A tech-enabled office desk is stirring media headlines this week. Los Angeles-based startup Stir is planning to bring the "quantified self" and the Internet of Things together in its Kinetic Desk, a desk focusing on health and productivity.
Stir may be a startup but some heavy-hitting alums from Apple, Disney and design firm Ideo back the company. They designed the Stir Kinetic Desk to promote movement throughout the workday and they combined connected hardware with learning, health-tracking software to get the job done.
"Harvard Business Review called sitting 'the smoking of our generation.' It's also been shown that switching between sitting and standing can generate an extra fifty minutes of productivity each day," said JP Labrosse, founder and CEO of Stir. "Our goal with the Stir Kinetic Desk is to promote a working life infused with movement, leading to better health and improved focus. In short, we want you to move your body and free up your mind while you work. That's what drives our product and our company."
An Intelligent Desk
This desk is as high-tech as they come. It features a built-in touch screen that lets you transition between sitting and standing positions with a double tap. Using a thermal presence sensor and built-in computer outfitted with health-tracking software, the desk learns your habits and adapts to your daily routine to optimize health and productivity. Users receive data on calories burned, time spent standing versus sitting, and more.
One of the key features is "Whisperbreath," part of an active mode where the desk periodically invites you to move with a gentle, one-inch rising and falling of the desk surface. You can then change positions -- with a double tap -- or remain in your current position. The desk learns from each choice and adapts its profile to make the next suggestion. This feature lets you stay focused on working and rely on the desk to help you remember to move more frequently.
Design-wise, the Stir Kinetic Desk is going for a minimalist aesthetic and clean power cable management. A single power cable connecting to eight hidden AC and four USB ports keeps desktops clean, devices charged, and prevents the desk from being anchored in the seated position by a cable. The desk also features integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to allow for integration with third-party fitness and wellness devices and apps in the future.
Same Concept, Lower Prices
Of course, it will cost you $3,890. A launch date has not been announced. The Stir Kinetic Desk isn't the first to tackle the issue of sitting. There are less expensive, albeit less tech-equipped options on the market working to accomplish similar goals. UpDesk is one of them. You can get an UpDesk for about 25 percent of the cost of a Kinetic Desk -- you just press a button to get the desk to go up and down.
"Sitting is the new smoking, even people who exercise on a regular basis are still at risk," said Kamron Kunce, director of Community Relations at UpDesk told us. "Companies around the world are beginning to realize the health benefits of utilizing a height-adjustable standing desk and integrating movement into the workday."
Indeed, Travis Saunders, a Ph.D. student and certified exercise physiologist at the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, told Runner's World magazine that up until very recently, if you exercised for 60 minutes or more a day, you were considered physically active, case closed.
"Now a consistent body of emerging research suggests it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary, and that sitting increases your risk of death and disease, even if you are getting plenty of physical activity," he said. "It's a bit like smoking. Smoking is bad for you even if you get lots of exercise. So is sitting too much."
Posted: 2013-09-27 @ 11:04am PT
Great, but really expensive. Yes you can get an updesk for 25% the cost, but you can get the one I have, the Stand Steady, for 5% the cost www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C344VMY. There are lots of great options out there to stand for under 1K; 4K is way too much!