

The pedals were installed under employees' desks. Then Lucas Carr, a scientist and professor at the University of Iowa, tracked every employee's pedal time for 16 weeks.

As part of the study, these employees also received emails each week that reminded them to stand up, alter their posture, and stay active.

It turns out that these pedals have a lot of benefits.

Carr told Medical News Today that the employees who pedaled the most experienced improvements in physical health, fewer sick days, and better concentration.

This was the pedal set up used for Carr's study. Although there are many types of desk pedals, Carr used pedal sets from activeLife Trainer. Photo by University of Iowa Department of Health and Human Physiology, used with permission.

Carr also told Medical News Today that most of the employees asked to keep the pedals after the study because they loved them so much. Plus, the study demonstrated significant benefits for employees even when they only used the pedals for less than an hour per day.

Plus, it's really easy to incentivize pedaling at the office.

Imagine a coffee pot that turns on only when you start pedaling. (OK, maybe that's a bit cruel.) Or a printer that operates with the power of your leg muscles. Or office-wide pedaling competitions. (Races during the 3 p.m. slump? Leader boards?

Excuse me while I immediately purchase a set of pedals for my own desk. Photo by activeLife Trainer via University of Iowa.

Most companies provide their employees with gym memberships or other traditional incentives for movement.

That's great, too. But Carr notes that exercise facilities in the office often don't work for the majority of people long term.

"[These pedals are] something that could be provided to just about any employee, regardless of the size of their company or office," he told Iowa Now. "It's right at their feet, and they can use it whenever they want without feeling self-conscious in front of their co-workers."

That's why these bike pedals, which provide an easy way to get moving, are so effective. Sign me up!

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

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A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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