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Sharon HamerWhat IS She DOING?
by Sharon Hamer, Belmonte Middle School, Saugus

I don’t know about you, but I do a lot of sitting in my job...I do a lot of standing too...and walking around. But the sitting part is the part that impacts my butt body the most!! 30 years of cataloging, typing, searching, writing overdues, making websites, Powerpoints, Prezis, bibliographies—all while sitting down and not moving much of my body around. It has taken its toll. (OK, I eat a bit too much as well.) Anyway, a few months ago I tuned into 5 minutes of the Joy Behar show with Rosanne as the guest. I just heard a snippet of conversation that really resonated with me. Joy asked how she had lost weight. Rosanne said, “Eat less, move more!”  Duh!!

pedal exerciser I thought it would be great if I could make use of all that sitting time I do. I had once gotten a pedal exerciser while at another school for just that purpose, but it didn’t really work under my desk. My knees kept hitting the underside of the desk. But at this school the circulation desk is higher, so I brought it into work and it fit perfectly at my desk, where I do all my work. So I started pedaling away.

I really like doing this. I can be checking in materials, designing lessons, checking my email and so many other things while getting some exercise at the same time. According to the Livestrong website “The duration of the exercise and the specific characteristics of the user help to determine how many calories a workout on the Pedal Exerciser will expend. A 135-lb. person performing a 20-minute workout on the Pedal Exerciser will burn approximately 123 calories.”I don’t consider what I’m doing a workout in any sense of the word. I am just adding movement to my sitting.

But this is just background information. The real reason I am writing this is to tell you of the effect my simple pedal exercising is having on my school. The Learning Commons is off of the central hallway on the 2d floor of the academic wing. To go downstairs or upstairs, people pass the floor to ceiling windows of the LC. I will describe what people see when I’m pedaling. I am bouncing up and down. Because the pedals rotate, there is a bit of a forwards and backwards motion as well. Fair enough. It looks strange. Really strange.  After doing this for a couple of months, the kids can barely keep a straight face. It started with the 6th graders. They had all kinds of ideas about what I was doing. You see, I am very short… VERY short… 4’9”…and I am NOT a 135-lb person.  So all that is visible over my desk is my, er, uh, chest area and when they see me bouncing, popping up and down, doing who knows what, they crack up. Some kids think I have a magical ability to sit still and make a certain part of my body move all by itself!!! And it isn’t just the students. The teachers and aides are getting a laugh out of this as well. The first time a science teacher saw me doing this, he thought I was having a seizure! And I can’t really tell you what some of them have told me it looks like I’m doing. I mean, I really can’t tell you because it is not appropriate for this newsletter!!!

If you would like to see for yourself (and enjoy a bit of Comic Relief) SEE THIS VIDEO . I think providing a good, healthy laugh for some students and staff is just a side benefit of the exercise I am getting. And after 30 years in this career, despite this being a large school, pretty much everyone knows who the librarian is!

Last Updated ( Saturday, 14 January 2012 )

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