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Inconveniently Designed Furniture That Helps You Burn Calories

Ferran Lajara believes that furniture design–which is all about convenience and comfort–also makes us lazy and fat. And so, working with Cristina Guardiola and Virginia Pol, he designed pieces that require us to get up and move around. As he writes, “The pieces of furniture in this collection do anything but facilitate what users want. They force users to perform a physical action in order to make them function. These actions keep users active.” Take a look:

This lamp turns off when it’s not in a vertical position. But it doesn’t have a base, so it needs to be constantly held upright to work:

lamp

lamp

The table has drawers on the opposite side, so that anytime you want a new pen or your stapler, you have to get up and walk around:

desk

desk

But the biggest workout probably comes from this hanger, which is perched high up on a wall, accessible only by clamoring up handholds, like you’d find on a climbing wall:

hanger

hanger

Lajara’s goofy designs of course seem like a joke, but it’s worth noting that active furniture has been bubbling up recently. For example, this office designed by Rottet Studio for Artist Capital Management in San Francisco, makes use of “active seating”–those bouncy exercise balls you find at the gym. The idea is that by forcing you to continuously balance yourself, you steadily burn calories without noticing:

exercise balls

Meanwhile, Steelcase, the office-furniture company, makes the Walkstation, a desk that requires you to talk on a treadmill as you tap at your computer: