Exercise, get active, and keep moving!
That is what we all hear constantly, especially family caregivers who need to care for themselves.
Most will answer “who has time to ‘get physical’ during the hectic day of caring for a senior loved one, other family members, and a job?”
We all know that experts recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity to help us all stay healthy or manage chronic disease. Caregivers can break this time up into shorter bursts and still gain benefits.
Physical activity that yields health benefits is described as movement by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure. Exercise is a structured type of physical activity that improves or maintains our physical fitness.
Getting to the gym three times a week to exercise seems to be an insurmountable challenge for many family caregivers, so they just give up and give in. Physical fitness and healthy movement aren’t part of many family caregivers’ routine anymore, which can negatively impact the health of caregivers.
Wouldn’t you love the opportunity to get much needed physical activity in the comfort of your own home and at a convenient time for you and your caregiving schedule?
Even better, what if that activity could be accomplished without taking time away from your other activities?
Exercise Solution for Caregivers
Recently we learned about a product that we thought could help bring physical health and activity back into the lives of many family caregivers.
[DISCLOSURE: We were provided a Desk Bike V9 by Flexispot with a request to provide our review of their product. There was no additional compensation. This article reflects our impressions of the Desk Bike in our words, without prior review or approval by Flexispot. The product link below was provided by them.]
Family caregivers are busy — but we don’t have to tell you that!
Caregivers schedule appointments, keep up with finances and insurance information, keep extended family members informed about what is going on with senior loved ones, use social media to support their journey, manage remote apps from connected devices, and often work either away from or in the home.
Being able to combine these tasks with getting much needed physical exercise would seem to be a no-brainer for many family caregivers. No longer would we have to put our physical health on the back burner due to time.
But is that possible?
Can you be active while you do normally sedentary things like supervise your senior loved one, watch TV together or answer your emails?
The answer is yes and that is exactly what we found!
How about a stationery bicycle with a workspace for a computer, beverage, snacks, book, or craft project? A Flexispot Desk Bike V9 combines the benefits of a stationary bike with a standing desk and is designed with ample room to get things done.
“Work meets workout. Multitasking has never been this easy. Balance work and wellness, anytime and anywhere” according to its creators.
Intriguing! So much so it was honored at the 2018 CES with an Innovation Award.
We were truly intrigued when offered the chance to try one out and also asked a few seniors to give it a whirl too to see what they thought about it and if they would use it.
Our Evaluation of the Flexispot Desk Bike V9
We found the Desk Bike V9 to be easy and enjoyable to use right away but wanted to see if that was due to its novelty and went away with time. After weeks in our living room, it has not! There is every indication it has a permanent place there.
Our evaluation and observations below are based on our use of the Desk Bike V9 as well as that by other
Highlights of the Desk Bike V9
There were many positive attributes of the Flexispot, based on our observations and feedback from testers.
- Riders found that the desk height was very comfortable, even for a short person. It was easy to adjust between riders of different sizes, too.
- If you want to use the desk without riding, it is also easy to use from a standing position without having to readjust everything. This made it easy to keep a laptop on the desk and use it for quick tasks without moving it around or having to ride the bike.
- One of the most important considerations for many people who use a stationary bicycle is the feeling of the seat. Can you sit for extended periods of time without becoming sore? Our riders found the seat to be comfortable for long periods of time, such as during the time it took to watch a movie. They advertise the most comfortable seat on the market and we found no reason to dispute that.
- The bike was easy to assemble and easy to move around in the home as needed on the wheels provided. Even though it was on wheels, it never felt as though it was going to move, either while riding or while getting on and off.
- Our bike was placed in the family room in order to be able to watch the TV while biking and working. If visitors came over, it would be easy to quickly move out of the room or just out of the way.
- It will definitely help get 10,000 steps a day. A daily reset of the instrument panel made it straightforward to know how much I have done. We could ride 10 to 20 minutes at a time and by the end of the day it truly adds up.
- The more you use it, the higher the resistance you can achieve to maximize your tracking daily goals for miles, time, or even a calorie burn simple to achieve.
- The resistance feature goes from 0 to 8. The more resistance you use, the more calories you burn and muscle you build to achieve your goals. The knob control moved easily between skill level of different riders.
This bike gives you many useful features such as:
- Desktop that holds laptop, cup, TV remote and smartphone all at one time (PHOTO)
- Resistance control from 0 to 8 giving you the option of increasing workout potential
- Adjustable desk height that slides forward and backward easily
- Adjustable seat
- Comfortable seat
- Exercise time tracking
- Speed you exercised
- Distance traveled per session
- Calories burned each session
- Cup holder
- Pedal covers for barefoot riding
Riders found that they could get the physical benefits of exercise while using the Flexispot as any other stationery bike, that is increased heart rate and muscle strengthening over time. The longer they rode, steadily increasing resistance and time spent each session yielded notable physical benefits. They also spent time with senior loved ones and other family members as well as completing tasks on the desktop.
The bike while in motion was quiet and did not disturb others in the room watching TV or doing other activities in the family room alongside the bike rider.
Concerns Noted in Using the Desk Bike V9
While it had many more positives than negatives according to our riders, there were a few things to note.
- It is important to get all the benefits the bike can provide by paying attention to both whatever is being done on the desktop or the TV and the functioning of the bike as you pedal. Riders sometimes forgot and stopped pedaling. It seems when doing something mindless like watching TV, it was not as difficult to remember to keep the pedaling pace up. However, when a rider’s attention was riveted on the computer or other task, it was more difficult to lose track of their feet! That really isn’t a function of the bike as much as it is the rider.
- While assembly was straighforward and quick, the bike itself was very heavy and will require at least two people to get it out of the box and put together, simply due to its weight. Once assembled, the wheels allow it to be rolled wherever it needs to go easily by one person. Negotiating stairs with it would be another thing altogether.
- You must be careful to adjust the desk to a level that allows you to maintain good posture, which may mean readjusting each time there is a change of rider. Before we learned this, some riders were slouching over the desk which could, over time, result in back soreness and a quicker fatigue factor. Proper positioning of the desk and seat height is important for each individual rider.
- Like any physical activity, riding this bike and getting the greatest benefit will require you to build your stamina. Doing exercise time in short amounts building up the total time spent and gradually increasing the resistance will allow the rider to gain momentum without stressing joints and muscles.
- While riders of all ages found the bike comfortable once appropriate seat and desk adjustments were made, shorter riders may find it beneficial to use a step up to the seat when mounting the bike.
We like the Flexispot Desk Bike V9 and recommend family caregivers consider it for their own homes and the homes of senior loved ones for whom they care.
Family caregivers who find their own health being shortchanged with all the demands on their time may find real benefit in the ability it gives them to combine work or entertainment with exercise from the comfort of their own living room!
We recommend the bike because caring for yourself and staying healthy should be a priority for family caregivers.
As with any physical activity, always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an individual exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with physical activity, stop and consult your healthcare provider.
Happy exercise/work/entertainment multitasking!