Working out at work


Courtesy Stamina Products

The Stamina 55-1610 InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer

By Assistant Sports & Health Editor

Being a Workaholic or serial Netflix binger is no longer a good excuse for skipping exercise.

The Stamina 55-1610 InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer, created by Stamina Products Inc., has tension-adjusted foot pedals that allow users to work out anywhere, even in the office or in front of the TV. The device includes a fitness monitor that displays the number of strides, exercise time and calories burned, according to

“We recommend it for people who have a tight space [when] they’re looking for a way to get a cardio workout,” said Taylor Hutchens, Stamina’s director of marketing.

The machine was made to address the issue of limited workout space, according to Hutchens.

“A lot of us are using it at the office,” Hutchens said.

An independent study published in the February 2013 Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport revealed that 86 percent of participants using the trainer for an hour a day burned enough calories to prevent weight gain. The study measured the participants’ energy output, as well as interest in using the device while performing sedentary tasks. Participants used the elliptical while seated in a standard office chair and selected their own intensity level while watching one hour of television. The majority of participants expressed interest in using the device while watching television but surprised the research team when they said they were not interested in using it in office meetings.

“It always seemed to me that while I’m sitting in an office meeting it would be great to have one of these devices to pedal,” said Liza Rovniak, assistant professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine.

The device also offers the benefit of compactness. It can be kept under a desk or in a closet, making indoor physical actvity more accesible than going to the gym, according to Rovniak.

“Research has shown that the more steps it takes to get from point A to point B, with point B being the gym, the less likely going to the gym [will] happen,” Rovniak said.

The convenience of not having to go to the gym is leading the recent trend of exercising at work and home, according to Andy Stephens, head personal trainer of Bad Andy Fitness in Chicago.

Fitness has evolved during the last 30 to 40 years into a collection of various ability levels, bringing bodybuilding to the center of the fitness world, according to Stephens. However, body weights and obesity rates continue to increase.

“If you can provide something that people need and it meshes right, then you should deliver that product to as many people as you can because we are in dire need of fitness,” Stephens said. “Especially in the office environment, where we’re very sedentary.”

But Rovniak warned that the InMotion cannot replace a regular gym routine.

“No one is going to become an elite athlete pedaling one of these devices under their desk,” Rovniak said. “For that I think the gym would be a better venue.”

The overall benefits of using these types of devices depend on the user’s goal, according to Stephens.

“Endurance training at work, in my opinion, is not going to be as effective,” Stephens said. “I would imagine that if you were on the elliptical for eight hours a day, you would probably develop some type of either muscular imbalance or some type of stressed hip, knee, ankle, or joint just because it is a lot of repetitive motion.”

As a relatively new product, more studies should be conducted to measure its long-term health benefits, Rovniak said.

“I think we need to explore more if people would use them over longer periods of time and their health benefits,” said Rovniak.