This Desk Knows When You’ve Been Sitting Too Long, And Urges You To Stand Up

Stir’s Kinetic Desk is the Crock Pot of sit-stand desks: Just set it and forget it. But at almost $3,000, it isn’t cheap.

The outlook for office workers is grim: Research has shown the being sedentary at work is bad for our health–whether we’re sitting or standing too long. Experts suggest that movement is key. But it can be hard to shake up the workday. Get lost in one project, and suddenly you look up only to realize you’ve been sitting down for hours.


The Stir Kinetic Desk solves this problem with a gentle gesture: you tell it what portion of the day you want to be standing versus sitting, and it prompts you to get up. An iPhone-sized touchscreen is embedded within the left-hand corner of the desk, where you can look at statistics about how much you’ve been standing over the course of a day or a month, set your height preferences for sitting or standing, and prompt the desk to move.

If you haven’t moved for a while, the desk will, like a kind of exasperated mother, sigh. It moves gently up and down, just an inch, to jar you into standing without disturbing your workflow too much (though it’s certainly a surprising feeling to have your desk suddenly move beneath you). You can either tap the touchscreen to adjust the desk to standing height, or ignore it, and continue sitting for a bit longer. Over time, the desk learns your patterns and will prompt you to stand when you’re most likely to want to stand. An account linked to your FitBit keeps track of your preferences, allowing you to move between two desks seamlessly (without manually logging in).

“I found myself never changing positions,” Stir founder JP Labrosse says of his previous experience with standing desks. He wanted to create a product that would actually encourage people to move, not just give them the option. Labrosse likes to call Stir’s desk a “non-wearable wearable”: it may not fit around your wrist, but it’s a health-focused technology product that you touch for hours of your day, keeping track of the calories you’re burning, the movements you make, and your patterns over time.

With a price tag of $2,990, Stir’s desk is not for the casual worker just starting to dip a toe into the world of standing desks. But as far as pricey sit-stand desks go, this is one of the smartest.


About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut.