Kresge Library among first in state to offer ‘FitDesk’

Pedal to the metal: Library among first in state to offer ‘FitDesk’
Students are already using the FitDesks Kresge Library placed in a study area. If students use them often, the library will be purchasing more.

Oakland University students can now finish a workout while they’re finishing their homework with the addition of desks that double as exercise bikes at the Kresge Library.


The two stationary bikes, called “FitDesks,” arrived in mid-January and now sit on the second floor of the library near the University Technology Help Desk offices. Students can use the gadgets in the exercise function and read, study, or use their laptop computers on a platform mounted to the bike’s handlebars.


Stephen P. Weiter, dean of the University Libraries, said staff decided to experiment with the FitDesks after reading about their adoption at other libraries across the country.


“We’ve seen reports of a lot of research lately on the negative impacts of extended sitting, so this may be one way to mitigate those effects,” Weiter said. “The Kresge Library wanted to try them out as an alternative, health-oriented work station, in keeping with the wellness goals of Oakland University.”


Oakland is one of the first academic institutions in Michigan to offer the desks as a study and exercise platform in a library. Weiter said the goal of the experiment is to try to offer multiple types of seating and a diverse study environment to meet student needs for studying and for health and well-being.


According to, Clemson University – one of the early adopters of FitDesks – observed that students who used the bikes showed improved sleep patterns and other potential positive health outcomes.


The bikes had no negative impacts on students’ study habits or academic performance, according to officials at Clemson. Higher Ed also said other modern desks, such as standing desks or treadmill desks, have the same positive health effects – and that the data set for just how many positive effects is growing by the day.


Oakland students have been testing the FitDesks since they were brought to the library Jan. 15, said Weiter, adding he is looking for feedback. If they are being consistently used and appreciated, a few more will be purchased for the library.


“We’re excited about the potential here, and hope the students will see this as a valuable addition to the library,” Weiter said.


For more information about the Kresge Library, visit