Going Beyond Standing Desks: Are We Headed for This?

RAAAF - Barbara Visser predicts the end of sitting

We thought the ‘standing desk’ was one of the more revolutionary business center office developments of the last few years.

And, true to form, more of us are getting out of our chairs these days. Much of this is thanks to shocking new research that has folks aged 45+ who sit for 11 or more hours per day, at 40% more risk to die within 3 years!

So we get the message loud and clear; those slumped down, spinal-crunching positions we adapt for hours on end are slowing ruining our bodies. But are standing desks the only answer?

A radical new workspace concept has emerged from the experimental studios of Holland-based Rietveld Achritecture-Art Affordances (RAAAF) that may change a lot more than our postures.

RAAAF, along with the creative juices of artist, Barbara Visser, has created a new art exhibit entitled “The End of Sitting”. This new work environment/art form surpasses all creative efforts to build alternative work spaces we’ve seen to date. This artistically appealing art environment showcases a combination of curves, interesting flat surfaces and alcoves, all of which were created to support various (and more natural) positions of the human body; sitting, leaning, lying down and, of course, standing.

A recent article in MedicalDaily.com gives high marks to Ronald Rietveld, a partner at RAAAF and to Visser who collaborated with RAAAF to create this unique and visually dynamic environment. We encourage you to read the entire article, as there are many photos that need to be seen to be appreciated.

Of course the question on our mind is: is this level of creativity in a work space really practical?

To test out the physical and psychological advantages of working in such a space, psychologist Dr. Rob Withagen from the University of Groningen’s Center for Human Movement Sciences studied a group of workers as they performed various tasks which included designing, writing, and sketching. The results were generally positive, and the only complaint issued was that their legs were more tired.

Generally the group reported feeling more energetic than working at desks in more conventional office layouts.

Standing desks notwithstanding, what will the business center office of the future look like? If it’s anything like the RAAAF “End of Sitting” experimental studio, we may all be living much longer lives.

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Photo by Jan Kempenaers for RAAAF