Question: I am not necessarily in the greatest shape. And I need to look neat and clean at work. Won’t I be out of breath or sweaty using this at work?
Answer: At the lowest resistance setting, activeLife Trainer™ only requires about 2 watts effort at the recommended 40-60 rounds per minute. Even out-of-shape users can sustain this effort for many hours without perspiring or becoming breathy. The aim of activeLife Trainer™ is to bring your pulse rate to about 60% of max. For a typical person with a resting heart rate of 60 BPM, this would be a heart rate of approximately. 80 - 90 BPM, well below the 130 – 140 BPM that many people aim for when doing traditional aerobic workouts. If you can slowly stroll through a park or shopping mall without sweating, you can use activeLife Trainer™ without sweating.
Question: I may sit a lot during the day, but I go to the gym three to four times a week to get a good workout. Why should I bother being physically active at work?
Answer: Congratulations on having a healthy exercise habit! Unfortunately, there is considerable evidence that sitting for extended periods of time is unhealthy regardless of whether you work out….of course working out is still good for you, it’s just that sitting is also really bad for you. In fact, many scientists believe that sitting is the next worse thing for your health right after smoking! If you go with that analogy, sitting all day and then going to the gym is like smoking cigarettes and then going to the gym: It’s nice that you go to the gym but it would be great if you could quit smoking as well. If you want to learn more about this, google “sitting disease”.…by way of example: one Australian Study found that both younger and older folks that sit still for more than 11 hours per day have twice the risk of death from any cause compared to those who sit still for less than four hours. In a nutshell, use of activeLife TrainerTM is supposed to replace your sedentary time - not your exercise time.
Question: I have one of those exercise balls / “wiggly chairs” / passive motion office chairs that I sit on at work. These allow me to move while I work. Does activeLife Trainer™ offer anything more than these?
Answer: While it is theoretically possible for you to move when seated on a chair or exercise ball that allows motion, research has indicated that office workers that use these seating devices don’t actually move any more than workers that sit on a standard office chair. On the other hand, research on activeLife TrainerTM has shown office workers do move around significantly more with activeLife Trainer™.
Question: Isn’t it terribly distracting to try to get any desk work done while using activeLife Trainer™?
Answer: The short answer is No.
Here is the long answer: When you use activeLife Trainer™ your legs make an elliptical walking motion. When you walk, your foot makes a similar elliptical (oval) motion because while walking you move your foot forward a greater distance than you lift it off the floor. Walking is an over-learned behavior that does not require you to pay attention to it. If you can walk and talk at the same time you can use activeLife Trainer™.
But wait, there’s more :-) ! Many users actually find that activeLife Trainer’s™ gentle leg motion helps them focus better. If you’ve ever found yourself pacing back and forth while on the telephone or wiggling your feet while seated, you may be one of those people that find that using activeLife Trainer™ actually helps you concentrate.
Question: I have seen activeLife Trainer™ users rotate their hips while using the device, I am also concerned about the loads I will put on my joints from all this walking. Isn’t this unhealthy?
Answer: When your chair is rotating back and forth while you use activeLife Trainer™ that is a sign your resistance level is too high, we recommend starting at level 1 and increasing the load only if, after a hour of continuous use, you still feel you want more or a workout. Remember this is a low intensity long duration workout and you are at the office, not at the gym. Regarding joint loads, seated exercise such as what you are doing on activeLife Trainer™, is the most joint friendly exercise you can possibly do because your body weight is supported by the chair. Seated elliptical motion is frequently used for rehabilitation exercise. That said, if you have a specific health condition you are worried about, you should definitely talk to your doctor before using this or any other exercise machine.
Question: Won’t I have terrible muscle soreness when I use activeLife Trainer™ for several hours per day?
Answer: Using activeLife Trainer™ is about the same as going for a slow stroll through a park or shopping mall. This is low intensity exercise that does not strain muscles and that even quite unconditioned adults can maintain for several hours per day without soreness. That said, using activeLife Trainer™ IS exercise, albeit at a low intensity, so your legs may feel a bit more tired at the end of the day. May people enjoy that feeling and many actually sleep a little better if their body feels a bit more tired. But if it bothers you, you can always reduce your use for a while. You will have beneficial effects from using activeLife Trainer™ as little an an hour a day - a useage amount that will have very few people feeling any exhaustion.
Question: What kind of smartphone apps does activeLife Trainer™work with?
Answer: activeLife Trainer™ uses the Bluetooth 4.0 open standard for bicycle speed (miles or kilometers per hour) and cadence (rounds per minute). This means that as long as your smartphone or tablet is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible, you can use any number of 'speed and cadence' bicycle apps, such as the Cateye Cycling, the Wahoo Fitness app, or the Strava app. Because it automatically detects your use of activeLife Trainer™, we currently recommend the Cateye Cycling app.
Question: O.K., I get it: activeLife Trainer™ is not an aerobic office work out. But what kind of office exercise is it then? Anaerobic?
Answer: Take a look at this chart to see how different kinds of exercise compare. activeLife Trainer™ aims to keep your heart rate right in the “light intensity” to “fat burn” range on the exercise scale.
Question: Exactly how many calories am I going to burn with activeLife Trainer™ and will I lose weight?
Answer: Our data indicate that at a resistance level of 2 - 3 (out of 8) and going at a low speed of 40 - 60 rounds per minute, the average user can expect to burn about 130 kcal per hour compared to ca. 60 kcal per hour just sitting at your desk. For you personally, these numbers could differ depending on your weight, your body composition, the resistance you choose, and how fast you pedal. To lose a pound of fat, you need to burn an extra 3,500 kcal. Whether you will lose weight while using activeLife Trainer™ depends, of course, also on your nutrition and whether you’re otherwise active. However, even if you’re not losing lots of weight, you are likely gaining muscle mass and will see yourself becoming more toned as you’re using activeLife Trainer™.
If you want to get an accurate read of exactly how many calories you burn, activeLife Trainer™ is fully compatible with many fitness wristbands, such as TomTom Spark 3 . You can also obtain exact calorie counts from many wellness and fitness apps that track the calories burned while exercising. To get exact calorie information when you use such apps, in addition to your activeLife Trainer™, you will also need a Bluetooth 4.0 compatible chest strap, such as this one.
Question: I have had a heart attack / COPD / a hip replacement / kidney dialysis / knee surgery / etc. Can I still exercise with activeLife Trainer™?
Answer: As with any exercise program, it is always a good idea to check with your physician before starting to use activeLife Trainer™. That said, due to the light intensity of the exercise and because you are sitting down while exercising, many individuals with serious health concerns find that their physician encourages them to use activeLife Trainer™. Furthermore, elliptical leg motion while seated is just about the most joint friendly exercise you can do, especially since your body weight is supported by your chair.
Question: I love my existing desk chair and desk. To use activeLife Trainer™ won't I need a special desk and chair?
Answer: activeLife Trainer™ is specifically designed to work with just about any chair and desk. If you have an office chair that rotates and has five wheels, it will work! If you have an office chair - or other chair - with no wheels, it will work.
As long as you have about 1 1/2 inches (3 cm) clearance above your knees when you sit at your desk, your desk will work with activeLife Trainer™! ... note that many desks can be raised by about that much by adjusting the feet…
Question: How does activeLife Trainer™ compare to other under-desk ellipticals available in the USA?
Answer: These under-desk elliptical differ in many ways. Several, for example, have no smart sensor so you can’t track your workouts on a fitness wristband or Smartphone. Some have a smart sensor but it’s usefulness is limited because it only works with proprietary software while activeLife Trainer™ uses the open Bluetooth Low Energy standard for bicycles allowing you to choose from dozens of compatible apps and fitness wristbands. Also with all the other machines, the pedals make a very steep angle which many users find quite uncomfortable over time while activeLife Trainer™ has a more ergonomic and comfortable shallow angle of foot deflection. Most importantly, however, only activeLife Trainer™ has the patented attachment plate which allows you to securely connect your office chair in one of four positions. This is key to maintaining both the elliptical machine and your office chair in their proper positions.