Envelop desk: ergonomics meets comfort to get the job done
By Jeff Salton
January 22, 2010
Study the picture above – is that how you look at work or are you more like the typical computer slave – hunched forward, limbs at the wrong angles, wrists askew – just a repetitive strain injury waiting to happen? If you suddenly straightened up when you read this and felt the tension in your shoulders, neck, arms and back, is it time to invest in some ergonomic furniture to make your working or gaming life more pleasant and productive and also help justify the money you spent on your computing power? The Envelop is a design inspired by a pioneer in ergonomics, Herman Miller, and has been developed to enhance the human relationship between seated postures and computer-based technology.
Combining obvious comfort and style, and born out of research by design partner Jeff Weber, Envelop is a freestanding desk that provides ergonomic support throughout a range of seated postures. The company says its award-winning Embody work chair was the first product to result from this research, and the Envelop desk completes the designers' vision.
Envelop provides continuous support and encourages movement while providing postural freedom — the ability for the user to achieve a preferred posture.
"When the individual is out of alignment with the chair, work surface and technology, the result is an unhealthy posture and a reduction in productivity and comfort," explains Weber. "Even the best ergonomic chair can't keep people comfortable if their technology doesn't move in relationship with their posture."
Envelop, when used together with a high performance work chair, provides continuous forearm support and accommodates a reclined position, without extending visual distance to the display technology as opposed to traditional, static work surface that provides little forearm support and eye strain when the user reclines.
"Envelop provides a new level of seated ergonomic support and promotes movement — keys to good health — through a deceptively simple design. It's a great example of human-centered problem solving that delivers user control and comfort," says product manager Wayne Baxter.
Envelop was designed according to Herman Miller's rigorous Design for the Environment protocol, which emphasizes safe materials, recycled content and ease of disassembly. It contains 32 percent recycled content and is up to 53 percent recyclable.
The Envelop desk is available exclusively through Herman Miller's commercial furniture dealer network and costs range from US$1,200 to US$1,450, depending on laminate or veneer surface finishes.