Students exercise body and mind

The Biola library recently installed out of the ordinary desks which enable students to study without sitting in chairs.


Anastasia Waltschew/ THE CHIMES

Samantha Dammann, Writer

The library installed several FitDesks in the food court, located in the upper level, which can be used to study while exercising.

Improvement of Mind and Body

As stationary bikes with desks attached, FitDesks also have elastic allowing patrons to work their arms. The desks hold books and laptops, and provide instructions on how to monitor one’s heart rate and the number of calories burned. There are four units available, and each cost $150. A recumbent-style bike, where students can lie back, is also available for use.

“We want to provide an opportunity for people to improve their mind and their body at the same time,” said Gregg Geary, dean of the library.  

Geary attributes the idea of installing the FitDesks to Eileen Walraven, a library faculty member in technical services.

A Repurposed Space

While in use, the desks remain quiet and their current location provides users with some privacy. Geary finds the food court location beneficial, as he hopes to repurpose the space since the introduction of Heritage Café caused the food court to become obsolete.

Geary has plans to accommodate the desks’ potential increase in popularity, should they become overcrowded with students wishing to use them.

“I think the new machines are great for a study break or to keep students awake if they’ve been in the library for hours. It’s nice to know students can get in a 15 or 30 minute bike session without leaving the library,” said Nathan Cook, assistant athletic director of facility operations and equipment management.

Paper towels are located near the FitDesks so that patrons can wipe down the machines if they perspire. Geary said they plan to install hand sanitizer stations near the bikes in the following weeks.

Patrons now also have the chance to rent portable laptop stands. Geary saw a need for them when he noticed patrons stacking chairs on desks in order to raise their laptops higher than the tables. The stands connect to tables and have fans that prevent laptops from overheating.

“We hope they become increasingly popular, and more students will use them. That’s the whole idea why we got them. It’s a relatively low cost way for us to provide enhanced services and resources for our users,” Geary said.

A High Level of Multitasking

After being asked to ride the bike, freshman kinesiology major Rachel Stinchcomb found the FitDesks comfortable and said she would probably use them while reviewing notes. She thought it would be difficult to learn new material while riding the bikes, however, because of the high level of multitasking involved. She agreed creative study options allow students better choices for staying awake during late night student sessions.

“I would probably use it while reviewing notes or going over something familiar. It’s a little distracting while learning something new, since you’re learning two things at once,” Stinchcomb said.

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