Kinetic Desk From Stir Aims To Help Health And Productivity
October 2, 2013

Kinetic Desk From Stir Aims To Help Health And Productivity

Los Angeles-based Stir are a team made up of people formerly of Apple, IDEO, Disney and other well-known brands. Their founder worked on the first iPods. Now, they have created a desk that could be to desk work what the iPod was to music. As well as changing the way we work, the smart, moving desk aims to improve our health as well.

“Harvard Business Review called sitting ‘the smoking of our generation,’’ says Stir founder and CEO JP Labrosse. ‘No it isn’t,’ say I. I do believe in the detail of fitness along with changing the big things. I just don’t believe sitting is as bad as smoking. But there is now indisputable evidence that the lifestyles many of us have, especially if we work in offices or other sedentary jobs, have a detrimental effect on our health. It is also possible that regular, low level movement all day (for example standing up often) is as good for our health as a few intense bursts of exercise a week.

Stir’s Kinetic Desk can help us to keep moving even when we are busy concentrating on whatever it is we are working on. Depending on the setting we choose, it will automatically adjust itself at intervals we decided earlier, and shift from a sitting to standing position, gently taking us with it. Apparently, this is less irritating than it sounds, as the movement is smooth and calm.

As well as us telling it what we want, it can grow to know what we want by recording our habits; how much we like to stand and sit proportionately. In future, we may be able to link it to other fitness machines and gadgets in order that our wellbeing is being taken care of across the board, throughout the day.

Keeping moving softly throughout the day should be good for productivity, as well as health. If our body becomes lethargic from lack of activity, our minds will too. A little burst of energy will give us an intellectual refresher boost that will help us to achieve our goals in our pursuits at the desk.

That’s the goal of Stir anyway, and it makes sense. Some famous authors have preferred writing standing up during their careers, including the legend Philip Roth, who is one of America’s most successful writers and who, at 80, may also be proof that sitting down too much is a bad idea. Roth claimed to walk half a mile a day when he was writing. Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita, Pale Fire and Ada, also worked standing up. By contrast, Truman Capote said he was a “completely horizontal author.” He would write lying down with coffee and cigarettes, which graduated to sherry and martinis as the day wore on. Sounds like fun, but who knows if his books might have been even better had he stood up. He would almost certainly have been healthier.

At $3,890 plus, the Stir Kinetic Desk may come as a shock to the system initially, but should be good for us in the long run.

Image Credit: Stir

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John is a freelance writer from the UK, currently living in Japan and thoroughly enjoying their food and whiskey. His first novel, Three Little Boys, and his travel book, Following Football, are currently available on

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