Do Alternative Workstations Help or Hinder?
Ok, so we've all heard that sitting for 8 hours a day, back arched and eyes fixed on a glowing screen isn't the healthiest way we could be spending the bulk of our waking hours. Maybe you've looked into some of the crazy work station fads, such as the TrekDesk, Ergotron or the Varidesk--all modern renditions on traditional desks that promote standing over sitting. If sitting is bad for us, then standing must solve the problem, right? Wrong! Just as our bodies aren't meant to be sitting for hours at a time, they're also not meant to stand in one position for hours either. Even while standing, computer users still run the risk of adopting bad posture out of comfort when made to stay in one place for too long. The problem at hand has less to do with our position and more to do with the fact that our office jobs make us inactive for such a large portion of the day. Can a re-design of the typical workstation fix this problem? Let's take a look at some alternative workspaces and determine their realistic usefulness.
This desk seems to solve the problem of sitting as well as inactivity, but how does it affect productivity. If I'm being completely honest, I sometimes have difficulty maintaining my balance when I'm NOT working on an important project. We predict that the TrekDesk will fail to revolutionize any offices simply due to the logistics of non-stop walking and effectively using a computer. The Wall Street Journal claims "active workstations" cause more errors in work, increase appetite to combat the constant burn of calories and that they're an added liability. No business wants to deal with an employee falling on a treadmill at work--as humorous as it might be when we visualize it.
Designer Alan Harp created this concept workstation for computer users who suffer from neck strain. The Supine Workstation allows the user to easily move from a upright to a supine position by simply shifting their weight in the direction desired. Though it's not yet for sale, we predict this workstation is going to cost you a pretty penny. In addition to the limitations that the cost of this workstation might put on a business, it looks like it's probably harder to get out of than a beanbag chair. This lounge-y desk space will probably make users even more inactive. Personally, I think it looks like the perfect contraption for binge-watching Netflix.
We actually don't have much to complain about with this one. Sitting on an exercise ball provides enough stability to allow precision. We think it's low enough to the ground to prevent serious injury (but not embarrassment) in the event of the fall. It challenges your core as you maintain your balance and change positions, forces proper posture and it's a much cheaper alternative to buying a whole new workstation. Sure, you're going to feel a little silly at first and exercise balls will require air pretty frequently if used everyday.
Keep your seat, but adjust your posture.
Don't compromise your privacy, comfort or your wallet. We think the best remedy for back and neck pain in your trusty ol' desk chair is simply adjusting your posture and remembering to get up and walk every hour and a half or so. Watch the neat little video below about achieving the right posture in your office chair.
How are you most comfortable while you work? What does your dream workstation look like? Comment below!
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