Standing desks, chair-based logins and toast

Occupational health is an important aspect of office life, especially with the digital lifestyles and increased amount of office work on computers for long periods of time.

So ExtraDigital have been experimenting with alternatives to the low desk and office chair, with kneeling stools, a ball (to replace a chair) and standing desks.

Chair based user-logins

But the rise of standing desks I the office place could pose a problem if chairs start being used to authenticate user logins. Sounds far fetched? Well research from The Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo has led to the development of a chair that can detect the unique shape of a user’s login with 99% accuracy. This might work well for the conventional office desk and chair (or car seat) but will not work with a standing desk setup.

Standing desks in the kitchen

The standing desk could however be used more extensively in the kitchen to solve the problem of toast falling butter side down on to the kitchen floor. An issue that had been written about for centuries, and was the title of a popular science book in the 1970’s - “Butter Side Up!” by Magnus Pyke – is why toast usually falls butter side down onto the floor. 

Butter side up - toast falling on the floor

In 2013, a team of scientists Manchester MET University have confirmed a new theory that the reason for toast lands butter side down  is because the toast only has time to rotate half a somersault before landing. In the experiment 100 slices of toast were used with 81% landing butter side down. The solution therefore is either a very low table or a much higher table.

A standing table used as a kitchen table will therefore help – although to be most successful this should be about 8 foot high (allowing the toast to rotate a full 360 degrees), which is a little impractical for most kitchens.

Falling tablets and phones

Practically the above experiment can be used with technology to look at the risks of damage from tablets and mobiles being dropped from tables or bags. The number of somersault turns will depend on the size and mass distribution of the device and any protective case it is in. To get the best protection from falls, manufacturers of tablet cases should carefully consider the buttered toast experiment.

Rachel Cornish

Monday 9th September 2013

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