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Tag Archives: Health

FitDesk – Another Exercise While You Work Solution

FitDesk (Images courtesy FitDesk)
By Carole Sinclair

I’m just as un-keen on exercise and work as the next… well… everybody. So picking off these two birds with one stone is always the dream. Our desk-based work days have been blamed for their fair share of our oft-lamented ‘sedentary lifestyles’, and solutions like those office-chair-bouncy-ball-thingys don’t suit everyone’s tastes. (*Rubs tailbone*) We’ve probably also all seen other uber-fit solutions like working at a computer while walking on a treadmill. But doing that for 8 hours straight can be grueling at best, and a safety hazard at worst.

Enter the FitDesk. It’s an exercise bike with a usable desk attached where you’d normally find the handlebars. You’re technically still sitting and working while using it, but you’re also pedaling, building muscle and burning calories throughout the day. With a treadmill workstation, when you decide to stop walking you’re either left standing and working for hours at a time, or risk admitting that you’ve abandoned yet another exercise endeavor. But when you take a break with the FitDesk, you’re still comfortably seated, leaving you plenty of endurance to keep exercising and building up the strength to eventually win the rat race. (Or at least place respectfully.)

The resistance of the pedaling can be adjusted for a more intense workout as desired, and the whole unit folds up so it can be stashed away in a closet if used at home. Unfortunately I don’t see a way to secure the laptop, which is a little worrisome given it sits perched pretty high, and an untimely fall from your sweaty hands could easily be its demise. I guess that’s where duct tape and bungee cords come in. It’s also $229, which is kind of expensive for a pretty basic exercise bike. Even with a built-in ‘desk’.

[ FitDesk ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Fresh Vending Machines Strike A Balance Between Junk Food And Fruit

Fresh Healthy Vending Machines (Image courtesy Fresh Healthy Vending)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you frequent a vending machine at work or school you’ve probably learned to silence that little voice inside telling you there are far healthier snacking alternatives. But at the same time, there’s nothing more boring than a vending machine filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. So a San Diego-based vending company has come up with a nice compromise. Their ‘Fresh Healthy Vending’ machines are still packed with snacks like cookies, chips, crackers and juices, but they’re all from companies who use organic or all-natural ingredients. In other words, they provide a far healthier way to deal with the munchies.

The machines can be packed with snacks from over 500 recognized brands, which tend to lean towards items like granola bars, smoothies, yogurts, etc. instead of chocolate bars and candy. They’re also a bit on the high-tech side, with dual zone climates for keeping dairy based products fresh, payment systems that accept credit and debit cards in addition to coins and bills, and even remote wireless monitoring of stock and sales. Since organic and other healthier snacks tend to cost more than your typical vending machine fare, I think the Fresh machines face some tough competition from their incumbent rivals. But maybe snacking guilt will give them a big advantage.

[ Fresh Healthy Vending Machines ] VIA [ PSFK ]

Scosche myTREK Measures Your Pulse Without The Need For A Chest Strap

Scosche myTREK (Images courtesy Scosche)
By Andrew Liszewski

Typically, the only way to get an accurate measurement of your pulse while exercising was to have a monitor strapped to your chest, which was then connected to some kind of display for monitoring your performance. But Scosche’s new myTREK does away with the chest strap, instead moving it to your forearm where it’s more comfortable to wear. It’s also completely wireless, connecting to your iPhone or iPod over Bluetooth (with a range of ~30 feet) feeding information about your pulse and motion to an accompanying free myTREK app.

And it’s that app that will probably make the myTREK system appealing to persons who are very serious about their physical fitness. Besides displaying your pulse, the app also tracks everything from calories burned, distance run, speed and pace (when used with a GPS-equipped iPhone) over time. So you can go back and compare your results and stats to previous workouts to see how you’ve improved. And while exercising, the app even lets you set specific workout goals, like a target heart rate, complete with voice prompts letting you know how close you are to reaching it. Available now for $129.99.

[ Scosche myTREK ]

Wrist Worn Bite Counter Keeps Track Of Every Forkful

Bite Counter (Images courtesy Clemson University)
By Andrew Liszewski

Exercise is an important part of being physically fit, and step counters are a useful way to ensure you’re getting enough physical activity in your life. But eating healthy is just as important, so two researchers from Clemson University have created a bite counter, which basically works like a pedometer for eating. Since there’s no impact when eating with utensils, the bite counter, which looks like a fairly mundane digital wristwatch, tracks the wrist-roll motion of someone eating with a fork or spoon to keep track of every bite they take.

The device, which can be easily started and stopped at the beginning and end of a meal, has been found to be more than 90% accurate when it comes to counting bites. But, the researchers still aren’t sure how it can be used to help with weight loss, given there’s currently no way to determine how many calories or what amount of food has been consumed in each bite. So the device will continue to be tested and used in additional research as to how this collected data can be used to benefit the eater. And if you’d like to help out, you can actually purchase one here for just $799.

[ PR - Clemson University researchers are making every bite count ] VIA [ CNET ]

J!NS Moisture Glasses Keep Your Eyes Hydrated With A Moisture Reservoir

J!NS Moisture Glasses (Image courtesy Akihabara News)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you find yourself squinting and blinking more often than not when working at a PC, there’s a good chance your eyes are getting tired, or simply dehydrated. So you can either remedy the situation by letting up on your multi-day WoW marathons, or head on over to Japan where J!NS, a company known for their stylish yet affordable eyewear, have concocted these ‘Monitor’ glasses. I’m assuming they come in more color choices than just ‘perfectly rendered pink’, but what’s standard across the line is a small reservoir on either side of the frame. You can probably fill it with water, or some kind of moisturizing eyedrop solution, and it will keep your peepers moisturized and refreshed for up to 2 hours. (Giving you a much needed break when you go to refill them.) Available in Japan come October for ~$50. (¥3,990)

[ J!NS Eyewear ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

HP’s New Blood Pressure Monitoring Watch

HP Blood Pressure Monitoring Watch (Image courtesy HP)
By Andrew Liszewski

HP Singapore, in collaboration with local telco SingTel, medical device maker HealthSTATS Int’l and Frontier Healthcare have just started an 8 week long, 100 patient trial of their new Mobile Health Monitoring Solution. Now you might be thinking that you’ve seen fitness watches like this before, but you haven’t. Most watches that monitor your heart are only keeping track of your pulse, letting you know if you’re truly getting an effective workout. But HP’s new monitor uses technology developed by HealthSTATS International that actually lets the watch measure blood pressure or CASP, central aortic systolic pressure.

This measuring technique is actually considered a far more accurate indicator of a patient’s cardiac health because it measures pressure in the aorta, but until now it’s required invasive surgery. HealthSTAT’s non-invasive BPro EVBP Technology instead measures something called the pulse wave from a patient’s radial artery at the point of their wrist, and using proprietary algorithms is able to produce results as accurate as the surgical method. Of course HP’s implementation of the technology goes one step further, allowing a patient’s stats to be remotely monitored via cellular data networks so they don’t have to continually visit hospitals or clinics to have their BP measured.

[ PR - Checking your health around the clock ] VIA [ MIT Technology Review ]

Jawbone’s UP Wristband Does Far More Than Encourage You To ‘Livestrong’

Jawbone's UP Wristband (Image courtesy Jawbone)
By Andrew Liszewski

While the Livestrong wristband fad might have faded ages ago, you could be seeing people sporting a new, more advanced wrist adornment, this Fall. This wristband isn’t supporting a charitable cause however. It actually comes from Jawbone, makers of mighty fine Bluetooth earpieces and speakers, and is chock full of technology designed to improve the wearer’s general well-being.

It’s designed to be comfortable enough to wear 24/7, which is important because motion sensors inside the band are constantly tracking your movements and motions, sending that data to an accompanying application on your iOS or Android device. That information is then processed and used to make healthy living recommendations when it comes to sleep patterns, exercise and just generally being more active. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume the wristband connects to mobile devices over Bluetooth, and since it seems to be pretty passive in terms of how it operates, I imagine you don’t need to recharge it that often. Unfortunately pricing info and a specific release date isn’t available just yet, even though Jawbone has apparently been developing the UP for over 2 years now.

[ UP by Jawbone ] VIA [ Wired Gadget Lab ]

Terason t3200 Turns Your MacBook Pro Into An Ultrasound Machine

Terason t3200 Ultrasound System Breast Series (Image courtesy Terason) By Andrew Liszewski

Ok, so it’s not exactly a kit you can buy, but a company called Terason, who specializes in these kinds of portable ultrasound machines, has just released their new t3200 Ultrasound System designed specifically for breast surgeons.

Built around a MacBook Pro the ultrasound machine is not only highly portable, it also allows the imagery being collected to be easily integrated into a doctor’s workflow since the t3200 is a full-fledged computer. So emailing scans, sharing files on a network or checking a patient’s chart data can all be accomplished from the same machine. As for pricing? Start with the MSRP of an MBP and then add on a few thousand dollars and you’re probably getting close.

[ Terason t3200 ] VIA [ Medgadget ]

GymyGym Chair Doubles As A Workout Machine

GymyGym Chair (Images courtesy GymyGym)
By Andrew Liszewski

It turns out that scrolling down a web page doesn’t provide as much of a physical workout as I had once hoped. So my dreams of getting in shape while doing nothing but surfing the web now solely rely on this fitness-friendly office chair known as the GymyGym. Besides providing a comfortable place to sit through the use of a “flat-bungee seating system” which promotes proper posture throughout the day, the GymyGym also incorporates 4 different ‘exercise stations’ for lack of a better description.

Underneath the seat are a few extra lengths of the aforementioned bungee cord attached to handles and velcro straps that allow you to do a series of strengthening exercises for your legs, arms and other muscle groups. The different routines are performed while standing or sitting, depending on what part of your body you’re working out, so you may not necessarily be able to get a full body workout while browsing your favorite website. But thanks to a couple of tension control systems also located beneath the chair, you can crank things up to 11 and really feel the burn when you do manage to sneak in a couple of reps. At $599 the chair is a bit pricey, putting it in competition with more lust-worthy models from Herman Miller, but the fact that it’s made from 95% recycled materials should appeal to eco-minded fitness enthusiasts.

[ GymyGym Workout Chair ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]