Working out while using the computer

My Home Workout Setup
My Home Workout Setup

One of the challenges of working a lot with computers is that you end up sitting in a chair for a large part of the day. Recently a number of people have started experimenting with setups where you don’t sit down such as using a computer while on a stationary bike, treadmill or standing. I tried the bike approach and having had the setup for a few months now, I really like the experience. I usually spend 2-4 hours online after coming home from work in the evening. Of that I spend about 10-12 hours per week on the bike wich adds up to somewhere around 3000-4000 calories per week. Not a huge amount, but I definitely feel a difference.

It’s not a replacement for running though. My heart rate while on the bike is usually just above 100, far below what it is even on a slow run. The bike setup is also not suitable for all tasks. For editing photos, making slides or complex writing it is back to the Aeron.

The parts for the setup are actually fairly cheap, although you need a 2nd monitor.  Exact setup after the break.

The recumbent bike itself is a Schwinn 226 (similar to the 230). It’s actually made by Nautilus, Schwinn just licenses their brand. It is a pretty good choice as it has a well positioned keyboard tray, and similar bikes (e.g. the 213 here) have been used by similar projects.

The display is a cheap 28” HP Monitor. I initially was using a 24” screen, but it doesn’t work well as the distance to the screen is larger than for a desk setup. I use a IOGear KVM to alternatively have my Mac (for work) or my PC (mostly for gaming) on the display and to switch keyboards between the two computers.

The hardest part was finding a decent shelf to place the screen on. I ended up using two Ikea shelves with a combination of short legs on one side (similar to these, the exact model doesn’t seem to be available online), and adjustable long Vika Byske legs on the other side. As it turns out I am not the first to have this idea, Ikeahacker has a post of a similar setup.