Technology allows you to get your workout at work
PERSONALLY, I think the three most gloomy words in the English language are “sitting is smoking.” The medical intimation of this phrase is that if you work at a desk for a considerable part of your life, your chances of contracting some types of cancers are greater than those of fidgety people — the type who constantly leave their desks for an outdoor smoke break. This may seem unfair, but don’t give in to despondency. Not only have scientists discovered a cause for nearly everything, they have also found a cure for almost everything. Just because you sat on your butt for 25 years, doesn’t mean you will fall victim to “sitting is smoking.” In fact, a cure is already on the market. I discovered the cure while attending the Hot Tub, Fitness & Fireplace Expo that Krevco recently participated in. It consists of a slow moving treadmill with a top speed of 6.5 kph that you walk on while working at your desk. Krevco’s Gil Torres, a fitness equipment specialist, said to date the Life Span DT7 workplace solution has been an exceptional hit with busy scholars at the University of Manitoba. “They can study, work on their computers or chat with colleagues while benefitting from a good walk,” said Torres, adding that the walkers are available in several models priced from about $1,000 and up depending on special features. He said the DT7 includes an electric height adjustment to support users from 4-10 to 6-8, as well as a one-inch-thick, high-density desktop of laminated composite board. Other special features are a pre-set desk height memory, an auto shut down of the belt when you step off and a counting feature that works like a nurse’s pedometer to tally steps as you walk. If you are getting on in life like me and walking and working at the same time seems too vigorous a concept, Torres said Life Span offers two models of bike desks that allow you to cycle at work rather than to work. “One model can be purchased without a desk for under $1,000. A buyer can pair it with an existing desk or purchase one with sufficient height to allow the bike to be slid underneath for compact storage when not in use,” said Torres. The second model comes as a package including a bike with a maximum 400-pound user weight and an adjustable-height desk with a 0.9 metre deep by 119 centimetre wide top. Desk treadmills and bikes come equipped with Bluetooth, meaning free apps can be downloaded to capture all of your activity on your Android device, as well as turning your iPad into a touch screen console which gives you control of your equipment’s settings and more. My favourite tension-relieving/exercise device was the Nexersys iPower Trainer. Though the machine looked like a pilot who had just bailed out of a passing UFO, this android “is an interactive and intelligent fitness product that delivers a High Intensity Mixed Martial Arts Interval Training workout through technique, strike, core and cardio video and avatar sparring rounds.” The instructions didn’t say whether you can change the avatar to look like your boss, but you could think of the machine as a manifestation of that foul-breathed smoker in your office who will outlive you because he gets more exercise. Also on display were combination gyms that I immediately suspected of being pilot’s seats salvaged from crashed UFOs. However, on closer inspection, I discovered these multi-use machines such as the BowFlex Xtreme SE are capable of 65-gym quality exercises including abdominal crunches, squats, leg extensions, lats and lots more. Torres said BowFlex technology makes use of power rods in place of weights to produce resistance. “The rods take up less space than heavy weights, which can be dangerous if dropped, and the rods are easy to replace if required,” he said. Weight training accessories on display included kettle bells in a lovely assortment of colours from bight yellows and pinks to greens and mauves. Not surprisingly, they look like an old-style steam kettle with a large handle welded to the body, usually coated in rubber for safety. The main advantage to kettles compared dumbbells is you get a complete workout in less time and incorporate more muscles into each exercise session. Kets, as they are often referred to, weigh from 4-kg to 40-kg, and cost about $40 to $170. A kettle bell rack retails from Krevco’s Flaman Fitness catalogue for $189. Another advantage to kets is that they are easy to launch like 10-pin bowling balls; the next time you hear some dumbbell say “sitting is smoking”, emulate John Goodman in The Big Lebowski and let him have it in the solar plexus.
mil Torres, fitness equipment specialist with Krevco Lifestyles, shows how to walk and work with a Life
Span treadmill and desk combination. Below, Kettle bells and neoprene dumbells are available in a variety of weights and colours to please
male and female lifters.