Facilitating physical activity during the workday may help desk-bound workers reduce risks associated with sedentary behavior. We 1) evaluated the efficacy of a cycling workstation to increase energy expenditure while performing a typing task and 2) fabricated a power measurement system to determine the accuracy and reliability of an exercise cycle. Ten individuals performed 10 min trials of sitting while typing (SIT type) and pedaling while typing (PED type). Expired gases were recorded and typing performance was assessed. Metabolic cost during PED type was ∼ 2.5 × greater compared to SIT type (255 ± 14 vs. 100 ± 11 kcal h(-1), P < 0.01). Typing time and number of typing errors did not differ between PED type and SIT type (7.7 ± 1.5 vs. 7.6 ± 1.6 min, P = 0.51, 3.3 ± 4.6 vs. 3.8 ± 2.7 errors, P = 0.80). The exercise cycle overestimated power by 14-138% compared to actual power but actual power was reliable (r = 0.998, P < 0.01). A cycling workstation can facilitate physical activity without compromising typing performance. The exercise cycle's inaccuracy could be misleading to users.
Keywords: Energy expenditure; Ergometer calibration; Workplace activity.
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