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Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16370975)

These devices are a great step forward and I challenge criticisms of them. These are things in their infancy but with our economy as it is, I'll bet there's a few early adopters out there for this technology.

The only valid criticisms might be cost & intrusion. They are both fairly large devices from what I can tell. In order for them to last a while, I would assume they are made out of solid steel that would be ever present in a living room. Frankly, I'm surprised that they went the bike/running route when it would have been easier to set up a rowing or "hand cycling" device instead. I don't think this device is for the gamer who is looking to tone his already rock hard body so I wouldn't be so concerned which muscles the device works out, only that they achieve a cardiovascular exercise when they use the device. I can think of a contraption for rowing that is quite small (hooks to your feet and has a t-bar for your hands to pull) or a hand peddle device with little more than a base to stabilize it.

I like the FP GameRunner much more than the Geek-A-Cycle which simply powers the computer ... after all, it's competition that drives the gamer. Hell, if you can make these cheap and very competitive in nature, I'm sure many schools will be interested in using them for gym class [mtv.com] . The only requirement is that you have a healthy mix of strength versus strategy, I doubt that simply pumping your legs for five minutes and the fastest wins will draw many people. Provide a live course that adjusts for the path you take on the trail and penalizes you for falling and I think you're definitely headed in the right direction.

These are good starts at addressing a growing problem, but I'm hoping innovation kicks in as this market grows. In college, my roommate would watch TV and fix an device to his arm that sent electric shocks to his muscles. He would sit there and twitch and twitch and I just could not stomach that. These are, in my opinion, better that the over medication and electrocution I've witnessed some people put themselves through.

But... (5, Funny)

Ghost Gerbil (996070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371003)

Do you run faster with the knife?

Re:But... (1)

alamandrax (692121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371065)

Why don't you just give them these [laptop.org] ?

I mean, come on! Be realistic. This is /. We only want to exercise for our hands (think wrist action).

Oh yes! I went there! I'm not ashamed.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371047)

Personally, my major problem with these (other than ergonomics on the cycle) is the fact that you HAVE to use them to keep going. A geek just starting out with this thing would get winded in 10 minutes and quickly give up, and probably throw the thing out the window because he wants to stay on his computer for more than 10 minutes at a time. Allowing me to, say, cycle for 10 or 15 minutes at a time and then take a break *while still being able to use my computer* would be a lot more helpful.

Having something like this that allows me to exercise while using my computer is good enough, don't force me to use it by powering off my computer if I stop for a breather.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (1)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371263)

Not only that but this idea seems to miss one important aspect of exercise - destressing by just going and applying your brain to something different for a while.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (3, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371659)

What the hell do you think about? Long distance running is the most mind-numbingly boring activity imaginable. Once you get past the conditioning and the masochistic endorphin high of doing something painfully hard, it becomes a tedious grind that takes hours out of your day. I would kill for a direct neural interface just so I could do something useful while running or hiking.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (1)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371313)

The treadmill is a USB input device. Unplug it and start using your keyboard/mouse again. Looking at the geek-a-cycle site, it appears there is no computer interface: As you think, pedal. When you type, stop pedaling. Yep, looks like there's no excuse for keeping that Mountain Dew Belly there, geekboy.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (1)

Kickersny.com (913902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371983)

...don't force me to use it by powering off my computer if I stop for a breather
Easy fix to that: have the device power the monitor. If you get off to take a breather, only your monitor loses power (saving you money in electricity use..).

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371411)

it would have been easier to set up a rowing or "hand cycling" device instead.

It probably would have been easier to do it that way, but much harder to use the computer.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (4, Funny)

MWoody (222806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371505)

Hrm... Working out via repetitive hand motions while surfing the Internet... Why does this sound familiar?

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (1)

ViperG (673659) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371519)

fpgamerunner.com is down.

mirror site is www.gamerunner.us [gamerunner.us]

NEAT way to lose weight (1)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371579)

Dr. Levine, a Mayo Clinic obesity researcher, has found that walking slowly, about a mile per hour, burns calories while not breaking a sweat. It's called "non-exercise activity thermogenesis", or NEAT.

Levine has devised a computer workstation that integrates a treadmill so you can type and walk. He and his colleagues also walk laps together at the track rather than sit in boardrooms.

Levine claims that the added workload would equate to loosing fifty pounds per year without any diet change and without breaking a sweat!

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371615)

Just a clarification, does that Geek-A-Cycle really "power" the computer? Based on what I read, it sounds more like all it does is lock your computer if you start peddling, otherwise you would really be screwed if you had to get off for a minute and you lost all your data because the computer shut down.

I'm still not sure this would be very appropriate for an office environment, though. For starters, if your office was essentially turned into a gym, you might not be able to stand working there for a typical 8+ hour day with your overweight co-workers working up a sweat in the cubicle next door. Plus it can be difficult to concentrate on doing some work while working out. Try reading a book while working out at a gym. Its unlikely you will be able to get as far as you would if you were reading on a couch.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371645)

Challenge accepted. This will only be used by people who actually care about their weight. These are the people who would be hitting the gym, playing sports, or doing some form of cardio activity outdoors. Geeks don't care about exercise. They are going to get thier caffinated soda and doughnuts and plop down in front of their monitor. Geeks would get more out of figuring out how to bypass the device to make the computer think it is pedaling rather than actually work out.

To combat obesity we have to combat our culture. We need to keep gym class in the schools so kids get and learn the value of regular exercise. We need to integrate activity in to our work scheduled; employers should have on-site excercise equipment and encourage work out breaks rather than coffee breaks. We need to combat retaurants and their gigantic serving sizes. We don't need to go so far as the past where we idolize overly thin people (to the point of encouraging eating disorders). But we need to encourage healthy weights before obesity related diseases become our number one killers.

I used to joke around that I should rig something like this up. But that's just it...this is a joke. If you want to stay in shape, that get away from you computer and do it. I don't want to go to work and see everyone literally sweating over their keyboards. Geeks already have a BO stereotype...let's not make it worse!

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (4, Insightful)

voidptr (609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371765)

We need to keep gym class in the schools so kids get and learn the value of regular exercise.

I don't know about where you went to school, but gym class in grade school doesn't teach the value of squat. In every school I went to, gym was extra practice for the jocks, except they got to use everyone who wasn't as fast or skilled as them as target practice. You want to turn someone off from physical activity, there's no quicker way to do it than making them play football against the varsity team, or run laps with the track team.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (2, Insightful)

aztec rain god (827341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371943)

Doesn't anyone just take their dog for a walk anymore? Its free, and you might meet a girl.

Re:Expense, Intrusion & Innovation (1)

Professor_Marvel (1002491) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372341)

If you build it, they will pedal.

Peddle .. on eBay? (2, Insightful)

DudeTheMath (522264) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371017)

I'd hate to have my workstation power dependent on my sales ability. Does the bidding have to keep going up a certain percentage per hour to keep the lights on?

Ooh, perhaps the editor meant "pedal". Yeah, that makes more sense.

So if I run virtual machines... (4, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371041)

...does that mean I also have to imagine copies of myself riding virtual exercise bikes to keep them ticking over, too?

Re:So if I run virtual machines... (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371137)

Just download a "crack"

Re:So if I run virtual machines... (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371453)

You don't have to imagine, but you'll be in breach of the EULA if you don't.

Peddle vs pedal (2, Insightful)

CameronGary (8441) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371059)

The person selling this is peddling something; if you got on it, you would be pedaling it. Geez ...

Re:Peddle vs pedal (1)

flu1d (664635) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371325)

It almost sounded like you were supposed to start that comment out with "In Soviet Russia"

Re:Peddle vs pedal (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371395)

In Soviet Russia, people know how to spell. As opposed to how they do things in the US.

Re:Peddle vs pedal (1)

snarkh (118018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371561)


Don't be silly. It is a device to train telemarketers.

The holodeck (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371071)

Will be the ultimate geek work out program..

We just haven't figured out how to build it yet.

Re:The holodeck (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371197)

That thing would bring about the end of civilization.

Re:The holodeck (1)

GlenRaphael (8539) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371611)

We just haven't figured out how to build [the holodeck] yet.
A virtusphere [virtusphere.com] setup comes pretty close. It just doesn't yet fit in the home gamer's living room or budget.

1.21 gigawatts (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371087)

PoconoPCDoctor writes about the Geek-A-Cycle, which is a workstation with built-on exercise bike that you have to peddle to run the computer.

With the number of case fans and neon lights a lot of geeks out there have, they may need to hire lance armstrong to keep their gear running.

Re:1.21 gigawatts (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371239)

A bicycle generator can fairly easily output 150-200W. That's enough for a modest computer and a TFT (although possibly not a CRT) display. My laptop draws a maximum of 60W, and I could probably generate that much power from a device like this for a very long period.

Re:1.21 gigawatts (1)

hankwang (413283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371515)

A bicycle generator can fairly easily output 150-200W.

Yes, if it is a well-trained cyclist who is riding the bicycle. On a road bike, 200 W is equivalent to cycling around 33 km/h (20 mph), assuming that the generator itself has 100% conversion efficiency. No way that someone who's in a bad or mediocre shape will do that for more than 5 minutes.

Re:1.21 gigawatts (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372043)

But it's plenty to charge your laptop back up. 10MPH isn't at all hard to maintain (especially with no wind), and if that gives you 75-100w, it'll keep you charged.

Re:1.21 gigawatts (2, Informative)

Rick17JJ (744063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372073)

I don't believe that the device in the article is actually powering the computer by itself. But, assuming for the moment that is was, then what kind of computer could an overweight middle aged guy like me peddle power for an hour or more? Laptop computers usually tend to be more energy efficient than most desktop computers. I should not plan on trying to peddle power a Pentium 4 with a top-of-the-line power hungry video card and an inefficent power supply hooked to a multiple 19 inch CRT monitors. Yes, can't you just see me trying to do that for hours at a time?

My AMD Athlon 64 desktop computer uses a quiet fanless cheap video card. The power supply is 85% efficient which is unusually good. It is plugged into a watt meter which shows that most of the time it uses about 95 Watts (not including the monitor) but it briefly uses much more under heavy load. That does not include the monitor. Some LED monitors only use about 50 Watts or so but the CRT monitors use about twice as much power. The energy efficient Athlon 64 EE Processor uses much less power than the processor which that I have. If I am not mistaken, I belive Intel's new "Core 2 Duo" processer is fairly efficient, but I don't know the exact number.

Perhaps an overweight middle age person like me could handle something like the NorhTec Panda PC [norhtec.com] which only draws about 21 Watts. That plus the LCD montor which would probably draw an additional 50 Watts or so. Maybe I could use a KVM switch to easily switch my monitor, keyboard and mouse back and forth between something like that being run by peddle power and my other computer being run from the local power compay. That is of course assuming that the peddling device was actually hooked to an alternator or generator plus an inverter and was actually powering the computer.

have to pedal to run the computer? no. (4, Informative)

GlenRaphael (8539) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371115)

the Geek-A-Cycle, which is a workstation with built-on exercise bike that you have to peddle to run the computer.
No, it isn't. It's just an exercise bike that fits under a desk [slimgeek.com] . It makes pedaling while working convenient, giving you something to do to keep your legs and heart entertained while you do your work, but doesn't make it mandatory.

Re:have to pedal to run the computer? no. (1)

GotenXiao (863190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371419)

Listen to heavy metal with double bass. Try and keep up.

I recommend Fear Factory for that; works a treat (although anyone below you might object to hear THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD...THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHU D...THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTH UDTHUD for long periods of time).

I have a better way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371123)

It's called getting off my butt every so often then going outside, and interacting with the outside world.

Peddle? (1)

Pinback (80041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371125)

You have to sell the exercise bike to keep the PC running? Oh, you meant pedal?

The Hacker's Diet (3, Informative)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371133)

And while we're talking about geeks and Obesity, let's not forget The Hacker's Diet [fourmilab.ch] . In my experience, it's a sensible and effective way for people with a sedantary lifestyle to lose weight safely, effectively and sensibily. Some comments in this related Slashdot article [slashdot.org] are helpful too.

Re:The Hacker's Diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371973)

Here's another, simpler, article on eating well:

http://www.gymjunkie.com/ShowArticle.aspx?articlei d=16 [gymjunkie.com]

That will keep you fit ... (3, Funny)

richg74 (650636) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371151)

a workstation with built-on exercise bike that you have to peddle to run the computer.

If you have to peddle it door-to-door, that will definitely keep you fit, especially in rural areas. It probably works in urban areas, too: the houses are closer together, but the people are more resistant to peddlers. But what do you do to keep fit after you make a sale ?

Re:That will keep you fit ... (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371797)

Use the profit to buy another. You'll finally have a profitable geek business and stay fit too.

Training (1)

markh1967 (315861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371153)

This plus a copy of World of Warcraft would be perfect for training for the next marathon.

Reminds me of... (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371163)

...the Atari Puffer [atariprotos.com] . That was not a saleable idea either.

Cycle? (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371165)

Must be a pretty light work-out, or you have a fan blowing on you. I've worked out on exercise bikes and the one thing you get lots of is sweat. Not perspiration, but highly corrosive sweat. Doesn't seem a good mating of things.

Very important to cool legs while riding cycle. (2, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371555)

If you're going to use a stationary bike for exercise, I strongly recommend a small fan blowing against your legs - especially the uppor portions, and that you wear shorts. Cooling the leg muscles greatly increases your power and endurance - far more than the power cost of the fan if you happen to be pedal-generating.

That's why stationary exercise bicycles sometimes have a blower, and why (absent the blower) riding an actual bicycle outdoors burns FAR more calories than riding a stationary bicycle indoors.

It's also why humans have essentially bare legs, with only enough hair for lubrication, in the first place, and why nothing is worn under kilts (which protect legs from sharp vegitation without impeding cooling): We cool better and can thus jog after most large fur-covered four-leggers until they collapse from overheating into a panting, pre-tenderized, almost self-cooked banquet.

Re:Very important to cool legs while riding cycle. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371789)

If you're going to use a stationary bike for exercise, I strongly recommend a small fan blowing against your legs - especially the uppor portions, and that you wear shorts. Cooling the leg muscles greatly increases your power and endurance - far more than the power cost of the fan if you happen to be pedal-generating.

Hm.. It wasn't me legs that were pouring sweat, its my head mostly, but a bit from upper-body and arms. The pattern of drops on the floor after 45 minutes was concentrated below my chin. A sweatband won't help, once it is saturated. If you are doing this indoors, fan or no fan you will be heating up the room (it'll eventually smell like a gymnasium or locker room.) I don't think this is very realistic. Best to just go out and ride for an hour than clean up, have some decent non-fried food and then play your games.

Re:Very important to cool legs while riding cycle. (2, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372087)

Hm.. It wasn't me legs that were pouring sweat, its my head mostly, but a bit from upper-body and arms. The pattern of drops on the floor after 45 minutes was concentrated below my chin.

That's because your body is mostly trying to keep your brain cool.

But the amount of mechanical power you can get out of your muscles is limited by your ability to keep their operating temperature within spec. Dumping some of the heat from their surface lets them run at a (far) higher power level than if their cooling was entirely dependent on using the blood to carry the heat to some other heat sink.

I'd be curious... (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371191)

...to discover just how many steps it takes to get from one end of a continent to another in WoW. Would it be an appropriately arduous hike, or could one just adjust the treadmill to increase the movement ratio?

I Ride A Bicycle 20 Miles Each Way To/From Work (4, Interesting)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371203)

I am solving this problem the cheap way.

I ditched my car and now get around on a bicycle.

My commute is 20 miles each way to and from work. That includes goeing up and down an 800 foot hill (Council Crest, in Portland, Oregon).

I am losing my weight fast.

I am saving about $400 per month in car related costs now that I got rid of the car.

People tell me it can't be done, but it' no problem for me so far.

And I don't need some new fangled cycle/workstation or treadmill/workstation. And I don't need to spend $$$ for waiting to use unwashed health club equipment.

Peace

Re:I Ride A Bicycle 20 Miles Each Way To/From Work (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371373)

So how do you get around the problem of being all sweaty and icky when you get to work?
(Oh, and what if it rains? Then again, the chances of that depend a lot on where you live.)

Re:I Ride A Bicycle 20 Miles Each Way To/From Work (2, Insightful)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371847)

In the morings it's generally cool here on planet Earth, so sweat can be controlled merely by not overdressing or overexerting yourself. Also, many employers provide places for employees to shower before work. If your employer does not, ask them about supplying such facilities. If they are smart they'll realize that a healthy (read: lower health insurance premiums) and happy (read: not smelly) work force is worth the minimal utlity costs.

As for rain, I use a protective rubber suit, consisting of both a "rain coat" and "rain pants" to keep me from getting wet. I live in Vancouver, and bike through the winter, so don't give me any shit about how that simply wouldn't work where you live (unless you've got an actual monsoon season, in which case you can take the bus :) ).

Biking to work is the best thing an 8-5er can do, IMHO, it knocks out the morning groggies and sets your metabolism into motion...

Re:I Ride A Bicycle 20 Miles Each Way To/From Work (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372309)

My commute is 35 miles each way by interstate, and takes me roughly 45 minutes by car.

Even assuming I could find a more bicycle friendly route, I'm sure it would take me at least 2.5 times as long to make the trip. Who wants to spend 5 hours a day getting to and from work?

Steve

Re:I Ride A Bicycle 20 Miles Each Way To/From Work (1)

greeze (985712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371887)

Parent lives in Portland, Oregon. A better question would be: "What if it doesn't rain?" In Portland, you shower while you ride, which cancels out a lot of the sticky sweaties.

For the parent: I used to bike to work in Portland too (actually from Portland to Beaverton and back), and I can tell you from experience that most cities are nowhere near as bike-friendly as Portland. Ideally, everyone would be able to bike to work, but these devices are a great idea for the people who don't have much of a choice.

Re:I Ride A Bicycle 20 Miles Each Way To/From Work (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372115)

A 20 mile round trip, twice a week, will let you pick and choose your cycling days, and still lose (my estimate) about a pound per week (I'm down 20 since I got serious about biking more). This is something that you can ease into, if you are the timid/prudent sort. If you need to carry a little bit of cargo, you can build trash can panniers [mac.com] . If you need a lot, you can get an xtracycle [xtracycle.com] . I've got one, the handling is great unloaded, and better than expected when loaded.

And don't forget... (1)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371213)

You can track your weight with such web 2.0 gems as:

Skinnyr [skinnyr.com]
Traineo [traineo.com]
Gimme20 [gimme20.com]
and
RunFatBoy [runfatboy.com]

And that is my spam whoring for the day, ladies and gents.

Yes, I'm going to criticize.... (1)

arielCo (995647) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371225)

Regarding the Geek-a-Cycle (and talk about unimaginative names):

Besides the obvious ergonomic nightmare (cf this [cornell.edu] ) and the inconvenience of having to keep your (conveniently not shown) mouse from rolling off, I'd have serious trouble concentrating on the code at hand while pedaling away like a 180-lb hamster.

The other FA, well, I'm just too lazy to wait on YouTube feeds.

How about getting away from the computer from time to time to, say, get some sunlight on your hide?

Re:Yes, I'm going to criticize.... (1)

DeQuincey (221531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371697)

Precisely my concern. The Geek-a-Cycle is just ergonomically wrong.

If there was a product like this, that didn't promote bad ergonomics, I'd be interested. Forget the hoakey pedal to keep the power going. That's just a lame gimick. If you're not interested enough in exercising, such a device wouldn't keep you motivated. You'd just disconnect it.

However, I'd like to have something for my legs to do while at the PC. If I'm doing something that requires concentration, I just wouldn't pedal. Meanwhile, there are lots of times when I'm trying to come up with ideas, and something like this would actually help.

peddling wildly (3, Funny)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371227)

>exercise bike that you have to peddle to run the computer.

It's *hard* *work* to generate power by selling exercise bikes. Especially door-to-door: lugging three or four of those puppies around in a suitcase will buff you right up.

I was a bike racer for a long time. At my best I could generate about 350 watts continuously for an hour. A decent computer would suck that dry. I think I'll stick with my Qube-2 [dslwebserver.com] , which only draws about 35 watts. It's challenging to hook a keyboard or a monitor to it, but at least it's low-power!

Clean energy, hamster style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371261)

The obvious extension to this is to go from powering a workstation to powering the home.

Seriously, what kind of costs would it take to hook-up an excercise bike so that it would supply power to the mains, and more importantly, would it actually provide a useful contribution?

Re:Clean energy, hamster style? (4, Interesting)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371435)

My question exactly. My notebook draws around 35W when idle and 40-45W when loaded, including the battery recharging. This site http://www.windstreampower.com/humanpower/hpgtech. html [windstreampower.com] is claiming for 125W of continuous pedaling power of the average human - and they even sell the equipment needed. But only in 120V US-voltage, which is not quite right for my European 220V appliances. Hmpf. But nonetheless, one hour of pedalling would yield enough power for two hours of computing - which would ne rather nice to have in not grid-connected cabins to be able to watch some dvds in the evening. Not bad...

Obesity and skepticism (4, Interesting)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371281)

My BMI (body-mass index) is 29.3. That's just on the border between overweight and obese. And yet no one seems to consider me overweight. I take a size 34 waste, my belly doesn't overhang my belt, I can easily run 5 miles at a decent pace, and I keep up to obviously fit people when circuit training. My doctor has never once told me I should lose weight.


The problem, of course, is that the BMI doesn't compensate for muscle or stature. Now everyone knows the BMI is only a rough guide, and that there are better ways to measure obesity. But if it's the main instrument for claiming an "obesity epidemic" then we have to know how rough.

If the BMI doesn't work for me, how many others does it not work for?

Re:Obesity and skepticism (1)

VonSkippy (892467) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371627)

OK Chubby - time to find a new doctor with working eyeglasses. //just kidding.

Re:Obesity and skepticism (0)

Moderator (189749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371833)

29.5, but I can bench press twice my body weight and squat 3x. Like you, I'm no track star, but I can run at a decent pace.

Re:Obesity and skepticism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371969)

I had a girl friend that was a swim racer, 6', and ridiculously attractive. Her parent's health insurance company, though, raised her health insurance premiums due to a "morbidly obese" BMI, which was created by her incredibly dense muscle mass.

Doop! (4, Interesting)

loteck (533317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371305)

What's funny is that not only did I post this back in '03 [slashdot.org] but that I also misspelled pedal in the story body and it didn't get picked up by the editor then either.

Slashdot is like buddhism for stories. All stories are headed for reincarnation until they reach Nerdvana.

"nerd obesity epidemic"? (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371307)

I looked at both the obesity articles, none of them mentioned nerds at all. Is there really any proof that this stereotype is an accurate one?

fuck a trrolkore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371351)

ppor d,ead last truth, for all

Weight wanted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371357)

People say you are what you eat, but are there some lucky people for whom their weight is determined almost entirely by genetics instead of diet and exercise? Everyday I eat both healthy food (vegetables, fruit) and unhealthy food (chocolate, fries, icecream) in very large quantities -- enough to make other people amazed at how hungry I always seem to be. However, despite being over 6 feet, over 40 yrs, and taking not much exercise, I still weigh less than 150 pounds. People disbelieve that I eat as much as I do until they actually see me eat my meals. Before you ask - no, I don't have an eating disorder.

Re:Weight wanted! (1)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371733)

There's a very good chance you have worms, or imbalanced gut bacteria/flora. The whole 'fast-metabolism' thing is usually only true for people who exercise a lot - for the rest of us, it usually means that you're not digesting the food properly in the first place, as opposed to burning off more calories in your sleep.

IANAD, but if you want to gain a bit of weight, I'd recommend seeing a nutritionist or naturopath, and some sort of probiotic supplements might not hurt.

Re:Weight wanted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16372013)

"There's a very good chance you have worms, or imbalanced gut bacteria/flora."

I'd agree with you, but when a hospital recently did a large number of different types of tests, the results apparently conclusively proved I don't have either of those conditions or indeed any other known condition(s).

"I'd recommend seeing a nutritionist or naturopath,and some sort of probiotic supplements might not hurt."

I saw a nutritionist once who said I should eat even more food, which wasn't very useful advice given that I am eating at my maximum stomach capacity; it would be physically impossible to get any more food into my stomach at a single sitting. I have seen various medical experts over the years and none of them have ever found any cause or had any recommendations except "try eating even more than you do" or even (unexpected advice from a physician) "try taking even less exercise!"

Anyway, I appreciate the advice. I'm still left wondering why it is apparently so difficult to put on weight.

hells bells (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371427)

hahaha this is a freakin fantastic idea.. i guess i wouldn't want to ALWAYS be required to pedal, but it certainly offers a great alternative.. its great to be promoting this kind of thing, especially after watching the recent episode of South Park.. i think the best thing about this idea, is the fact that your hands don't have to leave the keyboard.. i have friends that set dumb-bell weights next to their computers for simple curls.. I've tried to do that, but it takes my mind away from the computer.. I might as well be going to a gym, or taking an excercise break.. but if i can combine the two without having to take my hands off the keyboard, then hells bells.. maybe this isn't the greatest idea of having it power your entire machine, but I'm hoping this will spark the interests of other inventors out there that can maybe come up with some good simultaneous computing/excercise ideas..

Tested this at IHRSA (2, Informative)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371507)

I used to be the lead developer at the Microsoft Health Club in Bellevue Washington and had a chance to test one of these at the health expo in Vegas (while I was attending Apachecon). You can't back up, you can't jump, the movements are very limited. I saw several of these device and while they were all nice, they all lacked in some way. Overall, I wouldn't suggest thes to anyone until they can get these prices down. I ended up just going home and buying a couple of dance dance revolution pads for my Playstation.

Re:Tested this at IHRSA (1)

obrith (1009749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371731)

wow. read the review. you obviously didnt use a gamerunner!

Re:Tested this at IHRSA (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372111)

I read the review and regardless of how well it plays with some games, in others, you will have serious issues. The treadmill=momentum issue can be hard to control especially for quick stopping and precision games. Games that require jumping of any sort will suffer from this type of momentum because there is no quick stopping.

Awesome (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371511)

I've been looking for something like this for a while. I spend most of my non-working day either in front of the TV or on the PC, and it shows. The area around here isn't that great, so I can't go for a daily run or walk, and I'm too lazy/self-concious to go to the gym. I've been trying to do DDR once a day, but living on the second floor of an apartment building puts a crimp on that.

This kind of thing would be great to help me lose some extra weight without getting bored while excersizing. Perhaps set up some program so that the screen flashes annoyingly if I slow down or stop peddling. A stand-alone unit (so you can use it with any desk you want) would be helpful, though.

I can just imagine being in invigorating Slashdot flamewars and getting worked up enough to "jog" 3 miles an hour while replying.

I for one... (2, Funny)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371603)

...am still pumped from using the mouse.

Dance Dance (1)

luketheduke (945392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371621)

This looks cool but haven't fat computer nerds been loosing weight to Dance Dance Revolution. I know I have the past few years.

Re:Dance Dance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371715)

I actually know a friend who joined the high school cross country team to get in shape for a big DDR competition.

Get naked whilst geeking out? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371649)

Cool idea...

Those laptops can get damned hot though.. might not be safe.

I can't find any definition of 'buff' that makes sense in the headlines context: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3Abuff &btnG=Google+Search&meta= [google.com]

Get yellowish-brown whilst geeking out?

Gotta love slashdot.. invent new terms just for fun.

Re:Get naked whilst geeking out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371913)

Are you serious? :-/

Team building (1)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371661)

Heh, this would be interesting in a large company's corporate gym - set up two dozen of them and have two teams go at it. If you're in a team, you've more reason to keep at it (or you let the rest of the team down), and teammates would be encouraging each other to keep going. Team building and exercise all in one.

Mirror site for fpgamerunner.com (1)

ViperG (673659) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371693)

FpGameRunner.com is /. so it's down. the mirror site is

GameRunner.us [gamerunner.us]

Stand Still - Powergrid (2, Informative)

bkruiser (610285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371725)

http://www.powergridfitness.com/ [powergridfitness.com] by far the best out there. I have used it extensively on both PS2 and PC for FPS, puzzle and racing games. This is a fantastic controller, not just an exercise machine. No I am not a paid representative.

Not real pratical (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371729)

It'd take one hell of a hamster wheel to run my quad CPU server.

Sell it? (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371741)

"you have to peddle" why would selling the thing give you any exercise? Does that mean you have to try to hawk it door to door? May work that, seeing that nobody would want it...

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371783)

...if I "peddle" it, I get a decent price at the bazaar, right?

-AC

Also on Digg (1)

ViperG (673659) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371825)

Looks like fpgamerunner.com is going to suffer a slashdot and a digg effect... poor website..

Digg GameRunner [digg.com]

The idea is good excuse to call... (1)

CyberKender (135686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371871)

...WoW's monthly fee a 'gym membership.'
A friend's roommate built himself that same sort of thing, only around an eliptical machine about a year ago. Been wanting one myself, but elipticals are expensive for a decent one. I decided to go with the bicycle idea, but instead of buying that one, I'm building my own desk. I'm going with a more level keyboard tray and extra mousing/Nostromo area.

Portable gaming devices... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371937)

.. also work. I play my gameboy advance while using an quality exercise bike, the big thing about exercise is that you need something to keep your mind busy or else you will be bored out of your mind.

Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a Wii? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371959)

Then you can work up a sweat golfing or sword-fighting and not be quite such a couch potato in the first place?

Has to be Hands-Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16372017)

how can i row if i'm typing?

can't hold a torch to DDR (1)

Wizzerd911 (1003980) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372053)

sorry but Dance Dance Revolution came first and beats this idea by far. Haven't we all seen the before and after miracle DDR exercise plan pics all over the internet?

This ignores the real problem (1)

wedge603 (1011423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372065)

Is that people are just too lazy. This is pathetic. It takes MAYBE 20 to 30 minutes a day 4 or 5 times a week plus not eating everything in sight to stay healthy. The best way to lose weight if you're a geek is to turn off the computer, and go outside. Trust me, I've done it, it works.

Re:This ignores the real problem (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372219)

and then you become an athlete

I am amazed (1)

gerbalblaste (882682) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372135)


I am amazed by the number of people who don't even read the whole article or even the whole summary before posting and sounding like idiots.

I think the treadmill is a really cool idea. I will probably get one should they ever hit $200 - $250.
The bike is a stupid idea. The posture it demonstrates is so horrible that users will have serious back problems and horrible carpal tunnel. Also a mouse is useless on that sort of sloped surface.

Was she playing Far Cry? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372181)

Was this YouTube video [youtube.com] of Far Cry [farcry-thegame.com] game?

Re:Was she playing Far Cry? (1)

ViperG (673659) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372249)

yeah that is farcry

I just want a drug! (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372199)

Just give me a safe appetite suppresant. That's all I need. I lost some 50+ pounds on Redux - that stuff worked. Now it's off the market.

Steve

No Thanks... (1)

lagfest (959022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372209)

imagine the smell in an office full of these :(

Camping? (1)

dcam (615646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372325)

How can you camp if you have to keep moving? These games will destroy FPS as we know it.
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