FitDesk encourages students to move while studying

October 17, 2013

CLEMSON — “Active workstations” in Clemson University’s Cooper Library and Academic Success Center are encouraging students and employees to get moving while studying or doing research.

Researcher June Pilcher, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology, is partnering with the library and the Academic Success Center on the project, which may lead to a change in how college campuses set up study areas for students. She and her Creative Inquiry students are setting up the workstations designed by FitDesk while gathering data for further research.

“One of my goals is to make it more efficient for the students to study,” Pilcher said. “Psychology-based research is increasingly clear. Humans learn best when they are moving; specifically, we learn best when moving and shortly after moving.”

The FitDesk is a combination of a stationary bicycle with a desk platform that allows the user to pedal while reading, using a computer or writing.

“We have the opportunity to research how low levels of activity could influence study performance,” Pilcher said. “There’s something very positive about the FitDesk, and I want to try to document this feeling and see how students use these desks on campus.”

Pilcher’s research focuses on the effects stress and fatigue have on performance and daily functioning, which have led her to examine student study areas and related cognitive performance. She joined the Clemson psychology faculty in 2001 and was awarded the Alumni Distinguished Professorship in 2009.

Recently, FitDesks invited Pilcher to Nashville as part of their nationwide healthcare campaign launch where they donated a roomful of their signature FitDesks to Glencliff High School.