Open Access
Mathur, Apoorva
Area of Honors:
Industrial Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Andris Freivalds, Thesis Supervisor
  • Catherine Mary Harmonosky, Honors Advisor
  • Ergonomics
  • Cognitive Retention
  • Exercise
  • Human Factors
  • Memory
  • Under Desk Machines
The purpose of this project was to measure how distracting an under-desk exercise machine may be for an average student while studying on a day to day basis. The primary hypothesis was that while using the exercise equipment subjects will be able to retain more information than when they are sedentary. Thirty students were recruited from The Pennsylvania State University-University Park campus to participate in this study. The sample size was evenly distributed with 15 female and 15 male participants. Participants were divided into two separate groups where half the participants performed under desk cycling and then took a cognitive memory assessment and the other half did not perform any cycling and then took the assessment. Each participant was given a series of three assessments and three memory activities that corresponded with each assessment. After doing analysis using repeated measures ANOVA, it was determined that using the under desk cycle did not have a significant effect on cognitive performance of subjects versus those who did not use the under desk cycle based on the significance value of 0.05 on the 95% confidence interval. The overall average for the first assessment was 11/15 correct and the overall average for the second assessment was 14/18 correct. The third assessment proved to be unhelpful since all participants performed equally as well. The first assessment had a p value of 0.097 between the participants who used a bike and did not use a bike, and the second assessment had a p value of 0.688. Both of these p values were much greater than the significance value, proving there was no significant effect due to the exercising. Therefore, the primary hypothesis was proved to be incorrect and there will have to be further analysis to understand the effects of exercise on cognitive retention.