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Would You Work Better Lying Down?


A new company called Altwork thinks you need to recline to really concentrate at the computer. Their forthcoming Altwork Station is designed to allow you to sit, stand, recline, and more, but the nearly-$6,000 price tag might give you pause.


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What’s the deal?

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If you’ve ever envied the comfort of the dentist’s office exam chairs, you might be inspired to try out the Altwork Station. They look a lot like dentist chairs (without the embarrassment of having some hoses stuck in the sides of your mouth) but these come with big metal arms to attach your laptop or up to four monitors. You can put your feet out on the adjustable chaise longue, or curl it under the seat while you’re in a perpendicular state.

Check out a video of it in motion:

How does it work?

Short answer: magnets. Partly. They’re what keep your mouse and keyboard from sliding off the second you tilt back. With a layer of steel under the surface and “specialized magnet kits” that you use to keep your mouse and keyboard in place while you recline, your stuff doesn’t end up on the floor once you adjust the seat back. (Well, maybe your pen and notebook would fall. Need to think about that, Altwork.)

Who is it for?

Altwork claims that their station is best for “high intensity computer users,” which they define as “people that spend at least 4 hours a day in front of their personal computer and are required to focus on complex tasks for extended periods of time.” But isn’t that pretty broad? I spend probably 10 hours a day at a computer and I’m just a lowly writer. Should I be working on some kind of ergonomic cloud by now?

So do you need one?

Maybe if you, or your company, are into new desk formats, then sure. It beats trying to work in bed with your neck all cricked out of alignment. As I’m typing this, my butt is going numb from my uncomfortable work chair. Can’t say I’m not tempted by the thought of something that’s more like working inside Ripley’s power loader than a brick and board desk.

But, at 240 pounds, 72 inches long when fully extended, and an estimated $5,900 list price (they’re still finishing up pricing and taking early orders at a discount), I’m not sure that having something this heavy, big, and expensive really makes the most sense for the bulk of the working public. And with many offices doing their minimalist desk/cube thing now with (ungh) “hot desking,” I’m not sure this has more than just a novelty allure. Science isn’t even sure that standing desks are really necessary. What you need, they say, is regular breaks (from screens, too), so this chair might be doing a bit of a fight against current theories.

Tell Us What You Think

Would you like something like this for work? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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