Sitting Disease: Our Bodies Weren’t Designed for Tiny Arms on Screens
Bob, a 75-year-old retired neuro-radiologist, is no stranger to the science of sitting disease, a phrase coined by the medical community to address our modern lifestyles and the associated dangers of sitting. In retirement, he loves some of the comforts and conveniences of modern life. This includes reading and working on photography on his iPad or watching his favorite TV shows. But, he’s heard the message loud and clear, which is “Sitting is the New Smoking.”
Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
If Sitting is the New Smoking, How Do We Quit?
Quitting smoking is tough. But it can be done — and many people get creative to kick the habit. For Bob, he was ready to get creative in find better ways to manage and quit sedentary sitting disease time. In retirement, he exercised regularly one hour using an elliptical machine, climbing stairs or walking. However, he was spending a lot of time sitting researching and working from his iPad and computer as a passionate photographer. All this time sitting, combined with watching his favorite TV shows, reading, and even eating, meant that he was spending a lot of time not moving at all.
The Search for the Best Portable Recumbent Exercise Bike
Bob has been active his entire life as an avid cyclists, backpacker, hiker and more. So, he has always found creative ways to stay active. This includes shifting from a traditional upright road bike to a recumbent road bike for better comfort as he found traditional upright cycling getting harder on his butt, wrists, back, and neck as he aged.
With a love of recumbent cycling, he wanted an indoor recumbent bike, but just couldn’t bring himself to put a big stationary recumbent bike isolated to one room in his home. He searched Amazon for a portable recumbent bike with over 100 different search results. But, his deep knowledge of riding his beloved road recumbent bike pictured above, immediately drew him to Excy. He loved the 6” steel crank, bi-directional resistance range and that he could use his cycling shoes. He also loved that he could focus on upper body conditioning with Excy as an arm bike. All of this, without disrupting his routine.
Bob’s Goal: Replicating His Road Recumbent Bike Experience
When Bob received his Excy, he immediately started replicating his road recumbent bike experience. So, he focussed on using Excy as a long wheelbase recumbent bike. In this position, Excy is low to the ground in front of his chair on the floor (similar to the bottom left image above). He ties the rear base to his chair to prevent the system from scooting. Excy’s patented approach can also be used to mimic a short-wheeled recumbent exercise bike by sitting on the Excy Keeper, which prevents the system from scooting.
His Added Accessories to Mimic is Recumbent Road Bike
Bob uses Shimano clips with Shimano Bike Sandals, which helps keep his feet on the pedals to mimic riding on the road. By clipping in, he can focus on ankling while pedaling. This is a a technique of drawing force across the bottom of the revolution arc and upwards to the start of the downward thrust. Since Excy’s resistance range is bi-directional, not only can Bob recruit more muscles by ankling, but he can also follow this motion in reverse to work opposing muscles. Bob places a Type S Comfort Gel Seat Cushion on his wood chair seat for added comfort.
Multitasking Anti-Sedentary Exercise into Everyday Life with Excy
With Excy, Bob’s time spent reading, watching TV, talking on the phone, checking email, or working or conducting academic research on his iPad has been converted to 2 to 3 hours per day of light exercise. On an average day, Bob pedals Excy 10 rides per day at about 11 to 14 miles per hour at 55-60 RPM light to medium resistance. In addition to being able to build up his leg muscles, pedaling Excy has given Bob confident to take out his believed road recumbent bike this summer for the first time in years.
Bob also uses Excy as an upper body ergometer, which is a widely used exercise modality in clinical populations. A study published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the arm crank, or bike, was as effective at measuring physical fitness as a bicycling ergometer.
In His Own Words!
“I have always exercised and it’s important to me. People need to know they shouldn’t just sit there when they can easily multi-task in exercise. Your health is an investment and Excy is incredibly competent, efficient, convenient and fun machine. The beauty in Excy is being able to sit at home and being able to multi-task in anti-sedentary exercise. I can watch videos and television without guilt and know that I am doing something healthy. I love that Excy is always available to me and that I don’t have to give up other activities that are important to me. It’s changed my life. Plus, I don’t have to have a monstrous machine in my home. Because of Excy, I now have confidence to take my road recumbent bike back out this summer. It is giving me access again. It’s the perfect indoor recumbent bike. I love this machine.“