“Sitting is the new smoking.” The sedentary lifestyle of the typical office worker is cause for growing concern among individuals and fitness advocates. According to some sources, you burn twice as many calories when standing compared with sitting — among other benefits — and as a result, more people are looking at standing desks for their workspace. Many companies offer convertible desks that can be raised to standing height or lowered for work while seated. Now a company called Stir has taken this concept a step further, and built intelligence into their Kinetic Desk.
Like other desks, the motorized top can be raised or lowered so you can switch between standing and sitting. The furniture has a memory, however, and can remember the heights that you prefer. In addition, it has a touch LCD touchscreen in one corner that you can use to control the device and to access the data that it accumulates. It will track the extra calories that you burn while you work standing. And to encourage you to change positions, it can automatically change the surface height periodically while you work. Sensors detect when you’re at your desk, and it can even learn your behavior patterns.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features, however, is that the Stir desk is now integrated with the Fitbit fitness trackers. It can sync wirelessly to your Fitbit band and communicate information about your extra calorie burn while standing as you work. This adds a whole new dimension to wearable fitness technology, as devices become able to talk to each other and share data about your exercise and activities.
The company is taking orders on the next batch of Kinetic Desks to be built. At more than $4,000 (including shipping), this is not likely to be an impulse buy for most users. However, as a standing desk user myself (actually, a treadmill desk), I can attest to the health gains that have come from working on my feet.