Vintage Toronto Ads: Twistercise with Toshiba
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Vintage Toronto Ads: Twistercise with Toshiba

In the midst of the 1980s workout craze, why not exercise while making copies?

Source: Time, September 24, 1984.

In an era of popular workout programs from the likes of Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, and Miss Piggy, it was inevitable that the business world would cash in. To encourage sales of their copiers, Toshiba launched “Twistercise” in 1984. The idea was simple: for the few moments the typical office worker left their desk to use the copier, they could give their upper torso a brief but effective workout. With the legs positioned as shown in today’s ad, the twisterciser would stand with the original document then twist down to place it in the copier. Hovering over the machine, the twisterciser would glance at the copier until the duplicate was made then twist away from the machine. After holding the position for 30 seconds, they would return to their original stance. How often the motion was repeated depended on the number of copies—to be a truly effective workout, the copier was programmed to only print one sheet at a time, with 55-second intervals between pages.

While Twistercise was effective with modern copiers, offices that attempted to adopt the program to aging equipment experienced mixed results. Medical officials did not recommend the exercise for anyone using a ditto machine because of prolonged exposure to duplicating fluid.