(smow) blog compact: To work sitting or standing, that is the question….

Whether ’tis nobler in the muscles to suffer
The slings and arrows of short telomeres,
Or to rise up against a sea of troubles,
And by standing, extend them?

In addition to articles on the wonders of handmade Swedish butter, the problems of supermarket etiquette and ill thought through editorials on the Scottish referendum, the English newspaper “The Guardian” occasionally publishes readable articles, one such being Dr Luisa Dillner’s recent “Is sitting down bad for my health?”

Citing numerous recent publications Dr Dillner concluded that, yes it probably is.

Or at least long periods of sitting has detrimental effects on the length of your telomeres, and short telomeres increase the risk of various unwelcome medical conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death; and that exercise or diet alone cannot compensate for the negative effects of regular extended periods of sitting.

Only standing more regularly and for longer periods can.

Which of course means that all who normally sit at work, should all stand a lot more at work.

Which of course requires systems that allow one to do just that.

Consequently in terms of office furniture it is timeous that late October sees the new edition of the biennial Orgatec office furniture trade fair in Cologne.

Although in terms of office furniture the focus over the past thirty years has been ergonomics, a development one can easily follow and comprehend in Jonathan Olivares’ book A Taxonomy of Office Chairs, at Orgatec 2012 there was a notable and welcome increase in the number of height adjustable and/or high work systems on show, including the height adjustable WORK Workstation from Müller Möbelfabrikation, the new Kitos E Advanced desk from USM Haller and perhaps most notably the “High Work” concept from Vitra which mixes established Vitra classics such as the .03 High and .04 Counter chairs from Maarten van Severen or the Nelson Perch with new products from Antonio Citterio including the Pivot High Stool and Pivot Counter Stool, and which Vitra extended at the recent Milan furniture fair with the Zeb Stool by Barber Osgerby.

And so because where such companies lead others inevitably follow we fully expect that Orgatec 2014 will see numerous further producers unveil their solutions for working standing up, in addition of course to new developments in the Vitra systems, for as Antonio Citterio told us in 2012, “I like to work on products that are developed over time. I don’t like to work just for the moment. … My approach is to develop existing systems and to make changes every few years.

We’ll keep you updated. From a standing position, naturally.

* With apologies to William Shakespeare

Antonio Citterio pivot orgatec vitra

Pivot High Stool by Antonio Citterio with the Workbay system from Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra, as seen at Orgatec 2012

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