Modern health advice can leave you at a miss sometimes - you are supposed to exercise at least 45 minutes per day, eat 5 small, home-cooked meals, sleep enough, lead a fulfilled family life and practise active relaxation. And don't forget to drink between 2 and 5 liters of water every day. "But when am I supposed to work?" you might ask. Fear not. This gadget lets you combine work and exercise in a healthy and practical way. With just a few, inexpensive materials you can build your own - to have enough time in the evening to watch TV and munch lasercut potato chips, knowing that you have fully complied with the more active duties of your day.
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Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed
1 exercise bike (new from 99 EUR or buy a used model for less)
Plywood plate or veneer board, ca. 30x35cm
Aluminium bars and tubes, 4 flat bars of ca. 30 cm each, 2 tubes of ca. 6mm diameter and 20cm length
Bolts, M6 and M4 of different lengths, and the respective nuts
Sabre saw or buzzsaw
Step 2: Measuring and Planning
Before cutting any of the materials, you will have to sit on your bike and find out your most comfortable working position. Your elbows should be approximately at a right angle, and you will need enough room for your knees under the board when moving the pedals.
Measure your laptop to find out how large your piece of plywood needs to be. Do not cut it too short - your laptop might have to open in a slightly larger angle than the angle between handlebar and plywood board.
Find out how high the piece in front of the plate needs to be - its upper edge should be flush with the surface of your laptop.
Step 3: Cutting and Bending the Aluminium Bars
Every exercise bike is different - you might have to find your own way to fix the laptop holder, if your handle bar looks different from mine. In my case, I was able to bend the aluminium bars with the help of a vise to simply hang them over the top handle, so that they lean against the lower handle. The weight of the laptop pushes the frame against the lower handlebar and the whole system is quite solid and doesn't move when I type. Also I can remove the laptop holder anytime I want to be left with a normal, just-exercise bike.
Depending on your model of bike, you might have to remove the "bike computer thingy" to have enough room to fix the board - or if you want to fix it in a way that the laptop holder doesn't cover it. I kept mine in place, as it fits under the board without problems.
I bent the aluminium pieces on which the board will sit on to an angle of approximately 65 degrees and used two bolts on each piece to secure it to each of the "handle hanger bars". The board like this gives a slight downward angle for my keyboard and I am finding it very comfortable to type.
Step 4: Cutting the Plywood Board
I was lucky enough to find a piece of veneer board that has a nice surface and a front piece already attached - I just had to cut the front piece to adjust it to the height of my laptop keyboard. I made some cutouts behind where the sideparts of the handle and the "handle hanger bars" enter. That secures the board in place and avoids shifting by side.
Cut with a circular saw to get a nice straight cut and use sandpaper to get nice smooth edges.
If you have to fix a front piece, you could use screws, brackets and/or wood glue. You want this piece to be nice and safe, or your computer might slide off the board!
Step 5: Building the Aluminium Frame
You want to opt for a triangular design for the frame to make sure your board is solid enough to secure the weight of your laptop and wrists when you are typing. The construction should not bend or move. I used a combination of flat bars and tubes from my pile of aluminium rests and bent/cut them into shape. I used a tap and die to be able to screw the round aluminium tubes directly to the flat bars on the back side, but you could use flat bars and simply bend them and drill holes to fix them together.
Step 6: Fixing the Board on Top
I screwed the board on top of the frame and made sure to sink the heads of the bolts into the board, to have a completely flat surface for my laptop.
Step 7: Worxercise!
Hang your laptop holder on the handle of your exercise bike and start worxercising! You will finally have the feeling that your work will get you somewhere (or does it?)!