Tulsa Couple Ergonomic Desk Eases Back Pain

Sallie and Gary Godwin want to turn how the world uses computers upside down.
The Tulsa-based entrepreneurs have created an ergonomic computer desk called FunErgo that allows users to work at their computers from a reclined position.
FunErgo has its roots in a disabling back condition which Sallie Godwin has called scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. The condition prevents her from sitting upright and working at a computer workstation in a conventional manner.
Godwin pieced together her own computer workstation for her office job using an old box monitor on an arm attached to a printer stand. But the stand broke, the monitor fell and barely missed landing in Sallie’s lap.
Her employer asked her to find a more stable system.
When Sallie’s research revealed only expensive, heavy workstations that would be difficult to move in and out of, her husband took matters into his own hands.
Gary Godwin designed and built an ergonomic computer desk for his wife that he called FunErgo. The desk permitted Sallie to work at her computer in a reclined position, taking stress off her back.
The new FunErgo design proved so effective that Godwin applied for and was awarded a patent in 2003.
“What sets it apart from other supine workstations on the market is that its unique design makes ingress and egress easy,” Gary Godwin said. “Also, it could be retailed for a lot less than other supine workstations because its design relies on gravity rather than mechanical assistance. It’s also easy to adjust.”
The Godwins created a company, FunErgo, LLC, in 2007 to market the product. They are seeking $25,000 in angel investment so they can build FunErgo desks to show potential buyers, and seeking a manufacturer to license and build a product that would appeal to retailers.
“We think the primary market for FunErgos will be people like Sallie who because of a condition or injury can’t work at their computers sitting upright,” Gary Godwin said. “We have approached a hospital that is interested in buying or leasing a FunErgo for recovering patients.”
The Godwins hope their FunErgo desk can be sold for less than $1,000 to people like Sallie who need the back stress relief while they work. The desk has been demonstrated at physical therapy and rehabilitation clinics.
“People who try it love it,” Gary Godwin said. “It’s been popular with people who have any kind of back problems, and also popular with computer gamers because they spend hours at a time at their computers.
“We’d like to turn how the world uses computers upside down. In fact, that’s our mission statement.”
For more information on the FunErgo, visit www.funergodesk.com.

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