Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A Surprising Ride to Productivity

As you know, I've been trying to lose weight since before the dawn of time. Lately, my husband has adapted his working life to include a standing desk. He no longer sits at all during the workday, thereby keeping his heart working just a little harder and bearing weight on his muscles and bones. The thought is that while it's certainly not a cardio workout, it is healthier than sitting all day and can help in the battle against the dreaded sedentary life so prevalent in America right now.

I've wanted to claim some of the benefits of this method, even while working at home, but upon experimenting with possible solutions, discovered that I really didn't like knitting while standing, even if I had something in front of me, like a desk or lectern. Sitting and knitting is easier, I suppose because of the back support. Since about half of the work I do while sitting is knitting, I needed another solution.  One day, I got the notion that a small exercise bike might do the trick because on a search for standing desk options, I saw a photo of a woman in professional dress, peddling while she read through pages in her hands.

Bingo! I found a similar-looking cycle on Amazon for about 140 dollars and not only does it work, it works brilliantly. After a fruitless search for the perfect little desk-ish thing to go over the bike to hold my computer, phone, bottle of water, knitting or whatever, my clever hubby built a perfect desk. It has the added bonus of being a good height to use as a standing desk for the times when I'm not knitting and just using my computer or talking on the phone.

I can put the resistance to low, get peddling and happily work like this for about 2 hours at a time before I need a stretch and change of venue. I can comfortably knit, sew, and do anything on my computer, including photo processing.
I'm so pleased with this set-up and have noticed an unexpected benefit. I often struggle with focused work and usually move from task to task throughout the day to keep from getting bored. This works pretty well up to a point, but while I'm peddling, I'm anchored to where I am, I'm dispersing kinetic energy, and there is a meditative rhythm going through my whole body, so I find that I can dive deeply into whatever activity I'm doing and be very productive for a long time. Time passes without me noticing! Not only that, I look forward to time on the cycle and look for activities I can adapt to doing while peddling. Because the resistance is low, it doesn't cause me to work up a heavy sweat, so I can wear my regular working clothes.

In the two weeks or so I've been doing this, I have lost more weight, which is great, but really, that has slipped somewhat to the back of my mind. It really does feel better to move more throughout the day! It's good for body, mind and soul! I hope I can use this set up for a long time.
Yes, this post was written on my cycle!
 Cross-posted to The Same Stitch

2 comments:

Jann said...

This was very clever. Nice job. I am glad you found a solution that is working for you.

Heather said...

Excellent! I bet that would help me too, not so much with weight loss, but with the focusing. I find I "read" best when I'm listening to audiobooks and walking. Something about that steady rhythm of my feet hitting the ground.

Somewhat related: I think I need to take up knitting or something else I can do with my hands that involves rhythm. Last week I macrameed a whole bunch of friendship bracelets for Katy's class for Valentine's day, and I was surprised to find it very soothing.

Macrame may be my calling, but I think knitting might be more satisfying. Any tips on the best way to get started with knitting? :)