ELEVATING DESKS

BY BARRY WALDMAN

Sitting is so bad for us it’s amazing that anyone continues to do it for long. And yet, the average American office worker spends five hours and 41 minutes daily at their desk. As The Huffington Post has noted: “sitting is the new smoking.”

Standing desks by Elevation Concepts, a Dallas-area start-up that is taking the office world by storm, are designed to accommodate the needs of 21st-century workers while simultaneously serving as beautiful furniture. They come in various surfaces—exotic wood, butcher block, precious stones, and the most popular and innovative glass dry-erase desktop.

Scott Newman, Elevation Concepts’ founder, got the idea while working at desks himself. He realized that pen and paper weren’t always at his fingertips when inspiration struck and he needed to take notes. With a dry-erase desktop, he could scribble messages to himself when he needed to and then wipe the surface clean when convenient.

“You can’t find that anywhere else,” says Newman.

In addition to the benefits of the erasable surface, the real advantage of Elevation Concepts’ products is to your health.

Research has found that extended periods of sitting are associated with a range of health issues, including back pain, heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and even, yes, premature death. One study determined that if an average American limited sitting time to three hours a day, they would live two years longer.

In addition, all that sitting, and all the discomfort it causes, saps our productivity—by 43 percent—according to a study at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health.

Don’t think you can make up for it with a workout. The debilitating effects of plopping into a chair all day transcend a 60-minute workout.

Suppose, though, there were a way for everyone who worked in an office to rise out of their seat and work comfortably without the negative side effects. Suppose you could elevate the health of your employees, their mood, their productivity and the aesthetics of your office?

Facebook has. Several hundred of the social media giant’s employees stand at their workstations.

Consider a standing desk ergonomically designed for the comfort and convenience of the user, one that raises and lowers with the touch of a button— even with a phone app—to allow for a more productive mix of sitting and standing. One made in the USA with high-quality materials that treat the earth gently and add beauty to any office.

Elevation Concepts standing desks adjust from less than two feet to more than four feet high, accommodating a seated or standing user. A low-energy battery propels the desk up and down so there’s no hand adjusting involved. It uses significantly less power—a mere tenth of a watt—than cheaper height-adjustable desks.

Another innovation elevates these desks above others. Newman observed the chaos of computer cables emanating from other standing desks, causing a tripping hazard. He addressed that by utilizing a cable management system that holds battery packs and chargers, and allows the cables to run directly to the desktop.

Sitting is bad for you, but so is this: ugly. Ugly is demoralizing. No one should live in ugly, and that goes for desks as well as any other furniture in the house or office. You can buy a cheap standing desk that’s nothing more than a table with a hole in it for wires. Scott Newman had a different idea and went about methodically creating a sophisticated design that soothes the souls of those who might be tethered to it for eight hours or more daily.

“People love them,” he says. “They say they’re sleek and elegant, and look like a very nice piece of furniture.”

Barry Waldman is principal of Big Fly Communications, a PR/marketing firm for nonprofits and small businesses.