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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 5427201, 12 pages
Research Article

Office-Cycling: A Promising Way to Raise Pain Thresholds and Increase Metabolism with Minimal Compromising of Work Performance

1Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
2Institute of Nursing and Health Research, Ulster University, Jordanstown, UK
3Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden

Correspondence should be addressed to Rebecca Tronarp

Received 14 August 2017; Revised 1 December 2017; Accepted 19 December 2017; Published 23 January 2018

Academic Editor: Nikolaos G. Koulouris

Copyright © 2018 Rebecca Tronarp et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. Establishing the effects of low intensity cycling (LC), moderate intensity cycling (MC), and standing at a simulated office workstation on pain modulation, work performance, and metabolic expenditure. Methods. 36 healthy adults (21 females), mean age 26.8 (SD 7.6) years, partook in this randomized crossover trial with 75 minutes of LC on 20% of maximum aerobic power (MAP) output, 30 minutes of MC on 50% of MAP, and standing 30 minutes with 48-hour wash-out periods. Outcome measures were pain modulation (pressure pain threshold (PPT) and thermal pain threshold)), work performance (transcription, mouse pointing, and cognitive performance), and metabolic expenditure. Results. PPTs increased in all conditions. PPT trapezius showed the highest increase after LC, 39.3 kilopascals (kPa) (15.6; 78.6), compared to MC, 17.0 kPa (2.8; 49.9), and standing, 16.8 kPa (−5.6; 39.4), . Transcription was reduced during LC and MC. Mouse pointing precision was best during standing and worst and slowest during MC. Cognitive performance did not differ between conditions. Metabolic expenditure rates were 1.4 (1.3; 1.7), 3.3 (2.3; 3.7), and 7.5 (5.8; 8.7) kcal/minute during standing, LC, and MC, respectively . Conclusions. LC seems to be the preferred option; it raised PPTs, more than doubled metabolic expenditure, whilst minimally influencing work performance.