The design of space as a third caregiver
The hybrid working model that will improve our life expectancy
People sit for hours on end. In car trips when motorways were almost a pipe dream, in classrooms, in the offices of our first jobs, and even at home during a Netflix marathon.
It is precisely that age group, people between 30 and 50 years old, that has incorporated a greater number of healthy lifestyle habits into their day-to-day lives. These include everything from a better diet to, above all, regularly doing sport, which we saw our parents do very little of.
With regard to physical and emotional well-being at work, David Blay, journalist and lecturer on Home Offices, reflects on the following analysis.
Numerous scientific studies indicate that sitting for hours on end increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. This cannot be replicated, as this research is based on years of solid evidence.
Nevertheless, one may make the mistake of thinking that doing the opposite is largely beneficial; forgetting, as is often the case, that everyone is different in terms of build. Furthermore, different people suffer from musculoskeletal disorders in different ways, as well as having a different medical history.
Just like with remote working, it is a huge mistake to make sweeping generalisations. At the moment, we probably won't be going back to the office full-time, yet preparations are not being made for what is known as 'full remote work'. And yet, almost 70% of Spanish employees state that, in the future, they would like to work with a hybrid model.
And this is the key word, as is almost always the case: combination. Seeking the best of both worlds. With the effects that we perceive individually, beyond what we read about online or what our friends say.
Today we even have smartwatches that remind us to get up and move around, so it's no surprise that we shouldn't be staying in the same position for long periods of time. And perhaps, for David Blay, one of the best (and shortest) TED talks is that given by Nilofer Merchant, encouraging people to swap boring meetings in offices for walks outdoors.
All of this has served as inspiration for the design of new furniture options for everyday life. And has led to Actiu, for example, deciding that we must be able to choose how and how much we want to work, whether standing up or sitting down. With desks that even an inexperienced do-it-yourselfer can put together, which can be raised and lowered, as and when needed, by simply operating a hydraulic handle.
It is obvious that, when we are upright, we work our muscles more, which leads to a greater caloric expenditure and oxygenation and, in turn, an improved mind/body balance. There is also the fact that at some point or other, we need to rest our legs or back, in order to avoid problems such as those tied to body or bone fatigue.
If there is one thing that we have realised, according to David Blay, after having to spend three months in lockdown, it is that it is a good idea to get up and move around. To look for new ways of interacting with everyday tasks. One aspires to be as healthy as possible, although this not only includes exercise and a healthy diet; it also involves maintaining a healthy posture over extended periods of time.
And so, a company that was created to manufacture office furniture is now offering new uses for the home. Where we will be spending a lot more time than ever before, and where, quite possibly, the secret to greater longevity will lie.
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