Step Aside Standing Desk: This Workspace Lets You Lie Down
If you're like me, then you find yourself slumping lower and lower into your chair as the day goes on, until it's only a matter of time before you're almost completely horizontal. Health-conscious co-workers can have their standing desks, but for the lazy, there is the Altwork Station: a workspace that lets you embrace your natural inclinations and work Michelangelo-style.
Created by a California startup, these high-tech desks are made for "high-intensity" computer users. The Altwork Station comes with four settings that can be obtained with the press of a button on the desk. Each configuration matches one of your many work moods: standing (over-eager), collaboration (chummy and team-spirited), regular (in need of coffee), and focus (sleepy). Despite the name, the focus position does not push your head an inch from the screen; instead, it lays you flat on your back.
Founder Che Voigt says that he normally starts each day standing, but converts to lying down when he needs to focus on certain projects. While the reclined position suggests defeat more than focus to me, perhaps the decreased motion helps diminish distractions. Mashable's Chris Perkins tried out the chair and confirmed it had an effect on him.
After I got over the initial amusement of lying down, my mind calmed, with stray thoughts slowing down noticeably. Returning to a more conventional seated position definitely had an effect on my mental process.
This workstation made me acutely aware of my body and in turn, how poorly I sit in normal chairs. Sitting (and lying) in this chair felt like getting a massage on my neck and shoulders, which pointed out to me how much tension I carry in that area while I work.
The desk uses strong magnets to keep
your mouse, keyboard, and other desk items from falling on your face. Perkins explained that although the mouse placement was weird at first, it was possible to get used to.
Altwork explained that our office configurations really haven't changed in the last century. Since the invention of the typewriter, workers have been slouched over their desks. This position inhibits productivity and creativity, so it's time to switch it up. The tool moves comfortably along with the worker to accommodate their needs throughout the day.
Although probably unrealistic in traditional offices, these unique work stations might do well in smaller, progressive spaces or home offices. Normally, they cost $5900, but for their first run, early birds can score one for $3900.