Overweight and struggling with back pain, Steve Bordley knew he had to do something. His job chained him to a desk for 12 to 14 hours a day. A gunshot injury from a hunting accident had nearly disabled him, leaving him unable to do much outdoor activity.
So he fashioned a makeshift desk attached to a recumbent bicycle so he could pedal while he worked. Eventually, he got neck and arm strain. He tinkered with other ideas.
"I tried it with a treadmill as a last resort," said Bordley, 54, who lives in northeast Phoenix.
After a few weeks, he lost 25 pounds and, better yet, his back was pain free. "I abandoned the job that I was working toward and I said, 'I've got to bring this to the market,' " he said.
Bordley spent several years on research, design and production. He launched the product two months ago, intending to slowly explore the retail market. Instead, there was huge interest when he released the Trek Desk, including features on TV news shows and an upcoming radio spot at 6:50 a.m. Thursday on the "Marketplace Morning Report" segment of KJZZ's "Morning Edition." That's forced Bordley to speed his plan and he now offers the TrekDesk treadmill desk for sale online at their website.
Bordley can cite dozens of studies that prove the benefits of walking, decreasing hypertension, obesity and diabetes, and improving brain function. He noted that the National Institutes of Health recommends that Americans walk 10,000 steps every day for optimal health. He does that much while he works.
Multitasking seems to ask a lot of the brain. Doesn't concentrating on work lead to falling off the back of the treadmill?
"It's like walking down the hall while talking to someone," he said. "You lose consciousness of the fact that you're walking. And the TrekDesk stabilizes you."
Bordley will walk for the entire work day, at about a 1.2 mph pace if he's on the phone, and up to 2 mph when tapping on the computer. For more intensity, he'll increase the treadmill's incline, which the TrekDesk can accommodate.
Not everyone needs to walk the whole workday. "You can get 10,000 steps in two or three hours a day. And you don't have to think about it."
Fitness Depot in Scottsdale is the only Valley retail location to sell the TrekDesk. Owner Jay Garfall said he's sold several since stocking them a few weeks ago, but expects to sell more with the typical New Year's fitness-resolution surge.