I'm Keen on Focal Upright Furniture

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Martin Keen is known for reinventing the shoe with his hybrid footwear; now he is reinventing the workspace with his Focal Standing Desk. TreeHugger has long been a fan of standing desks, and I am writing this post while standing. But not everyone is up for doing it all day. Keen writes:

Sitting disease is epidemic. You spend a third of your life at work, behind your desk and on your butt. Studies have proven that many small movements throughout the day lead to better health – upright is better for you. The new Locus workstation from Focal lets you rock the day job in a posture halfway between standing and sitting. Designed to move with you, encourage active engagement, and allow your creative juices to flow.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

I tried it and found that it did indeed take a load off the feet, while still allowing a lot of movement. The sloping footrest made it extremely comfortable.

A pivoting leg adjusts instinctively to every move you make allowing Locus(TM) to support your natural balancing point. The patent pending design keeps your body active and brain engaged, stimulating blood and oxygen flow. It’s about achieving a mental clarity rarely felt while sitting, activating the body to keep up with the mind. Kinetic yet balanced.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

The desk is built like my old drafting board, with a top that adjusts for height and tilt, which I think is a must for a standing desk, you want to get your forearms at right angles, parallel to the floor, no matter what your height.

Focal Upright Furniture/Promo image

There are, I think, a few issues. One is essentially seated and is not going to move around as much as they would if standing; I often move away from my desk to think, look at my monitor from a greater distance, look out the door. So it delivers some but not all of the benefits of working at a standing desk. The base is big, and wouldn't work at many standing desk setups (like mine) that have shelves underneath; it needs a knee space.

On the other hand, standing all day can be hard for some; I will admit to having an old drafting stool that I occasionally sit on because I am tired of standing. The Focal Workstation may well be the perfect hybrid, that gives many of the health benefits of a standing desk without the pain. More at Focal Upright Furniture.

Tags: Chairs | Designers | ICFF/ New York Design Week

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