Does an office absolutely need chairs? That is what a UMCG research project intends to find out.
By Hans de Preter / Translation by Traci White
A UMCG experiment in Groningen could have implications for the layout of office spaces around the world. Based on evidence that sitting for prolonged periods can be bad for your health, “the end of sitting” aims to create a working space that does not rely on chairs.
People who are seated at work do not move their leg muscles enough and may have slower metabolisms as a result, which can in turn increase their risk of obesity, developing diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. In the new office layout, which was developed in conjunction with human movement scientists, sitting, lying down and leaning on surfaces are all options, but participants are likelier to change their position periodically.
According to UMCG’s KennisInZicht page, the 24 students participating in the experiment are enthusiastic about it so far and prefer the new working environment to a traditional layout. While participants report feeling more energetic overall, they do not that that their legs feel more tired.