The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday January 22nd

New treadmills in Davis allow students to exercise while they study

Davis library has added treadmill desks to its fifth floor. Photo by Margaret Cheatham Williams.
Buy Photos Davis library has added treadmill desks to its fifth floor. Photo by Margaret Cheatham Williams.

Students no longer have to choose between exercising and studying thanks to the new treadmill desks in Davis Library, which allow students to study or work on homework while walking at a steady one to two mph. 

The four Walkstation desks are located on the fifth floor in the corner lounge overlooking the Pit. 

The desks were paid for by a $17,000 stipend that was allocated to Davis Library by the UNC Summer School. 

Jan Yopp, the dean of summer school, said the summer school program allocates a portion of its funds to aid certain University departments every year. 

“The way we use these funds is primarily to help the department have enough money to buy the materials and the supplies and provide the staff that’s needed so that we can run a really good summer program for the students that are here,” Yopp said. 

Judy Panitch, the director of library communications, said she was happy that they were able to work with the UNC Summer School to bring the treadmill desks to the library. 

“We’re always interested in providing a variety of types of study spaces for students,” Panitch said. "This is something that we didn’t have before, and you know, it gives students one more reason to come to the library.” 

Although many students have utilized the desks, some wonder if the money could have been used for something different. 

First-year biology major Aaron Byun said the library should consult the students before deciding to buy more treadmill desks. 

“I think this was a good idea to test it out and see,” Byun said. “I’m glad that they only did it for one, and not for like all the floors, just to kind of see and then get a response back from people and see if there’s any other need that the money could’ve gone toward. Or, if this is actually a really good thing that a lot of people like, then expand on this.” 

Although he doubts he will be able to concentrate while working at the desk, Byun said the treadmill desks offer some benefits.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “I spend a lot of time studying, so I might as well be active while I’m doing it. Sometimes if I get too comfortable while I’m sitting down then I might get sleepy or something, so this will definitely help prevent that too.” 

Yopp said any investment that helps attract students to the library is well worth it. 

“We want students in the library; we want students to think about the library," Yopp said. "If that’s some way to pull them in and keep them in the library, then we think it’s a good use of funds, and obviously from what we could see they were pretty well utilized."


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