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  • Writer's pictureDr. Hansra

If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer/tv screen then boost your health with a desk bike

Due to societal changes we have become increasingly sedentary = too much sitting (1). Screen time (computers, watching television, tablets, phones, video games) has increased dramatically over the past 20 years (1,2). For example, between 1989 and 2009, the number of households with a computer and internet access increased from 15% to 69% (3). Many of us have jobs that require some form of computer work and for some the computer work takes place in the home. For example as a medical doctor I review patient charts, labs, notes at home. Also, as a clinical researcher I spend much time reviewing and signing research related documents. All this translates to hours per week sitting down (being #sedentary). The #COVID-19 #pandemic has only compounded the problem and multiple cohorts have been increasingly sedentary during the pandemic (4-6). Studies have linked being sedentary to increased #stress (6), #depression (6), #heart #disease (1,7), type 2 #diabetes (1,7), #obesity (1,7), and some #cancers (1,7). We must adapt to both society and the pandemic conditions to maintain our level of #physical activity and our health. One strategy is to get a desk bike! Get a #deskbike.

"Get a desk bike to not only adapt to the pandemic but also to adapt to societal trends towards increasing sedentary behaviors". - Dr. Hansra MD

The desk bike works best if you also have an adjustable desk. Some desk bikes are basic peddle machines you can slide under your existing office desk. You can pick up a basic desk bike for as low as $20 from Walmart online (, see the video below) and you don't need the adjustable desk. Full desk bikes can range a few hundred dollars. The one I own is a Flexispot bike which costed around $250 and it works great! Also the bike folds up and takes up minimal room in my house (available at I use this bike almost every day and I burn hundreds of calories per session where I otherwise would have literally been sitting on my butt. This translates into thousands of calories burned and hours of extra hours of exercise per week! This also translates into numerous health benefits over time. My kids even use the bike while playing video games! You can also use these bikes while watching television, talking on the phone, using a tablet or mobile device. Simply do a web search for "desk bikes" on your browser and a number of options appear. Also search "standing desks" and a variety of options come up starting as low as $150.

What's the bottom line?

Get a desk bike to not only #adapt to the pandemic but also adapt to societal trends towards increasing sedentary behaviors (1). Numerous clinical research studies shows that exercise is associated with living longer (8,9), delaying the onset of 40 chronic diseases and conditions (8,9), and improved quality of life (8). Increasing your physical fitness will reduce your chance of premature death (8,9) and the effect appears to be a graded phenomenon meaning the more you exercise the lower your risk of early dearth (10,11) Most notable illnesses prevented by exercise includes:

1) High #bloodpressure (8)

2) #Obesity (8,9)

3) #Diabetes (8,9)

4) #Stroke (8)

5) High #cholesterol (8,9)

6) Some #cancers (8,9)

7) #Heartdisease (8,9)

8) #Blood #clots (8)

9) #Immunity (8)

10) #Arthritis (8,9)

Exercise is also good for your #mentalhealth (12-14). Studies have shown that regular exercise reduces #anxiety, #depression, #cognitive function (12,13). Also exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms of social #withdrawal which is a major issue during the COVID-19 pandemic (14). At minimum avoiding being sedentary and standing up has health benefits (1,15). See the 50 second video below!

"The little things add up to something big when trying to achieve your health goals. Making subtle adjustments to your everyday lifestyle are more sustainable than large drastic changes". - Dr Hansra MD

Remember: The little things add up to something big when trying to achieve your health goals including weight loss. Making subtle adjustments to your everyday lifestyle are more sustainable than large drastic changes. Who has time to spend hours at the gym? Get a desk bike and workout while you work. This is a strategy for people on the go. This will pay off in the long run.

Stay tuned on more ways to get healthy at:


1. Owen N, Sparling PB, Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Matthews CE. Sedentary behavior: emerging evidence for a new health risk. Mayo Clin Proc. 2010;85(12):1138-1141.

2. Brownson RC, Boehmer TK, Luke DA. Declining rates of physical activity in the United States: what are the contributors? Annu Rev Public Health. 2005; 26():421-43.

3. US Census Bureau Internet Use in the United States: October 2009. US Census Bureau Web site. Accessed August 24, 2010.

4. Zheng C, Huang WY, Sheridan S, Sit CH, Chen XK, Wong SH. COVID-19 Pandemic Brings a Sedentary Lifestyle in Young Adults: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(17):6035. Published 2020 Aug 19.

5. Alomari MA, Khabour OF, Alzoubi KH. Changes in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Amid Confinement: The BKSQ-COVID-19 Project. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2020;13:1757-1764. Published 2020 Sep 25.

6. Meyer J, McDowell C, Lansing J, et al. Changes in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Response to COVID-19 and Their Associations with Mental Health in 3052 US Adults [published correction appears in Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep 23;17(19):]. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(18):6469. Published 2020 Sep 5.

7. US Department of Health and Human Services 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2008-2009. Accessed August 24, 2010.

8. Ruegsegger GN, Booth FW. Health Benefits of Exercise. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018 Jul 2;8(7):a029694.

9. Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 2006;174(6):801-809.

10. Erikssen G. Physical fitness and changes in mortality: the survival of the fittest. Sports Med. 2001; 31(8):571-6.

11. Blair SN, Kohl HW III, Barlow CE, et al. Changes in physical fitness and all-cause mortality. A prospective study of healthy and unhealthy men. JAMA 1995;273:1093-8.

12. Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106.

13. Callaghan P.. Exercise: a neglected intervention in mental health care? J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2004;11:476–483.

14. Guszkowska M.. Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood [in Polish] Psychiatr Pol. 2004;38:611–620.

15. González K, Fuentes J, Márquez JL. Physical Inactivity, Sedentary Behavior and Chronic Diseases. Korean J Fam Med. 2017;38(3):111-115.


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