Working off the pounds at the office

Caitlan Reeg Dec 24, 2009

Working off the pounds at the office

Caitlan Reeg Dec 24, 2009


Stacey Vanek-Smith: The office can be a dangerous place this time of year, at least it is here at Marketplace. Everybody’s bringing in cookies, chocolates, cake. It’s a dieter’s nightmare. But the answer to those extra office pounds could be at the office. From the Marketplace Entrepreneurship Desk, Caitlan Carroll explains.

Caitlan Carroll: Billy Dutton is the CEO of He’s also a master multi-tasker. I’m standing in his office while he’s on the phone with a client.

Bill Dutton: Hey, when do you leave for New York?

He’s also sending emails, and that sound you hear? That’s him walking on a treadmill.

DUTTON: There’s no doubt that it gets the attention of everyone who pokes their head in the office.

It is Dutton’s TrekDesk. It’s shaped like a semi-circle. It has a cup holder, an out box, places for pens and pencils. Pretty much everything but the treadmill — you supply that. Dutton says his TrekDesk makes him more productive.

DUTTON: It does. And there’s something about that that makes you more alert if you’re not sitting in your chair. It’s easy to get comfortable in a chair.

Carroll: Do you have lunch on here at all?

Dutton: Absolutely.

Dutton keeps the treadmill speed low enough so he doesn’t break into sweat or slip off.

Steve Bordley created the TrekDesk.

STEVE BORDLEY: I mean the number one reasons most Americans don’t work out is that they don’t have time. Number two is that they lack the motivation. And this takes all that away.

The desk costs about $500. Bordley says he’s sold hundreds since this summer. And his isn’t the only treadmill desk on the market. Bordley and other manufacturers are hoping to attract employers looking to keep their workers fit. They’re also going after people who are chained to their desks at home.

Ron Goetzel is the director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Emory University. He says walking while you work is a worth a try.

RON GOETZEL: If it’s an alternative to sitting at your desk it’s sounds like an intriguing idea. I’d be interested in trying it out.

Billy Dutton invites me to try out the TrekDesk. The walking is fairly easy. It’s getting off that’s the problem.

Carroll: Whew! OK, I almost ate it.

Like the treadmill, coordination comes separately.

In Los Angeles, I’m Caitlan Carroll for Marketplace.

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