These fancy schmancy “standing desks” are becoming more popular, and I have no idea why. As I type this, I’m sitting down and I’m quite comfortable.

Thing is, though, comfort is becoming like tasty food. For years, if something tasted good, it was bad for you. Now, if something is comfortable, well then that’s bad too. Earlier today I scratched my back on a doorframe, because in your 40s that’s how you do it. It felt great, which means I probably caused lasting damage to my spine somehow.

Anyway, back to the oxymoronically-named standing desk. The first time I heard about this invention, I thought it was a new strategy. The more office workers look like robots, the less likely the company will replace them with robots. Brilliant!

But I was mistaken. It had nothing to do with avoiding a droid takeover. Inventors of this glorified podium said it would help productivity. That’s right. They said sitting at work leads to lower production levels. How do they know that’s what causes lower productivity? Maybe whoever’s in charge of the office music is piping in lame tunes. Did they ever consider that? I’m in a coffee shop right now, and I could easily be too bored to write. But I’m not, because I have headphones (and a chair for that matter).

However, production level wasn’t good enough to get the attention of whoever makes office supply orders. This is America. To turn heads you have to talk health concerns. Sure enough, they did. They began to claim that sitting is “the new cancer”. Wow. I’m not buying that. There are no Surgeon General warnings on recliners. No employees are gathering by the dumpster for an after-lunch sit break, littering the ground with old, stomped out chairs.

Nevertheless, some CEOs are all in. Tim Cook now says that all employees at Apple will have standing desks. That’s great news! They’ll be trained in both tech support as well as Buckingham Palace guard duty. Pretty cool!

It actually makes sense that Apple would have standing desks. After all, they’re in Silicon Valley. And when you’re in a world that needs new, creative ways to share people’s information against their will, you have to think on your feet. You can’t be sitting around, being lazy. That’s how Facebook did it, and they got caught. Bush leaguers.

I actually don’t think standing desks will catch on. It’s been a long while since I worked in an office, but having a chair and a normal desk was always part of the deal. It’s what separated you from farmers or surgeons or anyone else with a real job. I don’t see that changing.

Then again, I’m an old school, low-productivity, bad health, dirty sitter. What do I know?

Categories: Columns