The New Workout by Benoit Malta

We are often encouraged to get up out of our chair and move around more often. Designer Benoit Malta has created furniture that does precisely that

How many times each week do you think to yourself, ‘I must exercise more’. It’s a tricky challenge that most of us face, particularly if our working lives are largely sedentary. Glued to the office chair, we rarely get up except to grab a coffee, some lunch or papers from the printer.

Conscious of modern lifestyles, a French designer, Benoit Malta, has come up with a radical piece of furniture which encourages us to use our muscles as we sit, and to get up and move about more frequently. While it’s neither the answer to inactivity, nor will replace the need to exercise any time soon, the design, named Inactivité, is both purposeful and aesthetically pleasing.

Born in 1990, Malta trained in mechanical product conception and engineering, and subsequently in product design. “Through my design process, I try to ask myself about our ways of living,” he explains. “I like to look for a way to give meaning to all kinds of objects.

“Nowadays, we are not moving a lot because of our way of living. Domestic activities are less and less physical, they could even disappear with the evolution of technologies. My ideas aim to imagine new domestic activities in order to encourage movement. Conceiving spaces with this idea could create new perceptions of our domestic space.”  

Malta’s two-legged chair aims to result in better wellbeing for the user. Much like an exercise ball, Inactivité forces users to have better posture to maintain balance through other muscles. “The aim of the chair was to avoid stationary postures as much as possible and encourage mobility,” continues Malta. 

“I aimed to create a ‘bearable discomfort’ that encourages wellbeing. The chair proposes another way to sit. Its structure, built on only two feet, allows the stimulation of different parts of the body through a passive situation. This enables people to adopt the best posture on the chair.”

Malta has already attracted the attention of the design industry and his work was exhibited at Paris’ prestigious Pompidou Centre at the end of 2014. His innovative design ideas have also included a tidy zone, inspired by climbing holds, that is comprised of several storage surfaces at different heights that encourage us to stretch to reach the things that we regularly use and touch.

By challenging the status quo of design, we have the potential to make a difference to our lives, wellbeing and happiness. Something as simple as a chair could just be a life-saver. 

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