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.

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

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!

True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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Photo by Tod Perry

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