Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sitting OR Standing at Work: Why a Good Chair Matters Either Way

Herman Miller is working on ways to naturally encourage and remind you to get up out of your chair and move around throughout the office. It turns out that being fidgety at work has some important health benefits.

Hey, wait a second. Aren't you that guy who wrote that article on "Sitting is the New Smoking"? And now you're talking about why a good chair matters? Yes, and yes. Because I wanted the opportunity to clarify an important point that I'm seeing and ensure we're all saying the right thing here.

It's true that our sedentary lifestyle is a big contributor to the obesity crisis we now face. We definitely are sitting too much at work which is why I wrote that article. But it's simply not practical for everyone to ditch their chairs and work 12 hour days standing up 100% of the time.

When thinking about this conundrum, I tapped my friend Michael Dura, who is the Small and Medium Business Area Sales Manager (East) for Herman Miller. We had a great conversation about what Herman Miller is doing to bring balance to the workplace--specifically, what the future of a furniture design company can do to help combat (rather than contribute) to our typical sedentary lifestyle.

"The problem, as I see it," Michael Dura told me, "is that companies are using the whole sitting is the new smoking movement to invest in really crappy chairs. Their logic being that, if companies invest in cheap, uncomfortable chairs, then people will be inclined to sit less."

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