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wellness at work: Italy is increasingly sit-stand!

Smart working by now is an expanding working mode. In Italy as well – at last-  it has been regularly inserted into a regulatory framework thanks to law 81/2017 that deals with key subjects, such as job duration, terms of notice, control methods and so on. And furnishing as well is adapting to this trend; for example with “agile” sit-stand workstations as Linak demonstrates.

“Sons” of smart working are widespread working and coworking. Since work is increasingly itinerant, fast, smart and agile. Meetings are more and more stand-up meetings, but they are also held in lounge areas and in common spaces. Just to make an example, in Milan, the Porta Nuova district is a bulwark of widespread work and coworking. There are many areas that rent workstations in exchange for affordable fees. Getting connected in every place and at any time of the day has become a life habit and new technologies enable us to fully live this change.

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Furnishing as well is adapting to this trend.

Pieces of furniture are designed to make our work simple and healthy wherever we are. From insulating panels to ensure a certain privacy though among people, to “variable” workstations, changing according to Activity Based Office to answer to different activities (for instance the focus room or the phone booth).
Up to sit-stand tables that are so popular  in North European offices and that are gaining ground in Italy as well, in prestigious head offices and in coworking areas. And the sit-stand trend perfectly integrates in the smart-working context.
Media have already highlighted, in different articles, the importance to keep a proper posture at work and to alternate sat down work to standing moments. This behavior enables to prevent disorders such as cervical, backache, dysfunction of the spine, thus reducing discomfort and absenteeism from work. Sit-stand desks, driven by Linak lifting columns, are gaining popularity in many offices and working places in Italy.
Plenty of Italian design companies are following this furnishing trend for office furniture to keep up with remote working, coworking, home office and everything makes a job highly smart. Italy is increasingly sit-stand!

 

Photo gallery:
1 Sit-stand desk by
Manerba  equipped with linear actuators Linak.
2 Sit stand table with central column by 
Emmeitalia equipped with linear actuators Linak.
3 Sit-stand desk  Estel equipped with linear actuators Linak.
4 It is designed by Tine Mouritsen and presented at Danish LIVINGroom the first sit-stand desk that integrates a power napping pillow. It is equipped with linear actuators Linak.

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Sit-stand and user-friendly workstation.

A user-friendly multimedia workstation with a light design, and without any cable thanks to the use of Linak‘s bluetooth technology: these are the features of Tecnus Evo -evolution of the height-adjustable table Tecnus- designed and produced by Emme Italia, a company that since 1995 marries innovative technologies with Italian handicrafts to offer customized and constantly in progress solutions.

The growth of Emme Italia continues with the usual passion: from the traditional drafting tables to the electrified sit-stand version using linear actuators by Linak and, recently, the most advanced step Tecnus Evo.
Tecnus Evo is a new result of the collaboration between Emme Italia and Linak: a multimedia workstation inspired by a common vision of dynamic ergonomics, well-being and IoT in the workplace.
It is featured by clean design and high performances:
the integration of Linak’s new bluetooth technologies allows the elimination of wiring and a user friendly approach;
the rechargeable Battery Pack makes the table independent by power supply;
height adjustment can be controlled either by the traditional push-button panel housed into the column or by a smartphone (for iOS or Android App).

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The App Desk Control allows the adjustment of the table with a touch and also to save custom settings and set personal goals for wellness.
Standard height adjustment from 72 to 112 cm is perfect for workstations and informal meetings, other adjustments are available on request.

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Height-adjustable table, structure in painted steel column (black, white or RAL tailored colors), desk top in melamine.
Dimensions cm 100 x 200; height cm from 72 to 112.

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Sit-stand office desks to shape behavior.

Smart office means to adopt concepts of dynamic ergonomics, too; for higher comfort and greater efficiency, sometimes devices integrate digital technologies to support our Internet-oriented lifestyles. Following this IoT (Internet of Things) philosophy Linak launched DPG, a new family of very intuitive panels for the height adjustment of sit-stand desks, well-synthesized in the claim “Designed to shape behavior”.

During a normal workday, we all sit down too much and move too little. This is a common challenge, but how do we change it and turn it into a habit to use the height adjustable desk every day? This is a global challenge that we at Linak have chosen do our utmost to solve and develop a solution that will make desk users use their height adjustable desk more and in a new way.
Based on researches on behavioural design, Linak developed an innovative solution that will make desk users use their height adjustable desks more and in a new way.
The desks panel for height adjustable office desk is essential and needs to be:
Intuitive,
Motivational (give reminders to the user),
Digital.

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The DPG family consists of four desk panels ranging from a simple up/down panel to advanced versions with sophisticated features. All four DPG desk panels are intuitive as they are operated via tilt instead of buttons meaning you do not need to look while adjusting the desk. It does not get more intuitive.
Research proves that being reminded to stand up during a workday, results in an increased usage of the desk. So, reminders are integrated into three of the four DPG desk panels either via light and/or via notifications in the app.
Finally, digital means that an app is available for several platforms. Bluetooth® technology is integrated into three of the four DPG desk panels. Connect to the Desk Control™ app and it opens a wealth of options.

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The app that completes the DPG
The Desk Control™ app is available for phones and computers, and contains a lot features such as the possibility for individual settings, statistics and getting reminders to stand up. Optionally, the app can also be used to drive the desk up and down.
The app is downloadable free of charge from the different app stores
Truly unique and innovative, all data is of course synchronised between the different platforms. This means that if you change your settings e.g. in the app on the phone, it is automatically updated on the computer and in the desk panel itself.
The DPG is much more than just a new desk panel: it is a platform of endless functionality possibilities, yet designed with an impressive suite of standard features. It will change the way to adjust and use the height adjustable office desk.

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A feminine colour research.

The Manerba’s products have been revised over the last five years in terms of materials, colours and finishes by architect Raffaella Mangiarotti, art director of Manerba.
The result of this research was presented during the event “A Little more Human, a Little more Woman” organized on the occasion of the opening of the new showroom in Milan inside the Jannelli & Volpi Building.

For 10 years Manerba has been led by two courageous and competent women. Two sisters who have taken over the family business. Elisa Manerba, economist, who manages the marketing and sales departments. Grazia Manerba, engineer, who manages the technical department and production.
A soft, in-progress project, developed since 2011, born from the idea of renewing office aesthetics by intervening on colours and finishes. Moving from strictly office to a more human, domestic workplace, with a touch of femininity.

Thanks to the research by Raffaella Mangiarotti, now all the colours of the palette are available on all surfaces defining a broad scope of chromatic moods.
Those working with color know how difficult it is to obtain monochromes on different materials.

 

It sounds easy, but just look around and you will see this is not the case.
From neutral, light colours inspired by Scandinavian taste to lively Mediterranean moods, then techno, with fluorescent and electric shades and finally the more classical.
The same commitment was also called for on the metal finishes: from classical chrome to the entire spectrum of finishes which simulate the more noble metals, both new and aged. Equally fine research was devoted to wood types, laminates and fabrics.

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The result is an extensive database of combinations and scenarios, available for architects.
Manerba sees the study of colours, materials and finishes as a path which evolves continuously and involves architects and clients in a sort of co-design.
The meeting between design and colour implies the selection of materials, suppliers (among these Akzo Nobel and Linak) and the attention to high levels of quality, technical content and standards, ensuring environmentally sustainable products.

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COffice by Estel at Orgatec: multifunctional Islands.

Estel consistently develops for several years his own vision of Smart Office that inspired the ever wider range of solutions of COffice program; following  the launch at Salone del Mobile 2016, Estel will present new “islands” at Orgatec (Hall 6.1, B48 stand).

The complex and holistic path to the Smart Office is summarized in the Latin motto “Per aspera ad astra” chosen for the Orgatec participation. The installation in the booth stand is a comfortable open space without barriers that provides answers to the needs of the new ways of working thanks to  dedicated areas that easier improve wellbeing and productivity.

“Islands”, more than furniture (Lounge Island, Video Island, Ergonomic Island, Break Island, Snack Island) designed to answer various activities and needs: this is the COffice program approach which aims to “boost relations and pleasure at work” creating in between areas for informal meetings: for example Break Island for self-service buffet during lunchtime, or simpler ones for coffee break.
COffice also provided hybrid workstations as Island Snack to play a meeting while dining.
The range includes more technical Islands, for example Ergonomic Island equipped with sit stand workstations and height adjustable desks or settings  that include technologies integrations: Island Lounge, for waiting rooms and Island Videos, conference areas, integrate monitor inside the furniture.isola-snack-estel-orgatec-wow-webmagazine

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Linak & partners at Orgatec: Design Meets Movement.

The outdoor area on 260m² – passageway between halls 10/11– is one of the attractions at Orgatec 2016; Linak participates in this multifunctional environment with the installation named Design Meets Movement, involving some of the best partner companies producer of height adjustable furnishing that use linear actuator by Linak.

The benefits of Green Living in the workplace is well known and we alla experienced that our own personal creative space –working or relaxing- might as well be outdoor.
These concepts inspired the innovative idea to move outdoor workstations and living rooms that will break the usual barrier between indoor comfort and outdoor spaces.
Linak enthusiastically embraced this approach involving some companies (Estel, Fantoni, Brunoffice, Frezza, ICF, Sinetica Industries e IVM ), creating two different environments around two of the four seasons, mixing ergonomic movement with the best design to offer an installation that aims to surprise and challenge conventional thinking about adjustable furniture by moving interior design… outdoors. 

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The drafting machine becomes multimedia and touch screen.

Thanks to IOT (Internet Of Things) everyday objects take on new features. One example is the height-adjustable table developed by Emme Italia in collaboration with Logica Uno. The apparently obsolete drafting table, loved by architects, turns into a multimedia machine designed for teaching and training rooms.

The Emmesystem range of height adjustable desks produced by Emme Italia launches some new products “ The adjustable desk is the contemporary evolution of the drawing table, historical product that sees Emme Italia as leader in Europe”, explains Alessandro Barison, design manager of the company.
The CSEI family was equipped with heigh-adjustable desk top thanks to the application of linear actuator system by Linak and  today the evolution trend continues in partnership with Teatos (Logica Uno).

The adjustable desks Conform CSEI are designed for multimedia rooms; they integrates a personal computer with Intel processor and Window 8.1 operating system suitable for touch screen technology and graphics software.
The “cell imaging” technology makes the movement more fluid and is perfect for sketch. It can be equipped with wheels.

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Pillow Table: sit-stand-nap desk.

Displayed at Salone del Mobile,at Danish LIVINGroom,(hall 10 stand B03) the very first height-adjustable desk (linear actuator systems by Linak) coming with a cushion for a comfortable power nap at work. Tine Mouritsen, inspired by new WOW, designed it.

A lot has been said about how healthy the height-adjustable desks are, a real symbol of a new dynamic ergonomics, and this trend is spreading in Italy, too, where  companies more conscious of the employee’s wellbeing don’t give up the pleasure of a sitting standing workstation.

The benefits of a nap are also well-known, especially after lunch, a real drive for multitaskers. Not accidentally, nap rooms are often considered in smart offices and several major companies have already started to study functional furniture allowing to take a nap.
Yet, we’ll see something original at Salone del Mobile that combines these two must-haves to feel at ease and way happier in the office.

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Pillow Table is a sitting-standing desk equipped with integrated pillow in its top.
Linak Danmark A/S has been invited to participate on the Danish LIVINGroom booth –  stand B03, hall 10 – at Salone del Mobile in Milan. The Danish manufacturer of linear actuator systems is the only sub supplier on the Danish joint booth, as the other participants are well-known Danish manufacturers of furniture and famous designers. The company presents a range of solutions featuring top design, comfort and ergonomics, including a sit-stand desk, designed by the Danish architect Tine Mouritsen, who took inspiration from the thoughts behind New Ways of Working into consideration. The desk shown at the exhibition is therefore mounted with a pillow intended for a powernap.

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Adjustable height desk trend is spreading in Italy.

The “sitting-standing” desk trend is spreading in Italy, too. As confirmed by the turnover of the companies producing it and by Linak, leading producer company in electric linear actuators. Italy is discovering the advantages of the adjustable height desks, which was the theme we already dealt with in some of our previous articles.

A few companies- Kinnarps, Estel, Sedus, Emme Italia- have recorded a rise in sales ranging from 10 to 30% and their remarks help us investigate this new request coming from the market.

In the pictures electric linear actuator by Linak.

The sensibility to the wellbeing theme is the most interesting fact, a real “cultural swing” in Italy.

In the pictures high adjustable desks by Sedus.

When we speak of Ergonomics, today we think of the workplace in its entirety, not just of the task chair. Actually in desk sharing offices and in companies focused on the employees‘ wellbeing.

In the pictures high adjustable desks by Kinnarps.

Now let’s come to the drawback pointed out by Gensler: to what extent does the electrical control affect the cost compared to the fixed desk?

In the pictures high adjustable desks by Estel.

The percentage increase for a standard desk ranges from + 38% to more than the double.

In the pictures high adjustable desks by Emme Italia.

In Italy the prices for a standard adjustable height desks (no accessories included) are:
From 700 to 900 euro Kinnarps.
From 1000 to 1500 euro Emme Italia.
From 1000 to 1700 euro Sedus:
Up to 1300 euro Estel.

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Estel: furniture and strategies to come up to Smart Working.

The meeting organized by Estel at Intesa San Paolo Pavilion in Expo Milano, proved that Italian firms, too, can adopt new approaches of Design Thinking to meet the complexities of Smart Working. In a lively and dense stream of presentations, interviews, videos and new installations, Estel hasn’t just shown products, but also a clear and consistent strategy.

Established 80 years ago and always working in the field of both home and office furniture, Estel is in a position to bring a domestic mood into an office, according to the Smart Working mode, and to supply a complete range of advanced ergonomic furniture like the height-adjustable desks, units provided with recharge points and acoustic comfort components.
There is no unambiguous answer to meet the challenges posed by the Smart Working. Explains Alberto Stella, CEO Estel “From our side, the strong belief of being what we have always been Flexible, proactive, open. We must know how interpret, decline, accompany, dialogue and often suggest by means of skills acquired on the field. In a word, we must be Smart, as the phenomenon to which we refer. To face the challenges of the Smart Working, translating Smart Office when it comes to interior design, it is a complex, articulated topic that affects us directly as design producer”.
Among the products that reflect this approach, there il EVO Sitting-Standing Desk System (electric linear actuator system Linak) that responds to the most recent indications on ergonomics by providing a tool that ensures well-being, efficiency and quality to the work day.

What benefits can be derived by alternating the two postures? Professor Francesco Marcolin, Professor of Ergonomics at the University of Trieste and Udine, explains “Both a seated and a prolonged standing posture cause discomfort and possible risks for cardiovascular disease. Alternating between the two seated and standing postures has proved to the best solution for office work, even better if also associated with moderate movements. These are the ideal conditions that can certainly help the operator to work and feel better. Moving around while working, not tiring the osteo-skeletal structures like the lumbar spine or lower back, and not tiring the legs, but alternating positions, allows a natural regulation of breathing and heartrate.
This results in greater oxygenation, without compressing the chest and therefore better cognitive efficiency, performance and a general sense of well-being. For this reason, alternating the standing and sitting positions with desks that raise and lower to the correct height is necessary and absolutely preferable”.

How can you transform your employee’s needs into opportunities and “energy” for the business? How can you apply the concepts of Smart Working in the real office? These are questions we find the answers for in the recent BPM experience. At the end of 2013 the credit institution started investing in a rethinking of the spaces, including a concentration room, unassigned but bookable work stations, phone booths, areas for relaxing and socialization available for the employees.
The extraordinary results that have been obtained from the first project oriented towards the Smart Office, coordinated by
Progetto CMR with the Estel being involved for the furnishings, open the doors to a pathway that will also be applied in the head offices of the Group.
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“Agile”, even working at your own desk.

Movement is the elixir of our life, and it’s a source of wellbeing and health also at the office. That’s what the Michele De Lucchi’s installation “The Walkmaintains and is proved by several studies showing how unhealthy immobility is and the physical and mental advantages of a dynamic posture, starting from the desk, which should be of the “sitting-standing” type according to ergonomists.

Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all: people who sit for 11 hours or more a day are 40 percent more likely to die over the next three years. Of course, no doubt,  gym, walking, swimming, cycling, outdoor pursuits… but what can we do during the about eight hours a day on the job?
An office organized by activity settings proves to be healthier compared to the one keeping us stuck in front of a worktop, and those companies supplied with gyms, yoga areas and gym teachers offer their employees much more than a relaxing break; the same applies for companies, the offices of which are furnished with “sitting standing” desks, which is not yet so popular in Italy but quite widespread and even compulsory in several European countries, where Wellbeing Awareness is more deep-seated ( WOW! posted an article about sit-stand desks at Orgatec).
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(Caption upper photo: USM Kitos)
The quality of life can start from the desk: “We improve your life” is the motto of Linak a world leader in electric linear actuator (desk top height adjustment equipments).

Better safe than sorry, as they say, and health benefits (blood circulation, drainage, muscle strengthening,bone and skeletal systems..) coming from a sitting-standing posture are definitely proved.

UNI Rule EN 527-1:2011
There is a UNI rule still valid, yet rules are voluntary and maybe an incentive to make companies aware of this theme could be useful. The newest release of the European standard EN 527-1:2011 “Office furniture — Work tables and desks Part 1: Dimensions” replaces the previous edition EN 527-1:2000.
The EN 527-1:2011 specifies dimensions of work tables and desks for office tasks to be undertaken in a seated, a sit stand or standing position.
Compared to the previous edition the new standard updates the sizes of desks taking account the technological progress of PCs, now all flat screen (and no longer CRT), which allows to get office desks with depth significantly lower.
The standard divides the desks classifying them into four types:
Type A: height adjustable (the height can be changed anytime by the user
Type B: height selectable (the height can be adapted to the user at installation)
Type C: fixed height
Type D: height adjustable or selectable, with limited range of adjustment

The EN 527-1:2011 also introduces the concept of “sit standing desk” allowing the user to vary between standing and sitting position during the working day and obviate to spend several hours sited. This type of height adjustable desks are mostly used in the northern Europe.
The new release also presents new requirements, room available for legs has been increased with more freedom of movement or, regarding desks with fixed height, that height is raised.
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Walking …at your desk.
Why just stand at your desk when you can walk? A walking/working posture should be healthier than standing still… The answer is a ridiculous treadmill desk. It’s not a joke, a Canadian research reported in the journal Computers in Human Behavior shows that treadmill desk has a beneficial effect on attention and memory. A good solution to save your fitness center admission fee!

Status and dynamic vision also for the executive table( lower photos).
Element, designed by Foster + Partners for Unifor, is a board meeting of great elegance that responds to a more dynamic vision for the executive workplace. For the manager who does not like the static, it provides the twice use as large round desk or conference table, both allow the standing or sitting posture. The height adjustment of the heavy desk top sets magically pressing a hidden button.