As we walked into Room 108 in Cooper library, we saw a student pedaling along slowly on an odd machine. She intently flipped through the pages of her Chemistry book, not distracted by her own motions. What made her choose this odd location, and this odd equipment? Was this just a serendipitous discovery after she decided to venture into the depths of the library?
It seemed that there wasn’t much to the machine itself. It simply looked like a bike with a tray attached. Why was it so attractive? When we tried it out, we discovered that the machine was modern and clean. It was made to hold a laptop and books, but could easily hold writing utensils, notes, and materials. The grip on the tray made it impossible for these items to slide off during the exercise. Perhaps the simplicity of the machine was its greatest trait. It was easy to use, wireless, and didn’t resist the natural flow of our pedaling movements.
At first, it appeared as though the room did not match the modernity of this technology. The walls urged students not to pedal hard, not to break a sweat, and offered no distractions if they decided to look up from their desks. Maybe this technique is a purposeful one, designed to reorient and refocus the student on his or her studies. The hybrid combination of exercise and learning is just a bonus to the student experience.
The FitDesk makes balancing your time easy. You can go at your own pace, and the machine keeps track of your progress. This makes timing your studies easier too. ‘I’ll stop studying at 4 miles,’ is easier than tracking study time in minutes.
The FitDesk allows for group work, due to the close spacing of the machines, however it is important to note that it is in a Quiet Zone. The desks seem to encourage a more fun side of learning, yet are placed in an environment that does not seem to do so.
At least there are plenty for everyone! Although we only saw one student studying at the FitDesk, the room offers 10 of these cool machines.
Although it isn’t likely that there will be fighting over these machines like in Fike, once the word gets out, there might be! The FitDesks are in a more centralized area than equipment in Fike, with ideal locations in the library and in the Academic Success Center.
In the future, the desks and the room can be used to advertise activities and services in the library, as well as around campus. For now, they are a great addition to Cooper and the ASC, as they encourage both learning and growth.
Go check one out whenever you get a chance! All you need is your student ID, which helps keep track of student use, and your books. Pedal your way to academic success.