Exercise while doing an office desk job—even if you’re glued to a computer all day—thanks to this new typing-themed “incidental exercise” keyboard-replacement gym!


Many people spend their entire workday sitting down, typing on a keyboard.

The issue:

Sitting all day is generally considered to be sub-optimal for human health, and typing on a keyboard (Figure 1) may lead to certain types of repetitive stress injury.

In order to fix this, we need a way to allow keyboard-focused workers to get exercise during the course of a normal workday.

Fig. 1: A keyboard is the primary method of physical interaction with the world for many office workers. The keyboard is color-coded for reasons explained in Figure 2.


Instead of pressing a single key in order to type a letter, what if a person had to lift a weight or hit a punching bag instead?

In Figure 2, we can see how a keyboard might be converted to an equivalent home gym, with a punching bag for the space bar, overhead bars for certain keys, free weights for the enter key, etc.

Fig. 2: Here, we can see how the keyboard might be replaced by an electronic home gym (color-coded regions indicate areas that might correspond to similar types of exercise). This diagram only shows a few “keys”; a full keyboard replacement would need either a lot more weights or a lot more modifiers (it would be possible to use fewer than 10 unique weights, if they could be operated in tandem in the style of a chorded keyboard).


Now that enthusiasm for standing desks has waned, there is room for this to be the next office fitness fad.

PROS: Allows people to get exercise during their normal workday, thus increasing national fitness.

CONS: Office workers may trade repetitive stress injuries for more dramatic injuries.

Supplementary Fig. S1: This is what the setup might look like in a brochure. Compelling!