Preprint / Version 1

Energy intake and food preferences following low and moderate intensities of cycling desk concurrent to academic task

When too high is detrimental to nutritional quality


  • Francois Dupont
  • Alexandre-Charles Gauthier
  • Vicky Drapeau
  • Roseane de Fatima Guimarães
  • Marie-Eve Mathieu Université de Montréal



Cycling desk, Energy intake, Food preference, Eye-tracking


The rising prevalence of sedentariness in academic settings highlights the need to explore alternative strategies, such as using active desks. This study assesses cycling desks' effects using light (LPA) and moderate (MPA) intensities of physical activity compared to a conventional seated desk (SIT) on energy intake and food preferences, including visual fixation time of food. Participants (n=18) underwent a randomized crossover protocol where SIT, LPA and MPA were used while performing academic tasks. Energy and macronutrient intakes were assessed via an ad-libitum buffet. Preferences were recorded across five food categories (low-fat sweet, high-fat sweet, low-fat savoury, high-fat savoury, and fat) according to ingestion and eye fixation monitored using Tobii Glasses 2 (100Hz). Statistical analysis was conducted using ANOVA with pairwise comparisons with a significant threshold of p<0.05. Results showed no significant differences in overall energy and macronutrient intakes across the conditions (all p values > 0.05). There was a significant difference in intake of low-fat sweet foods between the conditions (p=0.040), with pairwise analysis revealing that the MPA condition was almost significantly higher than SIT [295(198) vs. 208 (149) grams, respectively; p=0.053). This difference appears attributable to an increase in sweetened beverages 173 (196) grams vs. 68 (124) grams; p=0.046). Eye-tracking technology showed that total fixation time on different food categories was consistent across conditions. In conclusion, while using cycling desks did not alter overall energy intake, MPA did increase the consumption of low-fat sweet foods via increased sugar-sweet beverages compared to standard desk condition.


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