It is estimated that the average person produces up to 300 watts of electricity during a workout session – enough to power a washing machine for an hour.
Scientists at Stirling University are working on a grid that can harness electricity from exercise bikes, rowing machines, treadmills and cross-trainers and use it to power the gyms themselves or even light up hotel bedrooms and kitchens.
Antal Lakner’s wall-painting workout machine
Researchers Tao Pei and Emmanuel Pogoson’s system would store electricity in a similar way to wind farms and wave machines. Gym equipment would be attached to generators or a central power source that could convert kinetic energy from movement into mechanical energy.
Is it possible that no one had thought about it before?
UPDATES: thanks to LeisureArts for reminding me that such project already exists: the Notions of Expenditure.
Alex points me to this bikepower used to generate electricity, but i have a soft spot for this ingenious water-pumping merry-go-round.
Image from Antal Lakner’s Passive Working Devices series, a sarcastic view on how hi-tech machines have changed people’s relationship with the environement and with their own bodies.
Related: Mobile design for runners, Bikes turned into game controllers, the wonderful Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Body Workout MP3s, Double-Gravity Suit System.