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Erector Set

Image courtesy Focal Upright Furniture

Focal and the evolution of the standing desk

Look what we’ve done to food.

What used to come from the ground and be quite good for you, is now flavored in a factory off the Jersey turnpike. We know how that’s worked out for our health.

You might say the same about the workstation.

Through the early 1900s, most people stood at their office desks. Franklin, Churchill, Da Vinci, Nabokov, and Hemingway all preferred it. But most of us now sit – and die faster as a result. 20% faster, if you believe a recent study cited by the New York Times.

Riding a recent resurgence in standing desks comes Rhode Island-based startup Focal Upright Furniture. We’ve never seen anything quite like its Locus Workstation, which includes a full-articulated desk, footrest, and seat.

The seat is the most remarkable. Inspired by an old tractor seat (but hopefully softer), it has you perched somewhere between sitting and standing, a position found to be the most ideal by founder and designer Martin Keen.

You may recognize Keen’s name. Apparently a master of the hybrid, he previously made his mark with the eponymous footwear company he founded, known for its half-shoe, half-sandal favored by outdoor enthusiasts.

The full Locus setup from Focal will run you more than $2,000 – not cheap. But what price for a longer life? Check it out here.

Or, if it’s a less expensive standing option you seek, check out these IKEA hacks – where a couple hundred bucks will get you upright.

Now go forth (and get up already).

Nitty Gritty:

1899: Year School Hygiene is published, stating a seated desk can “injure the abdominal organs and the circulation”

1977: Year Nabokov died at 78 from bronchitis (not from sitting)

3: Moans, in descending pitch, uttered by Nabokov upon his death according to his son


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