By Bike | Week 4 (Miles 480 – 512)

There were a great number of excuses: no sleep because of a screaming, sick baby; wet and cold; the need to have a car in order to pick up 8 pizzas from Costco. It was a short week for me and I only managed to ride to work on 2 of 4 days, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The driving did not make me happy and there was only one afternoon, when I walked outside to find 40 mph gusts of wind, that I was almost glad I wasn’t riding home (that feeling lasted about a block in the car). It was on one of the days that my car was parked out in the parking lot that I came across this article in the Wall Street Journal:

A recent review of existing research suggests there is “strong evidence” that time spent sitting is linked to a higher risk of death during the studies’ follow-up periods.

That wasn’t really as shocking as the proposed solution:

It’s a very quiet portable pedal exercise machine that you can buy from the manufacturer for under $200, including basic software that records your progress on your PC. You can adjust the resistance on the under-the-desk machine to either tool along easily or work hard enough to huff and puff (just keep your conference call on mute.)

I can just imagine an office full of people quietly sweating away as they spin on their magnetic trainer. And by imagine, I mean smell.

After reading this article a co-worker was talking to me about my super-human metabolism and made the comment that her husband was built like me (I’m about 6 feet tall and 145 pound) until he turned 32 and then he just started gaining weight (a story I’m told, usually as sort of a warning, about once a month). She closed the story by saying, “but he also changed from an active job to one where he’s at a computer all day.”

That was two different sources trying to tell me that sitting at a desk all day was going to make me fat and would probably kill me. I was starting to feel a little guilty about driving those two days. I also wondered why my co-worker and The Wall Street Journal tried to pitch “more active” work days without trying to pitch “more active” commutes.

I’m no doctor and I’m too lazy to look and see if the science supports this theory, but a ride or walk to work in the morning and home in the afternoon should have about the same impact on cardiovascular health and keep those customer service agents from huffing and puffing through every phone call. That’s not to say that there aren’t some days I wish I could set-up my trainer at my desk and spin away the day.

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