It is no surprise that we as a planet in fact are getting fatter and there have been many initiatives that are trying to help combat the growing rise in obesity. With this in mind, it appears that the initiatives in question are beginning to target the office environment, as it is renowned for being very less exercise orientated than many other environments.
The phrase “active design” is most commonly used by architects and designers as a way of creating spaces to encourage a healthier lifestyle and is gaining ever increasing popularity as more and more companies are joining in to try and fight obesity.
So what does active design mean, in regards to the office and the office furniture? Well apart from the obvious, such as gyms on the office premises, there are a few more subtle changes that businesses are trying to include within their establishment.
Stairs in quite a lot of offices seem to be hidden as they are predominantly used as fire escapes. One method of trying to encourage employees to use them is to make sure that these are exposed or if this is not possible then to use clear signage to not only direct people to the stairs but to explain that they are not just for use in emergencies.
Shared spacing within the office or open plan offices are used for a not only to increase productivity but to encourage collaboration. Bench desks are most commonly used and clusters of desks dotted around the office which encourage employees to get up and move around to work with one another.
The push now in open offices is to keep printers and other electronics such as photocopiers or fax machines away from individual desks and to points around the office. This also encourages employees to leave their office chairs and walk to use the machines.