Consider how many hours you spend sitting down and how unnatural that is for your body.
In the past, humans spent thousands of years walking up to 30 miles a day searching for food. Nowadays, if you work at a desk, you might easily spend five hours seated per day. Add in time commuting, eating, and on the sofa. Then throw in a long vacation trip by car or airplane or just relaxing at home in a lawn chair. Chances are good that you spend more big blocks of time sitting than any of your ancestors ever did, unless they rowed a Roman galley or carved heiroglyphs.
Most Americans sit so much that the suite of diseases associated with it have become referred to collectively as "sitting disease." These range from cardiovascular trouble to diabetes, constipation and cancer.
In the true spirit of American innovation, Steve Bordley of Arizona decided to do something about this after an accident with a hunting rifle disabled him for two years.
"I was laid-up in bed and then in a wheelchair until I got completely out of shape and overweight," Bordley said.
As a result, he invented the Trekdesk, which is a desk designed to fit over your existing treadmill. Sales of the Trekdesk are picking-up, and it has been featured in Forbes magazine, National Public Radio, CNN and on all the major television networks.
At first the idea of standing and walking while you send e-mails or craft your annual report sounds radical. But consider the list of people who insisted on working while standing. Donald Rumsfeld and Winston Churchill lead the list. Dick Cheney is notably absent.
Inventor Bordley says the idea encounters some resistance at first, but that it quickly becomes viral. "We see a pattern in which one desk is sold to a company, and then several more orders come in from the same place after it arrives," he said. "Many customers get evangelical about their desk, like Macintosh computer users do, and one lady is shipping hers to Norway with her," he added.
Bordley says no Trekdesks have been sold in Nacogdoches or the surrounding area yet, but Gizelle Ates of Kingwood has purchased one and is in Nacogdoches weekly to visit her mother, Marie Hargis. Ates is a writer for Tesa Publications, which produces children's books and plays. She bought her Trekdesk for health reasons.
"I am a writer, and I am sitting on my bottom most of the day," Ates said.
She has not lost any weight since getting the desk but has noticed improvements in her stomach and back. Ates averages five miles per day going at a leisurely pace of about one mile per hour. This agrees with literature provided by Trekdesk on the health benefits of their product, which cites studies that claim walking 10,000 steps, or about five miles per day, reduces risk of heart disease by 90 percent, stroke by 70 percent, cancer in general by 30-to-70 percent and type-two diabetes by 50 percent.
Houston and Dallas are two of the new company's hot spots. A single sale has been made in Longview.
Sales figures are closely guarded information because there are competitors with other brands of treadmill-desks, but Bordley could say that the numbers shipped to Texas are in the hundreds. He added that sales of the $479 desk were about 25 percent to corporate offices and 75 percent to home offices.
Will Godwin can be reached at