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Your Desk Could Make You Fit And Generate Clean Energy

In a few hours, a very long winter break will begin, during which most people will surrender to the glum grey weather, taking long naps on couches and eating foods loaded with sugar and fat. It’s a biological instinct, and I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it. However, there is an alternative: Running out into the snow, we can grapple with the winter, shoveling it, sledding on it, and rolling it up into great big balls until we drop from exhaustion.

we bikeAlthough we don’t always have a choice about where we live or work, we have a choice in the way that we encounter our environments. In professional offices, for example, people have embraced the tradition of doing their work sitting down. There’s no reason most workers couldn’t be standing up, or even walking, while they work, with a little adaptation.

Another possibility is that people could bike at work. WeWatt, a Belgian company, has designed a desk called the We Bike. It’s a combination of a desk with three seats, each with its own set of pedals, as on a bicycle. Those pedals are attached to an electrical generator, which, when people are pedaling, creates enough energy to power their computers or mobile communication devices.

The exercise and clean energy coming out of your office just might counteract the moral deficit created by that regrettable memo that was just sent out…

3 comments to Your Desk Could Make You Fit And Generate Clean Energy

  • Bill

    A nice idea, in principle. Still, given the vast number of people in this world who can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time, I have some doubts….

    • Bill

      And on a more serious note: it always occurs to me when I see people-powered solutions such as this (or even calls for more bicycle-based commuting) that people run on food, so in a very real sense these are proposals to power our world by burning food. In a world where hunger is still a very real problem, is this moral? And if you do the math, is it efficient to convert fresh water and arable land into food, that in turn is converted into people, that are then converted into electricity? Every step in that chain necessarily encounters efficiency losses, just as every step incurs its own environmental impacts (the food that ultimately powers that desk is produced by burning lots and lots of diesel fuel, mining our dwindling phosphate resources for fertilizer, polluting our waters, and cutting down carbon-sequestering forests). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not actually opposing bicycle commuting or advocating burning more fossil fuels or anything. Just pointing out that every such question starts to get horribly complicated once you really begin peeling the onion (so to speak).

      I think the company should hire the ghost of Charlton Heston to film an ad for them: “WeWatt Green…is people!”

  • J Clifford

    Yeah, but then, think of the number of people in this world who just chat from their desk for most of the day…

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