By now, it’s been widely reported that sitting all day at work is bad for you. Office workers are reacting to the news with tall tables, treadmills, bouncy balls and all sorts of other contraptions to stop their sitting habit. But personal desk changes are small peanuts compared to what we really need, says Erik Rietveld, a researcher dedicated to building an office space without chairs. At TEDxGhent, he introduces his project, “The End of Sitting,” an effort to create a work environment that encourages movement, switching working positions, and many types of (mostly) comfortable, back-supporting standing work spaces. A team of architects, designers, scientists and philosophers worked to create this standing office of the future (complete with a study by researchers at University of Groningen’s Center for Human Movement Sciences) and it turns out the new standing desk looks a lot like contemporary sculpture.
To get to their final project, Rietveld’s team experimented to find out which angles, shapes and supports made for healthy, comfortable working. “It was important to find out what feels good in this world without chairs,” he says.
The set-ups that came out on top were incorporated into the team’s installation at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, a giant landscape of chairless desks — and a look at what Rietveld hopes will be the office of the future. To learn more, watch Rietveld’s whole talk below: