Focal Locus workstation splits the difference between sitting and standing
By Ben Coxworth
July 3, 2012
With digital technology making its presence felt in an increasing number of fields, more and more people are finding that their formerly somewhat-active jobs now entail their sitting at a computer all day. Unfortunately, as most of us are by now aware, sitting for long periods of time has been shown to significantly raise a person’s chances of dying from cardiovascular, metabolic, or other types of disease. While stand-up work stations have been offered as an alternative, standing for too long can also take a toll on our well-being. Focal Upright Furniture has attempted to reached a best-of-both-worlds middle ground, however, with its new Locus work station.
The Locus consists of two parts, the desk and the seat. The desk is not unlike a traditional drafting table, with a large flat hardwood work area which can be tilted to different angles or raised to different heights. It can readily accommodate a laptop computer, and a mounting bracket for a 27-inch iMac is on the way.
The tractor-style seat, however, is what’s special. It has a central single aluminum leg, which attaches via a pivot to a hardwood laminate base/footrest. Users adjust the height of the seat and desk so that they are in a semi-standing position, with the seat taking some (but not all) of their weight.
As their weight shifts, the seat sways accordingly, requiring them to make subtle adjustments in order to stay upright. According to Focal, this constant movement “keeps your body active and brain engaged, stimulating blood and oxygen flow.” It sounds rather similar to the arguments made for replacing office chairs with fit balls, which have been debated back and forth.
The seat can be folded up and rolled on a built-in set of wheels, for easy transport or storage.
Limited-edition “early adopter” models of the desk and seat are currently available for all the furniture historians out there. The regular models, however, will be priced at US$1,150 for the desk, and $650 for the seat.
The Locus work station was designed by Martin Keen, who is already known for his distinctive blunt-toed Keen footwear. He can be seen demonstrating the Locus in the video below.