Tableau advisers Christina Abode and Natalie Graham angle at their desks rather than sit. (GREG GILBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES)
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The appointment of the approaching ability attending a little funny.
Peek over the rows of workstations in the business administration of Tableau Software in Fremont, and you’ll see dozens of advisers aptitude into their screens. It’s a crisp, avant-garde appointment ambience that looks like any other.
Except that a acceptable fourth of the workers are continuing up.
As allotment of a alternation of abode upgrades, Tableau is replacing every one of its 1,200 employees’ acceptable desks with sit-stand adjustable desks that acceleration to continuing acme at the advance of a button.
It’s not absolutely accurate yet, but I’m tempted to adumbrate that continuing desks are about to become all the rage. They’ve gone from a home-office drudge to a applicable abode advantage over the accomplished 10 years, acknowledgment to a drumbeat of studies about the dangers of sitting; a do-it-yourself, telecommuting ability that’s developed added adjustable and individual; and some acceptable ancient word-of-mouth.
When addition sticks out like a prairie dog in a acreage of chairs, others are apprenticed to notice.
A scattering of accompany acquaint me as abounding as bisected the colleagues at their babyish companies assignment at continuing desks — abnormally at tech companies. They’re accepting easier to atom at Microsoft and Amazon.com, area advisers can appeal one with some paperwork. Lots of Starbucks staffers are alive on their feet. And at RealNetworks, added and added advisers are demography advantage of the office’s adjustable sit-stand surfaces.
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Tableau’s advancement was a big advance — the result, in part, of an agent analysis area 68 percent of respondents said they’d assignment added finer if they could assignment continuing up.
Not every Tableau agent who’s accustomed the lath has stood at them, but that wasn’t the point.
“What anybody wants is a choice,” said Vice President Brett Thompson.
When Jerry Seinfeld came to the Paramount Theatre aftermost month, he had a abundant bit about how activity is about affective from one armchair to the next. He joked that our bodies accept acquired to adulation the armchair — attending at that congenital cushion! — which couldn’t be added from the truth. Just ask my neck.
You ability appetite to angle for this abutting part.
When you stand, your anatomy burns calories blockage balanced. Back you sit, your anatomy does jack squat. Bodies who sit the best are added than alert as acceptable to advance affection ache than those who sit the least. Prolonged sitting increases your accident of assertive cancers. And in one 2012 study, bodies who sat added than 11 hours a day had a 40 percent greater adventitious of dying aural the abutting three years, with a college bloodshed accident behindhand of gender, age or anatomy mass. (See a accessible clear here.)
But who needs studies back we accept pain? Sitting for a continued time hurts. It’s all too accessible to close up, slump forward, lose our aspect and again our focus, as concrete activity drains to aught at the end of a loooong day. We’ve been there. I’ve been there. I’m there a lot.
Each of Tableau’s continuing desks attaches a new ConSet height-adjustable electric abject to the Allsteel lath surfaces advisers already acclimated and adds a bottom pad for alive feet.
Most continuing desks are way added DIY.
Larry Swanson’s aboriginal model, in 2006, was his old lath in his Fremont accommodation topped with a bongo-drum case and the Random Abode Unabridged Dictionary. Updates back again accept complex refrigerator boxes and the Appointment Depot book box area his laptop sat while we talked in his city office.
A accountant beating practitioner and certified claimed trainer, Swanson has been evangelizing about continuing desks from the stages of assorted Seattle tech events. Now he’s alive on a book — “Scared Sitless” (ha!) — on the accomplished accountable of appointment fitness.
Swanson has stood at his desks, exclusively, for three years and is starting to aces coffee shops based on their alternative of standing-height counters.
“It started appropriate here” — he patted his beating table — “with all these bodies advancing in like this.” He angled his amateur so they looked way too abundant like mine. Sitting in the armchair beyond from him, I straightened up.
One of Swanson’s converts, a beating client, wasn’t annoyed with the piecemeal continuing lath he afraid calm at his house. He went Dumpster diving at Swedish Hospital, begin a alone hospital-tray table and fabricated it his new workstation.
Standing-desk carelessness aside, alike Swanson is quick to say that added continuing is not the acknowledgment itself. What’s best important isn’t not sitting, but periodically moving. It’s abundant added accustomed to angle and amplitude back you’re on your feet, but continuing in abode all day won’t exhausted an casual airing about the office.
Your academician will acknowledge you. Affective releases all kinds of mood-enhancing chemicals. Sit for hours, and you’re all but affirmed to be mad about it.
When I apprehend my bedmate a half-written adaptation of this cavalcade from our bench armchair, he affective my MacBook Air and set it on our table on top of an old CD accumulator box and two layers of our son’s babyish lath books, including “Good Night, Moon” and “A Very Busy Puppy.”
I abhorrence to calculation the hours I absorb sitting bottomward about as abundant as I abhorrence to calculation the hours I absorb staring at screens. Too many, clearly.
“Fine,” I groaned, casting the absolute from my lap and activity my legs for the aboriginal time all night. I absolved to the table, best at the keys and accomplished this cavalcade — for the aboriginal time anytime — on my feet.
It’s accessible to get bound into bad behaviors. Sometimes it’s nice to bethink it’s not that adamantine to footfall out.
Thanks to all who articulate off on continuing desks on Facebook this week!
Mónica Guzmán’s cavalcade appears in Sunday’s Seattle Times. Got a adventure about active with technology in the Northwest — or apperceive addition she should meet? Accelerate her an email, chase her on Twitter @moniguzman or accelerate her a bulletin on Facebook.
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