My Cubii, My Buddy

Apps GeekMom Household Gadgets Reviews
Image: Karen Walsh
Image: Karen Walsh

When I was a kid, there was a toy “My Buddy.” And it had this little jingle, “My Buddy and me.” Every time I think about my Cubii, I start humming the jingle in my head, “My Cubii and me.” My Cubii is possibly the only thing that makes me look forward to doing internal audit in my small, 8-by-10 dormer roof home office.

Go back and re-read that last sentence. Then think about how internal audit is actually more boring than it sounds. Then realize that I said the Cubii makes me look forward to doing it. Then think about what that really means.

When I started trying to be healthier back in July, I was deep in the black hole of unreality called “summer.” As a contractor, I work through the school year and then spend the summer with my son. Walking every day? No problem. Regular water aerobics at the pool? No problem. But as the hot summer days waned leading to fall and work, I started to think, “With the audit routine starting back up and the classes I teach, when am I going to find time to exercise?”

Then, Cubii offered a review unit. I said yes. My new baby came home in early August, but I wasn’t working yet. So, after I lugged her heavy self up to my office, she sat under my computer desk waiting for me until my son started school and I went back to work. (For a great review of the technical details of the Cubii, go read awesome GeekDad Z’s awesome review here.)

Starting back into work in the beginning of September, I set up the app, which was easy. Pulled my chair up to my Cubii. Opened up a bunch of documents and set to work.

And pedaled.

And worked.

And pedaled.

And worked.

By the time I had clocked five hours of work, I had also clocked 190 minutes of pedaling. I put 173 minutes of low intensity workout into my healthy eating tracker app. I had earned a whopping 11 exercise points. That translates into dessert, y’all. Or beer. Or butter. Just in case you didn’t know.

That realization made me giddy. Audit work meant I could earn cookies. Or beer. Or butter. In one day, the Cubii had made the world’s most boring work, well, not enjoyable per se but certainly something that had newfound perks.

The Cubii labels itself an “under the desk elliptical.” This means that you get the nice flow of motion that an elliptical provides. However, to call it a true “elliptical” is a bit of a misnomer. An elliptical workout relies on an individual’s weight as part of the resistance that burns the calories. The “under the desk” quality of the Cubii means that it does not include this resistance and acts more like a stationary bicycle. The good news for anyone who actually cares (you know, like I do) is that research supports the idea that low-intensity leisure activities or low-intensity activities performed daily have long-term health benefits. In other words, using the Cubii may not be a high impact aerobic workout (although you can dial up the effort level), I feel confident that it gives a similar workout to things like gardening, dancing, or shuffleboard which have been seen to have positive health benefits. The research indicates that 30-60 minutes of that kind of activity done 3 to 4 times a week provides these benefits (Fletcher et al. 341). This means that if you’re working at a desk most days, sitting and Cubii-ing is pretty much a decent way to get in enough exercise.

One of the side effects of the Cubii that I wasn’t expecting was that I had a greater sense of focus when pedaling than I do when not. This makes sense. Research shows that given physical stimulation (in the study’s case exercise balls and doodling were used) kids both with and without attention deficit hyperactive disorder were able to answer more comprehension questions (Kercood and Banda 2012) . Thus, not only was I getting some solid exercise in, I was also aiding my focus. For someone who makes a flat salary per audit, being more focused means completing the work faster which means more money per hour. In other words, aside from the physical health benefits, there were also cognitive health and wallet health benefits.

With its solid construction and easy to use app (it works like a Fitbit app), the Cubii is, in my opinion, worth the money. For people who spend full days sitting at a desk, the Cubii is a great way to get in varying intensities of lower body workout. It may not be a substitute for going to the gym, but it certainly took away a lot of my anxiety about being less active as my schedule started getting back to normal.

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