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Jail inmates pedal to power TV

April 6, 2010 at 1:49 PM

PHOENIX, April 6 (UPI) -- The sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County said he has introduced a new fitness tool to jail inmates -- televisions that run on pedal power.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who noticed many inmates at the Maricopa County Jail's Tent City extension were overweight during a recent visit, said the jail is now outfitted with stationary bicycles that generate electricity to power the facility's televisions, KNXV-TV, Phoenix, reported Tuesday.

Arpaio said only inmates who pedal will be allowed to watch "Pedal Vision."

"I started with the females because they seemed more receptive to the idea," Arpaio said. "The only exercise the females get right now is speed-walking around the tents yard and few are doing that. This gives them a reason to get moving and a way to burn up to 500 calories an hour. They won't be charged a monthly gym fee but they will have to sign a contract."

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