Insurance · 30 October 2015

This new desk could actually let you lie down on the job

Altwork is a convertible workstation for those wanting more flexibility in how they operate
Altwork is a convertible workstation for those wanting more flexibility in how they operate

We’ve heard of standing desks as a way to move away from the sedentary work style, which has sparked even more ambitious evolutions including the treadmill desk. Now, there’s a new model that doesn’t just involve standing and sitting.

Altwork is a convertible workstation that allows people to work lying down. It’s actually more flexible than just that – covering most positions you might adopt, from standing to sitting to lying down, with the monitor hanging above.

Resembling a dentist’s chair, Altwork is a reclining seat with head-support and a swivelling desk attached. For those who work from home, it may seem an intriguing option, considering how often you might switch your position while working with a laptop.

It comes with room for two screens and a keyboard, and for those concerned about various computer components clattering onto you from above, magnets are in place to keep the mouse and mousepad from falling while upside down.

Altwork said it has received more than a million in funding, working on several prototypes to come with the retail model. It costs around £3,800, though is currently on the market for £2,550 – an “early adopter” price to draw in the curious.

Che Voigt, CEO and Altwork co-founder, said: “We aren’t trying for a general purpose desk. This is designed for people whose job is to operate a computer. We are looking at CAD engineers, financial traders, animators, technical writers.”

He added that the “high-intensity computer user is undervalued”.

“Those are the people who, if their project gets done a little bit sooner, that’s a big deal.”

While it might be difficult to introduce in an office environment, Voigt said he could see odd employees having Altwork stations, or employers incorporating them into shared spaces.

Various research has shown that spending half the day standing up reduces the risk of heart attack and cancer, along with circumventing stiff necks and backs, which can arise after sitting slumped at a desk for much of the day.

A trio of Canada-based researchers analysed the strongest 23 active desk studies to assess how standing and treadmill desks affect physiological health and psychological performance. They found that both improved mood, with treadmill desks offering greater health benefits, but interfered more with productivity.

Whether the lying-down desk will catch on remains to be seen, though the company’s YouTube ad had racked up nearly 200,000 views at the time of writing. It said that while cars, phones, computers and numerous other things have advanced, the office environment is still stuck in the past.

Photo: Altwork

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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