focal upright furniture

The average American adult spends a third of every day sitting down. This sedentary way of life affects us in some startling ways – not only causing obesity, but putting us at risk of long-term serious disease as well. To combat this, the founder of shoe company Keen invented a chair that will shift the way we work.

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Because the majority of our sedentary time is spent in offices and in front of computers, Keen founder Martin Keen believes that focusing on the office sitting situation could make a huge difference in the country’s overall health.

focal upright office desk

Standing workstations, treadmill workstations, and even stationary bike workstations have become very popular in recent years, but Keen’s invention is a little different. Dubbed Focal, it’s a chair that encourages constant movement and muscle engagement all day long.

The chair consists of a wooden footplate and a downward-slanting seat that is not quite a chair. The seat is for leaning, not for sitting, and its orientation encourages constant movement.

Focal leaning office stool
focal stool seat

In the video, it is easy to see why the Focal is healthier for the body than a regular chair. The person using Focal is resting his weight on his legs as well as on his bottom, engaging those large muscles and keeping the blood flowing all day rather than signaling to the body that it is resting and encouraging the brain to become tired and sluggish.

Via Fast Company:

“Granted, the Focal isn’t a great looking object, and we do wish Keen had hired an outside designer. But it might actually be an entirely new class of product. Sitting in it doesn’t quite feel like anything else: You’re definitely not standing, but you do get the sense that you’re moving around, at least a little bit. The combination encourages a ‘natural, neutral posture,’ explains Keen. ‘There is a place between standing and sitting where our body wants to be.’ Does it make you move enough to counter Sitting Disease? We shall see: Keen says he is working with an ergonomist to study exactly how the seat affects your well-being.”