In the past few years, there’s been a lot of ballyhoo about the benefits of working while standing – or even while walking on the treadmill, depending on your level of determination (and coordination). There is much to be said for this strategy. Studies show that sitting down all the time is pretty unhealthy in itself, and that standing can help you feel more alert and work more efficiently.
The fly in the buttermilk? Standing kinda hurts. Specifically, it’s extremely tiring for many people and pretty much impossible for others. I belong to the latter group, suffering as I do with a common foot disorder called plantar fasciitis. (I also suffer with the even-more-common disorder of chronic laziness, but plantar fasciitis seems like a better excuse.)
Confronted with the fact that people who try standing sometimes get tired and give up – and that most people can’t afford an up/down adjustable desk – furniture manufacturers came up with something called the “standing chair.” That’s pretty much what it sounds like – a seat arranged up high so you can partly sit and partly stand. Thus, you get some of the comfort of sitting and some of the benefits of standing, while avoiding most of the problems with each.
Now that standing chairs have arrived, there are already many different designs to choose from. Most have one thing in common: a high price tag. Focal Upright is a maker of such chairs, and they do indeed have several models that cost quite a lot. However, they also have one that is surprisingly inexpensive. The Mogo standing chair costs just $99 as of this writing, with the principal difference between it and the more expensive models being that the Mogo has no fixed base.
What’s the benefit of a standing chair without a fixed base? Apart from cost, the main benefit is mobility – hence the name. Where most standing chair models are pretty much anchored to your desk area, you can carry the Mogo with you, for example, to meetings. Then, while everybody else is either aching and sore from standing or else falling asleep from sitting, you can totally dominate the agenda with your Mogo power. (Okay, I exaggerate, but you get the idea.)
I received a sample Mogo awhile ago – actually a disgracefully long time ago – for evaluation. Now, my use case for this chair is untypical. I would like to try working while sit-standing, but my office space is very small and I have not found a way to arrange a standing desk here. Until that happens, my use for a standing chair is found in other applications. And as it turns out, there are quite a few other applications – even beyond the boring business meetings I just mentioned.
My test use of the Mogo was at a Civil War reenactment – and before you ask, I was watching, not using it as a weapon. It’s hard to see the action while sitting on the ground (or even while sitting in a camp chair), but standing up is tiring given the time it takes the Blue and Gray to get their act together and fight. Enter the Mogo, which conveniently is small enough to go with you just about anywhere. As you can see from the picture, it folds up into a package not much bigger than a frisbee. This is pretty amazing when you consider how sturdy and functional the thing is when snapped together.
Assembling the Mogo takes maybe 30 seconds once you know how to do it, with about the same amount of time required to fold up and put it away. The operation consists of spinning the screw threaded post onto the seat (or vice versa, if you prefer to think of it that way), punching in a couple spring-loaded buttons, and adjusting the post to your desired length. Add another 30 seconds if you want to change the little rubber ball on the end to some little plastic spikes instead. Those are intended for outdoor use; however, I should add the caveat that the reverse threads on the that little part stopped working for me after a while. It still goes on with the plastic/rubber ball just fine, but it will not turn around and thread on the spikes anymore. Not sure why this is.
Once you realize how portable the Mogo is, new possibilities are opened up. Mine has seen quite a bit of use by a family member who has back trouble. When standing around watching an event or chatting with people, she finds it very helpful to have the Mogo. She can rest without sitting down, and at the same time stay nearly upright without really standing. The Mogo is so helpful to her, in fact, that she’s kind of adopted it, and I seldom use it myself anymore.
If you use the Mogo day-to-day on a hard surface, you’ll want a footrest to avoid wearing out your ankles. Focal Upright makes one that matches the standing chair and is just as cool. You can check out both on the manufacturer’s website.
Disclosure: I received a free sample for review.