A New Spin on the Home Office
If I had a dime for every time, over the past two years, someone asked me for advice on working from home … well, I wouldn’t need to work from home anymore, because I’ve fielded this question a lot.
And it’s fair! After all, I’ve been doing the remote work thing, full time, non-stop, and for countless clients (including my work here at FBG) since 2007. I’ve learned a thing or two … or maybe twenty.
And one of the most important things I’ve learned is that, wow, I do not like to sit all day. But I also don’t like to stand all day. Call me Goldilocks. Basically, I like to move around when I can, which means that normally, if I’m on the phone, I’m generally pacing around my house.
Or, at least I was … until everyone started using Zoom and suddenly, instead finding myself with a few minutes to stretch my legs while chatting, I was chained even more tightly to my desk. Sure, I could move from sitting to standing, and of course I try to take regular breaks to stretch, but still, my body craved movement.
And the latest addition to my home office provides a way to do just that.
I received a FlexiSpot All-in-One Desk Bike (with a desktop) to review in late December (not sponsored! Although I’m sure grateful for the opportunity to check it out!), and while I was excited to try it out, I was also a little bit nervous. My husband, who shares the office with me, wasn’t super thrilled about adding another piece of furniture to the space. And while I knew I’d like the ability to move my body without stepping away from my screen, I wasn’t sure how much coordination typing while pedaling would require. Hey, I’ve fallen off a stationary bike before, and that was without trying to do any brainy tasks on top of spinning, you know?
Fortunately, both concerns were rendered pretty much moot right off the bat. The bike takes up less space than we’d imagined, and when I’m done getting in my daily miles, I roll it over to the side of my desk, where it tucks away pretty neatly.
And, as for typing, my high school keyboarding teacher, Miss B., would be proud. (I know, I know, keyboarding class outs me as a woman of a certain age here. I’m fine with that! Middle age is awesome!) My typing isn’t quite as speedy as it is when I’m seated or standing, but it’s still steady — and accurate. I do find that I prefer to sit or stand when I’m working on a story that requires really deep, creative thinking. Still, for easier or more straightforward tasks, like answering emails or reading, I can cover a lot of theoretical ground while knocking out my deadlines!
So how much cycling am I really doing? I’ve made a point to start out slowly to make sure I don’t cause any overuse injuries (and to reduce the likelihood of it seeming like, you know, hard work, which might dampen my enthusiasm), and still, over the course of January, I logged over 200 miles! Hitting 10 to 15 miles a day on any given workday is a cinch; even at a truly leisurely pace, that’s accomplished within an hour or so. I try to vary my resistance a bit, and while I don’t pay too much attention to my speed, every once in a while, before I take a break, I’ll do short sprint to get my heart rate up or hit the next distance milestone.
One note on this: the bike tracks trip and total mileage, time, speed, RPMs, and calories on its own display, and it doesn’t pair with an app or watch or anything. Personally, that’s a pro in my book — I have enough things that are connected for tracking, and if I want to use the bike for a legit workout that I want to show up on Strava, I’ll start it manually on my watch, you know? But, for my ambitious step counters, you should know that my watch does not automatically count my spinning as any steps. It doesn’t bother me, but I realize some people feel more strongly about capturing that data.
The other thing that’s so cool about this particular bike with the attached desktop is that it easily rolls anywhere in my house. For most tasks, I still like to set up in my office with my dual monitors, my ergonomic keyboard, and all my reference materials nearby. (In writing this, I’m beginning to realize I’m a little particular. Hmm.) But, hey, who doesn’t like to shake things up once in a while? I’ve rolled my desk bike into the living room on occasion to work from my laptop with a slightly different view, and let me tell you, it sure beats working from a hunched over position on the couch.
Now, although I haven’t used my FlexiSpot desk bike for any serious workouts, on a few occasions I have worked up a little sweat — and I realize that might be a little more of an issue (especially here in Florida) in the summer. Fortunately, most people I meet with by video have zero problem with me looking a little disheveled; if anything, it’s led to them asking more about my experience with the desk bike! Still, if you’re someone who needs to look polished and professional during the day, you might need to plan your desk bike use around important meetings, so keep that in mind if you’re considering an upgrade like this.
Seriously, y’all, I thought this would probably be pretty cool, but it’s absolutely smashed my expectations. On the days when I make good use of it (which, at this point, is most work days), my mood is better, and since my body tends to feel better with consistent, gentle movement, it’s even helped with some of my knee and back pain (although that’s specific to my experience with osteoarthritis and low back sprain — I’m not suggesting it as a cure for anyone else’s issues!). I might’ve worried about how I’d work this into my days, and whether I’d stick with it, but now I’m more worried about what I would do if it were taken away.
Got questions? Want to share how you’ve upgraded your home office? Let’s hear it! —Kristen