When most of us think of exercise bikes, we often see them as a big waste of money. This is mostly because the average U.S. citizen doesn’t like exercise as much as they claim to. Many of us watch workout shows and often feel winded just watching the super-fit models do their thing.
This is especially bad for college students, whose lives usually center around going to classes, finishing homework, and studying for that big exam so their tuition isn’t completely in vain. Most of them don’t believe they have time for exercise.
One university is attempting to change that. The Alabama college has made a bold step toward keeping students in shape even with their busy schedules. It’s been scientifically proven that the more you stay in shape, the better your mind functions. When regular oxygen reaches the brain, it doesn’t slip so easily into a state of laziness.
The Troy University library has installed exercise bikes so students can study and pedal their way to regular fitness. So far, the response to the idea has been positive, says UPI, and the college posted a picture to Facebook stating that each of the machines at Troy and Dothan also has a station for laptops.
The only downside to this is that if you’re focusing too much on a difficult subject, you might step pedaling as you concentrate. Multiply that by several times if you’re typing. The average mind might not be able to process pedaling and typing at the same time.
The best case scenario involves reading up on a subject you need to understand, in which case pedaling sends more oxygen to the brain and makes you more receptive to learning.
The idea isn’t just finding its way into the Troy University library, as a grade school in Austria is doing something similar. Adding exercise bikes into the classroom instead of the classic desk is expected to curb not only childhood obesity but also falling asleep in class. The equipment is an attempt to eliminate caffeine addiction for students who have problems staying awake, as RT reports, as well as burn calories as they learn about math and such.
The school calls it the Moving while Learning initiative, where every 30 minutes students rotate, and everybody has a turn to pedal their way toward better education.
If this exercise bike experiment shows a significant improvement in both cases, we may see even more schools around the world adapting to a new trend in casual fitness. Even the most boring classes you’ve had could suddenly be a chance to wake up and actively learn more. You might even stop using caffeine to wake up, which would eliminate extra restroom breaks because caffeine is a diuretic.
It is unknown how this idea could be integrated into a system where up to seven different teachers in different rooms across a campus teach different subjects. In some cases, simply trying to cross the campus to get to the next class on time could be an exercise routine all by itself. It could end up being a mandatory morning class in place of regular Physical Education, but that would eliminate the possibility of going outside for sports activities during normal school hours.
Also, the possible squeaking of exercise bikes could be distracting for some, turning a chance to learn while pedaling into a symphony of noise. Restricting the use of the machines to a place to study might be the best idea of the two, unless the school can maintain them and keep them quiet.
Do you think the Troy University library and the school in Austria are on to something with their inclusion of exercise bikes as learning aids?
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]