McMuffins and McPedals…

Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster

Leave it to the folks at Mickey D’s to blaze a new trail when it comes to food and fitness.

Recently, there was a video that went viral with a woman eating a hamburger while pedaling.

Seems McDonald’s China has installed quasi-stationary bikes at restaurant locations in Shanghai and Guangdong.

The company, once promoted by a red-haired clown said these bicycle seats “aim to promote sustainability and help customers stay healthier.

Also, these “McBikes” generate electricity that customers can use to charge their electronics.

McDonald’s says this program might be expanded to other cities.

Naturally, I was curious as to how many calories would be expended while eating a meal and riding a stationary bike in the land of the “Golden Arches”.

To establish some common reference points, I learned that an Egg McMuffin Meal with hashbrowns and a small coffee has about 450 calories.

So, if a 200 pound person rides 10 miles at 12 miles per hour, it will take him 50 minutes to burn off 635 calories.

Now a standard burger, fries and soft drink has comparable calories to the aforementioned breakfast meal.

I’ve never really times myself while eating at the Golden Arches but I’m guessing 15 minutes would normally cover my time investment for consuming either a breakfast sandwich or a burger meal.

So, I’m going to have to spend 3 times that amount of time to burn off that food.

Sort of flies in the face of “fast food”, don’t you think?

Plus, if you step up to the Big Mac and larger portions, you can be exceeding 1,000 calories which means even more pedaling is needed to counteract the consumption of the food.

The entire “pedaling while eating” concept seems more like window-dressing to me.

Otherwise, we would see gyms and spas offering 5 course meals while you ran the treadmill.

Not sure working up a sweat is most conducive to a pleasant meal.

I can just imagine visiting a fast food eatery and I’d be seated next to a “Lance Armstrong wannabe”, pedaling in a sprint to the finish line.

Instead of, “Do you want fries with that?”, maybe we’ll be asked if we want a towel or a shower stall.

McDonald’s China says this program is to “promote sustainability” and help customers “stay healthy”.

“Sustainability” is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

Does this fast food company think we can be hoodwinked into believing riding on a stationary bicycle while eating their food is the new fitness craze of the 2020’s?

The other part of the China program is to help us stay healthy, inferring that we had good health to begin with.

Listen, I don’t think the idea of riding a stationary bike while eating a burger is among the top weight loss and conditioning programs in the world.

So, why is it being offered?

Well, it got me writing about it and your reading about it.

In marketing, “impressions” are all important so if some obscure offering gets someone to remember or recall your product or service, that’s one to the good for you.

Years ago, we had a stationary bike in our basement.

My niece, Leslie asked ifshe could ride on it.

She pedaled like a madman for several minutes and then stopped and walked away.

Shaking her head, she complained, “That bike is broken. It doesn’t go anywhere!”

Out of the mouths of babes.

Now, the charging of personal electronic devices while riding/dining at Mickey D’s seems like a more practical reason for doing it.

But I wonder what the turnaround time is for charging your I-phone while riding your McBike?

The idea of doing something “physical” while “stationary” appears to have a market in our world.

How else can you explain the pedaling devices you can get for beneath your desk?

Those “pedal exercisers” are quite popular.

The average time used per day is 1 to 73 minutes, which averages out to 23 minutes.

The most enthusiastic “pedal exerciser” can burn off 500 calories a day although the average was something closer to 180 calories.

Don’t forget, our breakfast sandwich or burger meal provides us about 450 calories so unless you’re a “whirling dervish” on the pedal exerciser. you have a net caloric gain.

Regarding weight loss and better health, which is a worthy goal, losing weight is simple.

Cut down on the input.

Eat less.

My guess if if we followed that axiom, we’d be seeing less of one another…,eventually.

But I don’t think riding a stationary bike at a fast-food restaurant is really going to do a whole lot for our sustainability and health.

Maybe parking further from the door and walking a greater distance would be just as helpful.

And, we wouldn’t have to worry about some maniac throwing sweat on our sandwich while we ate.

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