By Youma Diabira | Staff Writer
Photos by Cameron Smith | Student
In an effort to promote healthy habits for college students, there have been active workstations placed in Xavier’s library. These stations so far have included elliptical trainer desks that encourage students to pedal while completing work.
Cameron Smith, a fifth-year Doctoral Student with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at XULA, from Lake Charles, Louisiana, inspired this addition to the Library while completing his dissertation.
“In marrying my passions for education and health together, I partnered with Xavier’s library for my dissertation research with the emphasis on placing active workstations [elliptical trainer desks] in the library to help students reduce sedentary time and increase activity while completing academic-related tasks,” Smith said when discussing the importance of these devices and his passion for student health.
Smith has expressed his passion for health and exercise, which stems from being a student who has devoted countless hours to studying, reading, and attending classes, most of which require sitting completely still. It’s important for students to steer away from sedentary behavior. This is any waking behavior that involves spending very little energy while in a sitting, reclining or lying posture.
The impacts of prolonged sedentary behavior can increase inflammation and increase the risk of developing chronic health problems later down the line.
“This is especially important for African American and Black people because they experience higher rates of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, colorectal cancer, and metabolic syndrome when compared to their Caucasian counterparts, which are all serious health conditions directly associated with sedentary behavior,” Smith explains.
Since being placed in September, students have been using the desks. Many students have even been repeating users and been found using the desks for thirty minutes up to three hours. Using these elliptical trainer desks allows students to burn anywhere between thirty to one hundred calories in one sitting, all while completing daily tasks.