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The Cycling Desk: Work Out And Charge Your Phone During A Trip

The WeBike cycling desk can be found at airports and train stations across in Western Europe.
The WeBike cycling desk can be found at airports and train stations across in Western Europe.

Amsterdam is famous for its laissez-faire attitude about extracurricular activities, its beautiful canals and of course, its bicycles. Now, even if you only have a layover at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, you can get in some pedaling, and power your phone and other devices at the same time.

Schiphol is one of the airport homes for WeBikes — cycling desks that generate power. About 30 minutes of pedaling is enough to charge an iPhone, according to its designer. They seat three to a table, but can be configured for more. Here's more from Fast Company, which introduced us to this exciting creation:

"At the moment, the WeBikes are mostly used in public spaces, such as libraries and hotels, but the company hopes to bring them to more offices. 'In the public domain, the focus has been on green energy,' [developer Katarina] Verhaegensays. 'People like power while they're on the move. But in the office, the focus will be more on the health side — the green energy stuff will be used more as a motivational aspect to get people started on the habit of riding at work.'

"Riding a bike while working — though it might sound distracting — can actually help improve the quality of work. 'People don't believe they can do two things at the same time,' says Verhaegen. 'But there are studies proving that gentle exercise while doing computer work, you're more focused and more creative. Reading and memorizing speed is enhanced. For productivity, and creativity, it's really good to do this."

You can find these at railway stations in France as well as in airports in Belgium and the Netherlands, and soon, an office-specific version. Fast Company reports it's supposed to be released later this year, but each individual bike desk runs $13,000.

If you aren't headed to Europe anytime soon but dig the general concept, we wrote about the Cubiiback in July. The Cubii helps you get moving, while seated at a desk, for about $300.

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share?Use this quick form.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.