Ergonomics, thE study of human effifficiency in the workplace, dates back to the mid-19th century but since the advent of the computer it’s progressed in leaps and bounds. Workspaces of the future will provide difffferent environments for various phases of work – such as protective, insulated cocoons for periods of deep concentration – and desks at which you can potentially take a power nap in between preparing presentations.
Enter the Altwork Station, the newest innovation promising to overtake the standing desk. The creation of a San Francisco technology and engineering startup, the cross between the control centre for a character in The Matrix and a dentist’s chair is a multimodal desk system that takes the user from standing to seated to reclining, all at the touch of a button.
The large metal monitor mounts are composed of articulated arms that track the unit’s movement so that multiple screens and a well-padded seat (complete with head- and footrest) are never out of synch. Inspired by astronauts’ zero-gravity seating, the full recline is the same as that assumed by space travellers at liftft-offff to disperse the pull that makes the body feel three times heavier than it does on the ground. In the workplace, the Altwork Station is designed to cushion and comfort the user throughout the day and, by coddling the body, increase mindfulness and productivity.
“We’ve adapted to our computers, sitting and slouching for far too long,” according to Altwork. “Isn’t it time they adapted to us?”