Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsm.2010.079574
  • Original articles

Feasibility of a portable pedal exercise machine for reducing sedentary time in the workplace

Press Release
  1. Bess H Marcus1,3
  1. 1Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  2. 2Department of Exercise and Sport Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3Program in Public Health, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  1. Correspondence toDr Lucas J Carr, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, East Carolina University, 172 Minges Coliseum, Greenville, NC 27858, USA; carrl{at}
  1. Contributors The contributing authors have made substantial contributions to the conception, design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of the article and have all given final approval of the current version and agree to its submission.

  • Accepted 3 December 2010
  • Published Online First 14 February 2011


Background Sedentary time is independently associated with an increased risk of metabolic disease. Worksite interventions designed to decrease sedentary time may serve to improve employee health.

Objective The purpose of this study is to test the feasibility and use of a pedal exercise machine for reducing workplace sedentary time.

Methods Eighteen full-time employees (mean age+SD 40.2+10.7 years; 88% female) working in sedentary occupations were recruited for participation. Demographic and anthropometric data were collected at baseline and 4 weeks. Participants were provided access to a pedal exercise machine for 4 weeks at work. Use of the device was measured objectively by exercise tracking software, which monitors pedal activity and provides the user real-time feedback (eg, speed, time, distance, calories). At 4 weeks, participants completed a feasibility questionnaire.

Results Participants reported sitting 83% of their working days. Participants used the pedal machines an average of 12.2+6.6 out of a possible 20 working days and pedalled an average of 23.4+20.4 min each day used. Feasibility data indicate that participants found the machines feasible for use at work. Participants also reported sedentary time at work decreased due to the machine.

Discussion Findings from this study suggest that this pedal machine may be a feasible tool for reducing sedentary time while at work. These findings hold public health significance due to the growing number of sedentary jobs in the USA and the potential of the device for use in large-scale worksite health programmes.


  • Funding This study was funded in part by NIH grant 1T32HL076134.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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