Exercising body and mind

Laura sitting on a FitDesk

Is more exercise one of your New Year's resolutions? A third-year student is bringing a solution to campus to give students more time, better grades, and keep you healthy all at the same time.

Therapeutic Recreation student Laura Barkin is working to introduce the FitDesk™ to the student population through its purchase and implementation in study spaces at UWaterloo. 

The FitDesk™ is a stationary bicycle that has been modified in order to facilitate the ability to exercise while studying. The life of a student can get so busy, so Laura hopes to help students find a balance between getting the exercise needed to stay healthy and also study enough to maintain good grades.

I am a big supporter of prevention and any way that we can improve students’ wellbeing on campus should be considered. Students are under a lot of pressure with school, so effective time management by studying more productively could help students have more time to engage in leisure activities.

- Laura Barkin

Laura sitting on a FitdeskThe FitDesk™ has already arrived at Conrad Grebel University College's Founders Hall for students to try. Laura purchased her own FitDesk™ after being frustrated with the inadequate design layout of typical stationary bicycles that were difficult to read or study on. She has found her own cognition to be better and her mood improved when using the FitDesk™ to study.

Laura has found support through St. Paul’s GreenHouse program, as well as professors who believe in the idea. She has gathered evidence of the effects of physical activity on mental and physical health through some of her courses. While the FitDesk™ is not meant to replace moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, even the gentle exercise that the FitDesk™ provides can be beneficial.

The FitDesk™ will be coming to St. Paul’s University College in the new year.

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