Attention, desk jockeys: A new line of “smart desks” has been developed that can monitor your movements, track your calories, and even tell you it’s time to stand up or take a short walk.
Nearly a dozen desks — ranging in price from $100 to $4,000 — have come onto the market in recent years, including some that include monitors, can be adjusted with the wave of a hand, and even come equipped with a treadmill, The New York Times
The products are being offered in response to numerous studies that show prolonged sitting on the job or at home is nearly as unhealthy as smoking tobacco — even among individuals who eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. A growing body of research has linked sedentary jobs and lifestyles with an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
This week, a team of health and fitness experts issued new guidelines advising office workers to stand for at least two hours every workday — or use stand-up desks — to avoid the perils of working a sedentary job.
"For those working in offices, 65-75 percent of their working hours are spent sitting, of which more than 50 percent of this is accumulated in prolonged periods of sustained sitting," write the authors, commissioned by Public Health England and a British community interest company, Active Working CIC.
"The evidence is clearly emerging that a first 'behavioral' step could be simply to get people standing and moving more frequently as part of their working day."
Among the new “smart desks” on the market:
- The Stir Kinetic Desk F1 ($4,190) and the Stir M1 ($2,990), which includes a five-inch touch-screen built into the surface, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a thermal sensor on the underside that tracks the user’s activity.
- The British-made TableAir ($2,300), which allows you to automatically adjust to your height with the wave of your hand.
- The Kickstarter-funded Autonomous Desk Smart Model (starting at $699), which comes with a Siri-like voice-activated personal assistant and connects with other smart devices such as Nest or Philips Hue to turn up the heat or turn off the lights.
- The StorkStand ($199), a portable desk that attaches to an office chair, and the StandStand ($69), a wooden structure that turns any desk into a standing desk.
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