Catholic Central grad and wife invent device for treadmill to help you combine work with exercise
Great news for people looking for better way to work and/or read while working out on their treadmills
Thanks to a brilliant idea hatched by a Detroit Catholic Central alum and his Canadian-born wife, you no longer have an excuse for ignoring your treadmill while working at home on your laptop (or ignoring your work while working out on your treadmill).
If you’re looking to incinerate stubborn calories while working diligently from home — and, honestly, who isn’t? — check out WALK-i-TASK, an easy-to-attach, height-adjustable treadmill desk developed by the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Jordan Fischer, both former sales professionals.
Since its debut on e-commerce platforms in December of 2021, WALK-i-TASK (a play on the word multi-task, the Fischers revealed) has generated rave reviews and mounting sales.
The plan to become first-time entrepreneurs was sparked by the couple’s struggle to find a comparable device to WALK-i-TASK during the pre-pandemic days of 2017 when they both started working remotely.
They ultimately saw opportunity in their frustration.
And they have turned the opportunity into life-changing careers.
“When Jordan and I both started working from home pre-pandemic, it didn’t take us long to start experiencing the negative effects of sitting all day — not just the weight gain, but it impacts your mental health as well,” Chris Fischer explained. “When I worked at Quicken Loans, they had the all-encompassing treadmill desks that allowed you to walk and work at the same time, but those cost $8,000 to $9,000.”
The Fischers’ research led to less-expensive treadmill-based working stations, but they were either not secured adequately enough to the exercise machine, creating a hazard for the users’ expensive laptops; or the non-adjustable height at which the desks were attached to treadmills forced most users to hunch over in an uncomfortable fashion, causing back and neck pain.
“One day, we literally took a shelf off a wall of our apartment and brought it down to the workout area of our complex,” Chris explained. “We laid it across the handrails of a treadmill and discovered how uncomfortable it was to work on at a non-adjustable height.
“We came up with the idea to design or engineer something on our own — a product that was secure, affordable and height-adjustable.”
Before they knew it, WALK-i-TASK was conceived.
“Based on feedback we collected, we learned pretty quickly that there was demand for a product like ours,” Jordan said. “We found out there were a lot of people out there who had similar problems with the sedentary lifestyle that comes with working from home.”
Just as the Fischers’ entrepreneurial momentum was building, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, slowing their dream, but not destroying it.
“The pandemic was our first experience of tasting a little adversity from a business standpoint,” Chris recounted. “It created shipping issues and some other hurdles.
“But at the same time, more people were transitioning to working remotely during the pandemic, so that helped us in a unique kind of way because people were trying to figure out how to stay healthy. Even little things that burned calories — like walking from their car to their office — were taken from their daily lives.”
The Fischers also noted that more people were shopping for merchandise via e-commerce during the pandemic — another feather in their caps given that was their primary sales platform.
When it came time to set up distribution logistics for WALK-i-TASK, Chris — who lived in Canton for the majority of his youth and graduated from Catholic Central in 2008 — turned to a C.C. connection.
“Jordan Kiefer, a good friend of mine from Catholic Central, helps run a fulfillment warehouse in Wayne, Michigan that we’re using to store and ship the WALK-i-TASKs,” Chris said. “It’s pretty cool that 15 years or so after we graduated our professional careers are merging together.”
The Fischers live in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada — Jordan’s hometown. They said a Canadian-based distribution center will start shipping their products throughout Canada.
As sales of WALK-i-TASKs grow, the Fischers are receiving heart-warming testimonials from customers, including one woman who credited the product for aiding in her quest to lose 30 pounds in the months leading up to her wedding.
“She told us once she purchased a WALK-i-TASK, she started losing weight, which led to better eating habits and a healthier lifestyle,” Jordan said. “When you hear stories like that, it really makes Chris and I feel good about what we’re doing.”
To learn more about WALK-i-TASK and/or to place an order, visit the product’s official website.
To earn a $50 discount on the original price of a WALK-i-TASK, include the code SOCIAL50.