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Tim Cook reveals that all employees at Apple Park have standing desks

By midian182 · 15 replies
Jun 14, 2018
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  1. In a Bloomberg interview with the Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein published yesterday, CEO Tim Cook said, “We have given all of our employees, 100%, standing desks. If you can stand for a while, then sit, and so on and so forth, it’s much better for your lifestyle.”

    Apple’s never been very open about the everyday workings within its headquarters but was happy to reveal that workers in the building are supplied with the furniture, which is said to offer health benefits over traditional office chairs. According to Google, standing burns 50 more calories an hour than sitting.

    Cook had already expressed his preference for standing while working, having previously cited doctors who claim “sitting is the new cancer.” When talking about the Apple Watch in 2015, he said “Ten minutes before the hour, it will remind you to move. We have a lot of people using the Apple Watch at Apple, and ten minutes before the hour, suddenly they all get up and move. It took a little to get used to, but it’s great.”

    Exactly what type of standing desks are being used at Apple HQ is unclear, though 9to5Mac reports that interior photos show minimalist up/down controls, and that they appear to have been custom-made especially for Apple.

    Other pricey furniture on the campus includes $1,200 desk chairs from Vitra, which are said to have been picked out by chief design officer Jony Ive, and $2500 Hiroshima Chairs in the cafeterias and other non-work areas.

    Apple workers also get access to AC Wellness, the company’s in-house employee healthcare service. Helpful, considering so many of them keep walking into the building’s glass walls

    If you’re interested in standing desks, check out our starter guide, which includes dos and don’ts and what to expect when you first move from sitting all day to standing. Aching legs and sore feet, probably.

    Permalink to story.

  2. If he were really smart, he'd make sure each desk is about 3 inches too high. Gotta keep your engineers on their toes.
    qking, Seraphim401, Steve and 2 others like this.
  3. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 777   +400

    If they were really engineers, they'd stand on a box.
    mailpup likes this.
  4. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 359   +172

    The problem is not with sitting, it's with sitting specifically in a chair. Go to some places in the world and you can still find some artisans sitting cross-legged on the floor. Standing upright in one place all day is a ridiculous, clumsy half-solution. I realize that sitting on the floor in a modern office sounds like an unthinkable thought, but I would bet it would be possible to design a platform seat (like a piano bench) that could be made maneuverable. You'd have to wear more flexible clothing than your Brooks Brothers suit or miniskirt suit, but in time as new generations make decisions ...

    At least it sounds like with these Apple desks you have the option to alternate between sitting and standing.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,426   +1,824

    I agree about standing desks.

    What is really necessary is to get up and move around, go for a walk, etc.

    Reachable likes this.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,252   +2,720

    So much money for such mediocre chairs that can be purchased in IKEA for 1/30th of the price. If Apple cared about empoyees health, they would have just bought Herman Miller Aeron chairs, just like any civil company does.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    Reachable and davislane1 like this.
  7. Bp968

    Bp968 TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +48

    Standing all day would be agony for me. I have flat feet and so standing stationary is horrible. I had to quite a factory job back as a teenager because they wouldnt let me sit (you could easily have done the job seated in a stool) or let me move around (since you had to be at a specific station). So ive always seen a standing desk as an *****ic idea. Im glad it works for some people. Ill just go for a walk and do emails on the phone or something ;)
    wiyosaya likes this.
  8. yeeeeman

    yeeeeman TS Addict Posts: 147   +116

    Lets face it, companies try to maximize the amount of work per employee. This bullshit with standing desks are made officially for health reasons - oh, how much they care about us - but the real reason is for the employee to continue working even when not sitting on his chair.
    Let me explain: since you have to stand a few times a day, because you get back pain, *** pain and all that stuff sitting on a chair, this means that productivity is not at its best. While you are doing your hourly walk to stretch, you don't work. If you install standing desks, people can stretch, can stand up and still work. Nice!
  9. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 777   +400

    You wouldn't be forced to stand all day. Those desks allow adjustment - press a button to slowly raise or lower the desk. That way you can choose to stand or sit as best suits you. As yeeeeman says, this also means you don't need to waste precious working time going for a walk to stretch. Just raise the desk and stand for a half hour and then return it to a sitting position. If you're in a job where you walk away from your desk a lot then having it in a standing position is useful.
  10. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 359   +172

    And furthermore, who pays $1200 for desk chairs and $2500 for break room chairs when similar quality can be obtained for a (generous) price of $200 and $100 respectively.

    You read those articles at the Apple sites and see how people are being psychologically conditioned to buy products with stratospheric profit margins. It's not like being an early adopter where your purchases fund ramp-ups in production so that people of ordinary means can buy improved technology later at economical prices. This is a "we treat you elite" substanceless manipulation going on amidst hunger and homelessness.
    Capaill likes this.
  11. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,719   +1,135

    I thought that it was all about moving a bit every now and then, becoming stationary is the bad thing, I will have to do some further research.

    After reading some of the comments... it appears everyone is an ergonomics professional...
  12. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 777   +400

    You're so right. There are people who would pay $1200 for a chair or a phone and think "I'll pay this much because I deserve the best" while there are others who would think "There is no way I'm paying that much when I can get a perfectly good one for $200". I'm firmly in the latter camp. I can afford to be the former but it feels wrong to throw money away unnecessarily.
    Reachable likes this.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,426   +1,824

    It sounds like this and yeeeeman's comment suggest working virtually non-stop all day long. I doubt most people could work all day long without a break, and my bet is that it would hurt productivity, not help it, even if it is what employers want. I am pretty sure that I saw a study that said basically that - people need breaks, otherwise their productivity drops. Not to mention, its not healthy.

    That said, I imagine that crApple's Chinese factory workers are expected to work all day without breaks. If that is what employer's want and they are allowed to have that, working will be no better than it was in the very early days of the industrial revolution. I see that as trouble because workers will revolt.
  14. yeeeeman

    yeeeeman TS Addict Posts: 147   +116

    I was trying to point out exactly what you say. That employers search for ways to make you work more and skip relaxation time by giving you these desks with which you can continue working while standing. The fact that they present standing desks as caring about employees is to detract the attention from the actual reason why they do this. That is what I believe.
    A normal human being needs breaks. At least hourly. A break where you stand up, look out of the window, stretch, go to bath, do some walking on the halls, whatever. Just completely stop doing work for a few minutes.
    In the end, employees and in general people of these days that we are living, need to be a bit more suspicios about new things or ideas that are brought up either at work or in society. Not everything that is new is good for us. We need to use our brains to discern if something is good, even if all the other people have accepted it blindly.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
    wiyosaya likes this.
  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,426   +1,824

    Right there with you!
  16. amghwk

    amghwk TS Maniac Posts: 429   +248

    Standing too long continuously is not good for the back.

    People tend to get back pain sooner. Not everyone can stand working for a long period of time. Just because one guy is able to, doesn't mean others can too.

    There's nothing wrong in sitting 30mins, then stand and stretch for few minutes, and continue working.

    Standing or sitting, both require good back positioning, and support if required.

    Don't know where the sudden standing trend came from.

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