It is considered a fact that working all day behind an office desk may have long term negative effects on health – as studies show, 83% of US employees suffer from work-related stress, while roughly 49% of all British workers have bad backs. Now, that a huge number of people made the abrupt transition to working from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, the problem seems to become even more serious. Our homes are usually not equipped with ergonomic office furniture, which means accelerating the onset of musculoskeletal problems ranging from neck, shoulder, back problems, to hand-wrist problems, to leg problems, all because of working in poor postures. The good news is that furniture and gadgets are getting smarter around us. The new Ait Smart Desks promise anyone working beside a desk to become healthier, more productive, and less stressed.
A couple of months ago, in a time when we could read news stories unrelated to the pandemic, a creepy creature shook the public globally: Emma, a model of the office worker from the future. She has thick varicose veins from spending so much of the day sitting down, a permanently hunched back, and red eyes from leaning forward and staring at the screen. While these changes in the appearance of the future’s office worker may seem funny and scary at the same time, the symptoms of permanent civilization diseases are amply represented.
The stakes are high because our lifestyle today could lead to severe diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disorders. At the same time, obesity and depression also threaten us. Besides the personal aspects, this is also a common problem: work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths in a year. It results in $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly in the US only. The question is simple and yet very important.
Do we really want to go down this road? Do we want to sacrifice our health that is already at risk by so many other factors?
Stand up for your health!
It is painfully easy to see that we need to change the way we do our everyday work. Otherwise, our home offices are going to make us very sick. The way to pursue this is also straightforward: to be able to compensate for the effects of our sedentary lifestyle, not being able to leave our homes we have to at least stand up more. Standing for half a workday has been found to reduce blood pressure, improve circulation and increase productivity by 43 percent.
As reminding ourselves to hop on our feet regularly can be tricky, we need a best friend to take care of us: a standing desk. While there are different types of smart furniture available on the market, a new one is in line, that incorporates all functions to keep you healthy in one single desk. As innovator Dr. Tamás Marczali says: ’As a dad and a sportsman, I find it very difficult to balance work and private life. I also feel the downside of the long hours spent sitting behind my office desk and having to work from home has not made it easier either. I try to move as much as I can, and the positive effects are undeniable. Plus, preventing diseases is much easier than reversing already existing health damages. These thoughts have led us to design this health-preserving furniture line. We wanted to create a good companion for everyday office life to help us pay attention to all the things we so often forget about.’
Smarter furniture, healthier worker
A group of engineers from Budapest – led by Dr. Tamás Marczali – put two-years of research and hard work into creating the next generation of smart desks. At the beginning of 2020, it became a reality based on their very own experiences and preferences. Ait Smart Desks monitor the time you spend sitting behind them and tells you when it is time to get up from your chair and continue working in a standing position. It also provides personalized exercise programs to help you keep fit without having to interrupt your urgent tasks. To keep you fresh all day, it notifies you in case the room’s air quality deteriorates and needs to be ventilated. The height of the tabletop can also be adjusted so that you can arrange conference calls and write your emails in a healthier position. As a result, the office or home office work becomes more straightforward and more practical. But most importantly, this desk helps you live healthier and better while staying productive at your job. It is not a miracle maker though; you have to learn to use it consciously, and also pay attention to drinking enough water, eating clean and going for a 5-minutes walk after each meal!
A new friend for the environment
What makes all these functions work? Through a smartphone app connected to your smart desk, where you can enter your age, gender, weight, and the amount of time you spend sitting within a workday. The application then compiles a number of exercises that can easily be done in an office or at home near your desk. It helps you burn more calories, improve your circulation, and stay fresh to get some of the daily stress out of your system.
’Besides all these functions, the Ait Smart Desks have an appealing design and even branded versions with logos on the tabletops will be available for companies who consider the health of their employees as a priority. We put great emphasis on minimizing our ecological footprint during manufacturing, so we only work with recycled metal materials, to avoid using environmentally harmful processes. We are planning to hit the market in the US and Western Europe very soon, and we will continuously improve our line further in the future’ – adds Dr. Tamás Marczali.
AiT Smart Desks has launched an Indiegogo campaign, so those who are eager to be among the first customers of the unique product do not have to wait too long to pre-order. The Indiegogo page is now live and the desks are available for order.