Too much homework to work out? UNK library has you covered with FitDesks

Sophomore Mariana Chavez from Clarks, left, and senior Nery Cabrera of Lexington use the new FitDesks at the University of Nebraska at Kearney library. The stationary bikes feature a desk that can hold a laptop or books. (Photos by Corbey R. Dorsey/UNK Communications)

UNK Communications

KEARNEY – Students studying in the library at the University of Nebraska at Kearney can get moving while they cram for exams.

UNK-FitDesks-1-webThe Calvin T. Library recently installed two FitDesks, stationary bikes that feature a desk that can hold a laptop or books.

“We all know that sitting all day isn’t healthy,” said Janet Wilke, dean of the library. “It makes sense that students who are sitting all day studying also need a break.”

The bikes feature a performance meter that tracks mileage, calories burned and time; a sliding desk that lets hands rest naturally; a storage drawer for holding pens, phones and ear buds; and an adjustable seat.

The FitDesks are located in the library’s coffee lounge on the north side of the circulation desk.

“Our FitDesks aren’t a substitute for a workout, but it’s a way to add some gentle movement into your day,” Wilke said.

A study at Clemson University compared the effects of light physical activity to sedentary behavior on cognitive task performance and meta-cognitive responses using stationary bikes with desktops. The results of the study showed that motivation and morale improved among the 38 undergraduate students in the study.

Bike desks have been installed at colleges including the University of California in Los Angeles, Florida State University and Mississippi State University.

If students use the stationary bikes with desks consistently, Wilke will consider installing more in the library, she said.

The library is open 7:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday.


Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529,
Source: Janet Wilke, 308.746.8546,