We got our sample of Porta Stepper™ portable leg exerciser from manufacturer last week. After working to improve our design for years, we are finally ready to present our final product to the world.

This compact, spring-type leg exerciser can be used everywhere. With almost effortless stepping motion, people who are sitting can stay active and keep moving their legs to get exercise.

A lot of people have new product ideas, but only a small percentage of ideas ever get started. It took us several years to get where we are. We would like to share this journey with you, so we can learn and grow together.

Problem

We sit about nine hours a day on average. Prolonged sitting increases the risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, blood clot (deep vein-thrombosis) and other conditions.  It is great if we can get up and walk around. As Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN has said, “Your best bet, if you’re forced to sit, is to try and get the blood moving, simply doing some exercise with your legs.”

Idea

After knowing that every five minutes someone dies from a blood clot, I decided to take this matter seriously because I had ankle surgery in one leg and that leg swells a lot when I am sitting for a long period of time.

Any light movement will get the blood flowing, which can reduce the risk of blood clots. I found out that I felt less tired when I put the spring under my feet and moved my feet up and down. By following the force of the spring, I can easily keep moving my leg and improve my blood flow. This is the initial idea behind the Porta Stepper™ portable leg exerciser.

Market Search

I searched the market to see if the same or similar products were already available. I searched on Google and the USPTO website for similar patents. Several different kinds of seated exercise equipment are available on the market, but I saw nothing like my product.

Homemade Prototype

I decided to make a simple prototype to test functionality of my design. I shopped at different stores to get materials for my prototype. After a couple of hours cutting, sawing and taping, I made an ugly, cost-efficient, 1st generation prototype.

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Professional Prototype

Choosing a great prototype developer is crucial during this product development process. Henning Zieger of Henning Product Development, our developer, did an amazing job helping me to finish this tough journey. It took us a fair amount of effort to figure out how to solve the product’s wobbling problem and noise problem. I still remember one sentence he said before, “If it doesn’t work, we will make it work.” He also improved the design to help bring down manufacturing costs.

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Patent

I visited the USPTO website to learn the basic concept of patent and prepared a very detailed record and information about our product. I talked to several patent attorneys with engineering background on the phone and chose Josue Villata of Knobbe Martens Intellectual Property Law, a very knowledgeable and trustworthy attorney,  to file our patent applications. We got our utility patent and design patent very quickly.

Market Testing

I showed our new prototype to different groups of people, including friends, acquaintances, health professionals and strangers on the street, and asked their opinions about this product. Those people gave me several good suggestions and we made those changes immediately.

Manufacture

I searched a number of manufacturers and asked them some questions I would like to know before proceeding further. I sent the CAD (computer-aided design) drawing of one part of my product to several manufacturers. The tooling price was so expensive, I almost passed out when I received the quote. It took me several months searching and emailing back and forth to find a reputable manufacturer with a reasonable price. After we signed a Non-Compete/Non-Disclosure Agreement, I sent the whole CAD file to this manufacture.

Packaging

I was told that packaging is as important as the product and I should find a retail packaging expert to design the packaging of my product. Scott Comstock from Comstock Studios is a very talented packaging design specialist. We are very pleased with the colors of the product he chose for us and the “PORTA STEPPER” logo he designed for us.

Pre-ordering

We are collecting the pre-orders of Porta Stepper leg exerciser with an introductory price of $55.99 right now (free shipping). We need your help to hit the minimum order quality and produce the first run of Porta Stepper™ portable leg exerciser.