Wright State University added new library equipment aimed at helping students stay active and healthy during long periods of study or homework.
The Wright State University library installed four new FitDesk exercise bikes into the second-floor study area. The FitDesks allow students a way to fit in exercise they may not otherwise be able to include in their schedule.
The FitDesk bikes are workout machines that feature a movable study area designed to hold books or laptops that a student may need.
The bikes are currently located on the second floor of the library in the backroom study area, next to the Student Technology Assistance Center (STAC).
Mandy Shannon, the Head of Instruction and Research Services at the library, said the idea for the exercise bikes came from after a meeting to address what improvements could be made to the libraries facilities and engaging with students.
“We are always checking in with students about what kinds of things they want,” said Shannon. “One of the things that students had mentioned was standing desks. That led to some of us in our department taking a look at research on the detriments of sitting too long. We found some information about these bike desks that other university libraries had installed. They were a cost-effective way for students to be non-sedentary while they’re studying.”
According to Shannon, research has shown that remaining stationary for long periods of time adversely affects the brain and that remaining active can positively affect the way the brain takes in information.
Shannon said that so far students have used them daily since their May installation. The library expects traffic to increase as the Summer semester comes to an end and more students arrive in the Fall.
“We had not even shared the fact that they were here yet when we saw students on them,” said Shannon. “They are very popular.”
The library hopes that the bikes give students an opportunity to diversify their study habits. The bikes are located in front of large windows that overlook campus and allow sunlight to pour in. They are also kept separate from other parts of the library where students require a quieter atmosphere.
“We haven’t had any complaints,” said Shannon. “The bikes themselves are very quiet. It is in a group area, so we have a lot of different spaces throughout the library, some of which are designated as a quiet space, this is not one of those spaces.”
“I think a lot of students are excited to try something new, something different,” said Wright State nursing student Krishel Stout. “I know there are a lot of students who are more kinetic learners so they like to move while they work.”
The bikes feature a digital read-out that informs riders about their current heart-rate as well as the distance they’ve peddled.
“Say you want to just do a couple miles,” said Stout, “you can keep track of that while you study. If you don’t; you want to put a book up, go for a couple hours, then take it off and see how far you went. It’s a nice little surprise to see how far you actually went studying.”
There are no reservations required and the bikes are available at a first-come-first-serve basis.