OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Fitness Fuels the Future

Any time I've ever attended a climate conference, there's always a stationary bicycle that when pedalled contributes to the event's energy use. I'm curious to see what would happen if a gym was converted into a source for exerting energy that is later contributed locally. All that effort exerted into weight machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals could help generate energy. It would not only save the local community on their electric bill, but will also encourage a healthier lifestyle for all.

Photo of Michael Kasian
10 11

Written by

So much kinetic energy is exerted at the gym. There is nowhere else in a typical neighborhood or city where people attend hoping to break a sweat and exert as much energy as possible. Using technology similar to the stationary bike on the gym's machines, energy is created every time each machine is used.

What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

This could help benefit urban and rural areas that have an interest in personal wellness and contributing to power their local community. The power generated could be donated to local shelters, nonprofits, or schools that are potentially struggling to keep their lights on.

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

I think that this idea could be a revolution in inspiring others to take 'charge' in renewables because turning a routine activity like going to the gym into something that is contributing to your community is motivation to return to that gym and not to join others. I think people will be more inclined to work on their personal wellness if they know that the effort they're exerting is helping others. This could create a domino effect for other fitness centers, nightclubs, and recreation facilities to convert their machines as well.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I think a preliminary experiment would be to set up half of the treadmills with this technology with a nearby chart explaining why the machines look a little different. If people are more inclined to use the power-generating bikes that create energy for a nearby location then my theory would be confirmed.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

I would need to learn more about how to store energy which can then be transferred over to other locations to use.

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • A combination of various types of renewable energy

This idea emerged from:

  • An Individual


Join the conversation:

Photo of Aditee Pathak

Hi Micheal, I love the idea of generating energy out of the workouts in Gym. This idea reminds me of an article I read recently where the energy was generated by crowds when they danced on the disc. I see discos as a great opportunity to use the crowds to generate energy.

View all comments