Traditional office environments are changing. From game rooms and on-site frozen yogurt shops to nap rooms and an eschewing of soft gray cubicles, offices are entering a new era of the workplace.
One architect is getting rid of desks and chairs altogether.
Office-space amenities are to attract top-notch employees, improve productivity and increase the aggregate health of workers.
They are amenities that the cubicle’s inventor Robert Propst first envisioned in the 1960s. Unfortunately, his original modular office scheme was tweaked to become the dreary community of monochromatic cubicles that the American worker dreads, according to The Economist.
However, according to some researchers, glamorous office perks cannot compensate for the adverse effects of sitting at the desk for eight hours.
“Recent research has linked too much time spent sitting to a greater risk of heart attack, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Sedentary habits have also been associated with mental health problems such as depression,” reported The Huffington Post.
“Worst of all, your daily (or weekly) trip to the gym isn’t enough to offset the damage that prolonged sitting can cause,” wrote Time. “How can you avoid this death-by-lethargy? The key is not exercising more, but sitting less.”
In The Netherlands, an architecture firm and visual artist, Barbara Visser, believes they have solved the problem of sedentary work life, according to The Huffington Post.
Their collaboration, called The End of Sitting, “looks nothing like an office but more like a child’s play area ready for climbing. There are no desks, no seats and no computers sitting around waiting for someone to start work on them. But that’s the whole point; workers are meant to find a nook in which their body fits perfectly, where they can work while standing, leaning, or lying down -- anything but sitting, basically,” wrote Medical Daily.
“The End of Sitting marks the beginning of an experimental trial phase, exploring the possibilities of radical change for the working environment,” wrote the architecture blog Arch Daily.
The futuristic office asked actual workers to try out the new office over several days. The feedback was overall positive.
“Even though their legs were more tired the subjects reported that they felt more energetic than after working in a traditional open office setting,” Ronald Rietveld, a partner at RAAAF, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.
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