The newest enhancement to a series of library renovations and technology upgrades at the Troy campus includes new FitDesk exercise equipment, according to Christopher Shaffer, dean of libraries.
With a flat desk design on top, it allows students to read books or use laptops while using the bike to exercise. The bike also has equipment for working out the upper body.
Since becoming the dean of libraries, Shaffer has revamped some of the features and space the library has to offer.
Apple iPads, added seating areas and additions and renovations to study were among the first upgrades Shaffer implemented into the library, and now three FitDesk bike desks have been added this week. Three more have been ordered.
“We are going to add tables in there to add elliptical equipment underneath them,” he added. The ellipticals are expected to be attached to existing desks.
The anticipation of putting the bikes to use and gauging students’ responses is something that Shaffer said makes him feel positive.
“We’ve never done anything like this, so based off one post on Facebook that got 5,000 views, I think the response will be quite positive,” he said.
The room where the FitDesk equipment is being housed was used as a storage room until last week. The room was painted and cleared to become a fitness and study area for library users.
Shaffer got the idea to incorporate the exercise equipment into the library from LinkedIn and from reading publications sent to librarians.
“I think maybe it’s a great way to read something if you don’t have to super focus on it, or maybe a great way to come in and maybe wake yourself up if you’ve been studying and you’re tired,” he said.
Paige Bartlett, a senior nursing major from Decatur, said she was surprised to learn that exercise equipment was being added to the library.
“I feel like a lot of people who are trying to be fit have to choose between working out and going to study, so it’s good you can do it at the same time,” Bartlett said. “I think it could improve study quality because if your blood is pumping, you could remember more.”
Justin Knight, a freshman business management major from Birmingham, said that he thinks it will take time for people to adapt to the uniqueness of the bikes being
located in the library, but it will be good for those who choose to use the bikes.
“I think more women will use the equipment, but I am excited about the principle of the idea of being able to study, exercise and impress people at the same time,” Knight said.
Shaffer said that exercise machines will not be a distraction to other library users because the FitDesk equipment is designed to be silent.
“I’m almost certain that the Troy campus will get more FitDesk equipment once I see how much space we have in the room,” he said.