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Rapid response to:

Views & Reviews Personal View

Consultations in primary care should be held standing up

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 18 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1558

Rapid Response:

The world’s first standing computer desk was invented in 1998

I invented a standing computer desk in 1998, and a summary of my 23 years of research which led to its development was published in the rapid responses of the BMJ on 30-3-2014.

Essentially I concluded that leaning toward a desk was compressing the chest and abdomen to cause various symptoms, and ultimately found that standing at a computer prevented them.

However I also considered that if pressure from sitting was causing symptoms, that changing to standing may redirect the postural pressure to other locations and produce different symptoms, so I decided to vary my activities throughout the day from sitting to walking to standing etc. and to monitor the results to detect any adverse affects as soon as possible and minimise them.

Some individuals have said that there is nothing new about standing desks, and they give examples of them being used by famous people of the past such as Sir Winston Churchill and the genius Leonardo Da Vinci.

Nevertheless some thought needs to given to the fact that Churchill and Da Vince didn’t use computers.

I can also say that at the time I invented the desk it was viewed with skepticism or completely ignored, and was extremely rare, but since then it’s value has been tested and verified and they have been manufactured in their millions, if not tens of millions.

Furthermore, they are not sold on the basis of being just a desk, but are promoted as a status symbol of prestige in creativity, innovation, and design, for health reasons, in the “workwise environment”, and they are now being used by the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, and in the White House of U.S. President Barack Obama, and in the headquarters of the Apple Computer Company in Silicon Valley, and in the head offices of Google, and Facebook.

Banfield M.A. 2014 (March 30th), The Posture Theory as an explanation for many previously unexplainable symptoms, BMJ 2008;336:1124, (Online Rapid Responses), Actual page of response for 30-3-14 is

Ireland, Judith, 2015 (October 27th), Standing desks, tea cups and exclusive art: inside Malcolm Turnbull’s new office, The Sydney Morning Herald

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 February 2016
Max Allan Banfield
6/6 Hartman Ave.