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Students to pedal away during class
Under-desk bike pedal exercisers are gaining popularity in schools across the nation.

Warren County Schools will be implementing a new exercise program for sixth-graders at Warren County Middle School.
Members of the county Financial Management Committee met Thursday to consider a bid for the purchase of 192 under-desk bike pedal exercisers from Interactive Motivation for $28,301.
“We applied for a grant through Project Diabetes,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “There were about 160 competitive grants out there. We were one of 40 that were funded. It’s a three-year grant for $57,900.”
Project Diabetes is through the Tennessee Department of Health. It is a statewide initiative that funds, through the competitive bid process, innovative primary prevention projects to halt the increasing rate of obesity in Tennessee.
“What this is designed to do is provide an alternative activity for students for physical education to reduce the likelihood of obesity and diabetes and hopefully, help us meet the requirement for physical education,” said Cox. “A state law was passed that requires students to have physical activity that is unstructured throughout the day. They have to have two, 20-minute periods of non-structured physical activity at least four times a week.”
For the program’s first year, the new exercise program will begin with sixth-graders at WCMS. Students will have their body mass index (BMI), which is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, calculated before and after the program to determine if BMI has improved.
Cox says if the exercise program improves the health of those students, consideration will be given to purchasing more of the under-desk bike pedal exercisers during year two of the grant and branching out to other schools.
“We will be focusing on sixth grade, primarily at the middle school this year,” said Cox. “Hopefully, this will give good results. If it works well, I think their goal is to go into the other schools later and do the same thing. If not, we’ll have to do something else.”
Financial Management Committee members unanimously approved the purchase.