It’s good to have options, especially when it comes to ergonomics on the job. That’s why standing desks have become a hallmark of the modern workplace (or co-working space) despite their unclear health benefits. Still, if the man in charge wants ‘em, that means everyone’s getting ‘em, which is what happened at Apple.
In an interview with David Rubenstein, Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed the fact that every Apple Park employee now has an adjustable standing desk. “We have given all of our employees, 100 percent, standing desks,” said Cook. “If you can stand for a while, then sit...it’s much better for your lifestyle.” Good on you, Tim!
Whether it’s better for your lifestyle is still up for debate, however. Compared to moving around on something like a treadmill desk, evidence pointing to any benefits from using standing desks are minimal. Still, going from sitting in a fancy chair from Vitra for eight hours to standing all day isn’t that great for you, either. One study involving over 7,000 participants in the September issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology documented prolonged standing over a 12-year period, and found participants who stood more often were more likely to develop heart disease compared to participants who sat for a living. Since studies have also found that sitting isn’t good for you, either, employees would probably benefit from just moving around more often in general. It’s a lot easier to take a walk if you’re already on your feet.
This standing desk perk may also make Apple’s building seem a bit more people-friendly, which helps, considering the number of people who have so far injured themselves on the new campus.
The glass used to shape the building’s interior, while aesthetically stunning, was also easy to miss, leading a few Apple employees to just walk right into the immaculate barriers. As a result, Apple, along with the building’s architectural firm Foster + Partners, began placing black stickers on the glass to improve visibility and prevent further bleeding on the job.
Don’t like standing desks? Don’t want to be a drone in Cook’s army of Apple employees, all rising to move when commanded by their wearable device? Consider this: There’s no need to stand if you’re already standing. That makes it way easier to silence that damn Apple Watch and its notifications that show up every ten minutes before the hour.
You can, of course, eliminate them from your life completely if you find notifications about breathing, standing, and other aspects of your human form irksome. Open the Apple Watch app on your phone, hit the My Watch tab, and then select Activity. Toggle the Stand Reminders option as your heart desires.