Look what we’ve done to food.
What used to come from the ground and be quite good for you, is now flavored in a factory off the Jersey turnpike. We know how that’s worked out for our health.
You might say the same about the workstation.
Through the early 1900s, most people stood at their office desks. Franklin, Churchill, Da Vinci, Nabokov, and Hemingway all preferred it. But most of us now sit – and die faster as a result. 20% faster, if you believe a recent study cited by the New York Times.
Riding a recent resurgence in standing desks comes Rhode Island-based startup Focal Upright Furniture. We’ve never seen anything quite like its Locus Workstation, which includes a full-articulated desk, footrest, and seat.
The seat is the most remarkable. Inspired by an old tractor seat (but hopefully softer), it has you perched somewhere between sitting and standing, a position found to be the most ideal by founder and designer Martin Keen.
You may recognize Keen’s name. Apparently a master of the hybrid, he previously made his mark with the eponymous footwear company he founded, known for its half-shoe, half-sandal favored by outdoor enthusiasts.
The full Locus setup from Focal will run you more than $2,000 – not cheap. But what price for a longer life? Check it out here.
Or, if it’s a less expensive standing option you seek, check out these IKEA hacks – where a couple hundred bucks will get you upright.
Now go forth (and get up already).
1899: Year School Hygiene is published, stating a seated desk can “injure the abdominal organs and the circulation”
1977: Year Nabokov died at 78 from bronchitis (not from sitting)
3: Moans, in descending pitch, uttered by Nabokov upon his death according to his son
Peddle while you work
We are fortunate enough to truly love what we do. Part of that passion means following what people are talking about around the web in terms of ergonomics, adjustable-height desks, and other healthy working topics. Below are links to some of the things we’re thinking about this week:
- Congratulations to our new friend Muvman! The new sit-stand chair took home the Buildings Magazine Office Seating Innovation award in Chicago at NeoCon this week. Muvman sit-stand chair has already won a dozen design awards, check them out here. The design team behind the popular Swopper chair has once again put out a compelling, active sitting option to encourage movement Muvment.
- Our friends over at Lifehacker have come up with some strategies for surviving a work day on very little or no sleep. One of their ideas is to work standing up. Standing helps fight fatigue, plus it’s nearly impossible to fall asleep on your feet.
- One of our favorite bloggers, Jason Kottke, takes a look at Ernest Hemingway’s standing desk. Aspiring writers, take note!
- Forbes joins the chorus of cries against sitting all day. While the article does have some good information in terms of the health risks of sitting, some of the solutions aren’t exactly what we’d suggest based on our experience with clients. We definitely can’t argue with the general idea though: Sitting at Work can be Deadly.
- The Atlantic struck the same note in their piece on the health risks of sitting too much based on a different recent study:
Its most striking finding was that people who sat more than 11 hours a day had a 40% higher risk of dying in the next three years than people who sat less than four hours a day. This was after adjusting for factors such as age, weight, physical activity and general health status, all of which affect the death risk. It also found a clear dose-response effect: the more people sat, the higher their risk of death.
The health risks of sitting too much are certainly real and concerning, but we choose to use adjustable-height desks because it really does feel better at the end of the day. Standing desks are becoming more and more popular with office worker, but the ability to vary your position throughout the day makes the biggest difference in our productivity and energy.