LAS VEGAS—It’s not healthy to sit at a desk all day, but many of us just don’t have a choice. Laptops don’t work well outside, and sure, standing desks are great and all, but when you’re used to sitting, it’s a hard habit to break.
Well, at CES this week, one company has a solution: a $500 stationary bicycle desk from Flexispot, which specializes in ergonomic office furniture. When I first saw it, it looked like a dream come true. For years I’ve lamented that all the time I spend sitting in front of a computer is probably whittling away at my health. And here, in the middle of an ocean of high-tech products I mostly don’t want or can’t afford, was the answer to my prayers.
So I tried it. The seat doesn’t have a back, and I was worried that would mean I’d slouch more, but that wasn’t the case. Just like when I ride a bike, I leaned forward, but I wasn’t caving into my shoulders. The desk had a wrist pad and a cup holder, which was nice, as well as a small display showing my distance, speed, and time. And the desk and seat both adjust for height. I sat there, opened my computer, and checked my email, all while peddling. And while I worried moving my legs would be a distraction (perhaps the way sitting on a yoga ball can be), it wasn’t. I was simply moving my legs, getting a little exercise, and was still able to enter my productive zone and answer a few nagging emails. If anything could’ve helped the experience, it would be a better display and an option to choose a course, like rolling hills, but at least there was a resistance dial.
This isn’t the first bike desk solution. There have been small pedal kits that you can put under your desk for years (L.V. Anderson wrote about one set like them for Slate in 2016). Others are quite large and take up about as much room as a standing desk. But this is the first one I’ve seen that’s not too big and actually feels like you’re on an exercise bike at the gym. And unlike many gadgets at CES, this one is actually for sale.