"Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable." Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), American novelist, "Look Homeward Angel" (1929)
Over the years I have probably read hundreds of home magazines, ads and catalogs; visited hundreds of showrooms and stores; and, in general, passed a great amount of time being fully absorbed by home furnishings.
And in that time, I’ve read a lot about how different furnishings or colors affect our daily lives. Green is soothing, never put blue in a dining room, pink makes everybody look younger, and babies like yellow. Shag carpets and certain upholstery affect allergies, ergonomically designed chairs are great for your back, and taller bathroom cabinets make brushing your teeth easier — there’s no bending. The buzz never quits.
But I’ve recently come across a product and a product claim that made me look twice.
Since 99 percent of us are always on a diet and wish we were a different size, and if you wouldn’t be surprised to hear a friend ask "Does this sofa make me look fat," then listen up.
In its new press kit, Riverside Furniture says, "When exercise alone is not enough, office dwellers can take a stand to lose extra pounds with Riverside Furniture’s elevated height desk."
Yes, that’s right — a desk that helps you lose weight. The company goes on to say, "Office dwellers stand up against sitting all day. Losing weight might be easier than you think. Simply mixing up the work day with periods of sitting and standing, aided by a NEAT office desk, can provide your body with the movement needed to stay healthy and burn extra calories."
According to Riverside, NEAT (nonexercise activity thermogenesis) is the answer.
So, since I need confirmation of almost everything I see, I did my own research — and NEAT is real. Basically it’s all of the activities that render us unique individuals such as working, standing, dancing, playing, fidgeting, using our hands to talk and laughing. These activities, even the small ones, burn calories.
And, according to Riverside, computers have chained us to our desks and made us sedentary. Its designers have reconsidered the 30-inch desk height.
Linda Owen, vice president of marketing at Riverside, says, "standing up is hard work, burning approximately 50 percent more calories than sitting. A taller desk height allows for increased movement during the day encouraging the user to effortlessly alternate between sitting and standing periods."
Further, a Mayo Clinic study showed that getting out of that chair and increasing the time you stand a day by 2.5 hours could potentially expend an additional 350 extra calories a day — or as much as 36 pounds lost a year.
So there you have it. Have you tried every diet and nothing seems to work? Are you tired and listless? Does counting calories and carbs get you down? Well by all means, try the Riverside desk, and I guarantee you will never get bored with this diet — it comes in 20 colors.
Carolyn Muse Grant is a founder and past president of the Architectural & Decorative Arts Society, as well as an interior design consultant/stylist specializing in home staging. Her Inside Spaces column appears weekly in the Home section of the Review-Journal. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.