My friend Darrin is a personal trainer. We were talking about how many of his clients would drive to the gym and then hit the treadmill and walk the distance they drove to the gym… crazy.
Then we got to talking about alternative energy and I asked if anyone made exercise equipment that generated electricity… he’d never heard of it. That lead me to discover Notions of Expenditure… which is a Uni project that is researching this new energy source. The site is absolutely horrific and is obviously written by academics but I did learn that two kids playing on a see-saw for two or three minutes can generate enough electricity to power a 20w light bulb for two to three minutes.
Imagine what a gym full of exercise bikes and treadmills could do! Here are some great stats from the site:
38 million Americans by the end of 2003 were members of health clubs.
If each member worked out only 37 days/yr, less than 1x/week, for one hour, this would equal 1,406,000,000 hours. (This doesn’t include hotel, university, YMCA, or corporate facilities, or home users; there are more than 2400 YMCA’s in the U.S.)
With those sorts of numbers, maybe gyms could be the new green fuel source. Forget nuclear power, build more gyms.
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