Joanna Michaud staff reporter: The Reflector
Amboy resident Cindy Mayhak works full time in Vancouver, has a family to take care of, including three children and, like numerous other busy people, has found it hard to find time to exercise during the day.
“Time was tight for being able to exercise,” Mayhak said. “I kept thinking to myself, ‘what can I do?’ ”
After doing some research, Mayhak, 38, said she came across the idea of walking while at work, not just during lunch time, but literally all day while doing her work. Mayhak began looking into different ideas to be able to make a work desk over a treadmill and her husband, Michael, helped her make one.
“At first, I just used it from time to time, still having a traditional sit-down desk to use as well,” Mayhak said.
Mayhak continued doing research regarding ways to walk while at work and eventually she came across something called a TrekDesk. A TrekDesk is an extra-tall desk that is designed to fit right over a treadmill, enabling someone to walk continuously throughout the day while they make phone calls, work on their computer and more.
Mayhak said she became a fan of the product on Facebook and ended up winning a TrekDesk when a drawing was held after the TrekDesk Facebook page reached 500 fans. She said she won the drawing in May 2010 and had the TrekDesk up-and-running just a few weeks later in June. In a little more than a year, Mayhak said she has lost about 30 pounds by simply using the TrekDesk at work, eating healthier and doing a few small exercises on the side.
“I need to lose more than that, but it’s not just about the weight,” she said. “It’s about staying more active, better health, better cardiovascular health and I think better while I’m walking. I’ve been much more productive at work since I started using the TrekDesk.”
Although Mayhak walks for most of the day while she’s at work, she said she doesn’t walk for the whole eight-hour work day nonstop. She said she will stop for a few minutes throughout the day to get things off of the printer, refill her water bottle, take bathroom breaks and for meetings and to do filing. She also said she does take a break when she needs to eat meals, as it is not easy to eat while walking on the treadmill.
Even with a few breaks throughout the day, Mayhak said walks an average of 5-8 miles per day and said she burns an extra 150-750 calories or more per day. Since she only walks at a speed of 1-2 miles per hour using the TrekDesk, Mayhak said she usually doesn’t really get tired or overheated. The slow speed also enables her to do most of her normal work activities while walking, such as talking on the phone, typing and more.
“I don’t really break a sweat,” Mayhak said. “I also dress in layers so I’m able to take some clothes off if I need to. I’m really feeling better knowing that I’m moving while I’m working, it really helps me focus on things better. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and it’s nice heading home and knowing that I don’t have to exercise. It’s now my ‘norm’ to walk while working – my back doesn’t hurt like it used to when I would sit at a traditional desk and my legs are used to doing their ‘thing’ while I work.”
Mayhak said she wears one of the armbands that keeps track of how many calories she burns per day, so she said it’s a good feeling when she knows using the TrekDesk is really doing something.
“People come in sometimes and say, ‘I think I hear a treadmill,’ ” Mayhak said. “My coworkers just say, ‘oh yeah, that’s Cindy in there, she’s walking.’”
Mayhak said that so far in 2011, she has walked 630 miles at her desk, a total of 314 hours. In total, she said she has walked 946 miles at her desk, and counting. The TrekDesk is currently priced at $479 and includes just the desk. Anyone who wants a TrekDesk would need to already have their own treadmill.
“I work at Paul Davis Restoration as a job cost accountant and office manager,” Mayhak said. “My boss was very open to the ‘alternative’ desk option, but he was sure that I would want a traditional desk. I was, and am, still out to prove him wrong.”