Question: How many calories can a person burn while sitting at a desk?
Answer: Typically very fewâbut if that desk has bike pedals installed underneath it, then it's a different story.
Bethany Lambeth, a brilliant middle school math teacher, came up with the bike pedal idea after watching kids get up from their desks and move around during her lectures. Kids are sitting down all day, with nowhere for that pent-up energy to go, which is why most kids, according to Lambeth, were "drumming on the desks [and] touching other people."
Lambeth found DeskCycle, a company that sells bike pedals for about $160. The money to pay for the pedals in Lambeth's classroom came from a private donation. After installing the bike pedals in April, Lambeth noticed an improvement in classroom behavior.
"[The kids] are not picking on each other, they are not needing to walk around, they are not needing to go explore," Lambeth told WRAL. "They are able to get their activity out and get their work done."
Most children have fidgeting habits, like drumming on desks, messing with the hair of the person in front of them, or bouncing their knee up and down. These habits can be distracting for other students who are trying to learn in the classroom.
The bike pedals by DeskCycle are quiet enough to not distract others and the students' knees don't bump on the desk from pedaling. While the kids in her classroom are pedaling away, Lambeth says they are more focused and more engaged in the math lessons, making the investment in bike pedals worthwhile.
And as for the calories burned, one student says he burned 133 calories while pedaling 5.5 miles during one class period.
Because of the positive reviews, the school where Lambeth works is looking to install bike pedals in all classrooms. The under-desk bike-pedal trend, like medicine balls and standing desks, will likely make its way into corporate offices as well.
You can watch the video below and see how they work.