Reading, writing and aerobics?
Troy University in Alabama is making physical health part of its core curriculum by installing exercise bikes -- with a spot for a laptop or book -- in the library so students can break a sweat while they study.
“Humans were not meant to sit still all day,” Christopher Shaffer, dean of Library Services told HuffPost. “But because our lives all revolve around computers now, we don't move enough.”
In an attempt to break the vicious cycle, three exercise bikes were assembled and ready for use, last Thursday. And due to positive response from students, the library has already ordered three more. If they’re used, Shaffer believes the library can squeeze in an additional six bikes, making it an even dozen. The library is also planning to add six elliptical machines that can go under desks or tables as well.
“For now [the machines] are first come first serve,” Shaffer said. “If riots break out, we will develop a reserve system.”
Shaffer heard about exercise bikes that allow students to study two months ago when he stumbled upon FitDesk, the company that makes them. The bikes were reasonably priced, which meant it would be easy to buy a few and see how they were received.
“I also thought that the idea fit nicely into Troy University's motto ‘Educate the mind to think, the heart to feel and the body to act,’” he said.
Shaffer hopes the bikes help students learn to embrace balance in their lives, noting:
“It is important to study, but while you are developing your mind, you also have to keep your body in shape.”
Spoken like a true educator.