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Brief Published: 8 Aug 2018

Inflated Floor Mat Boosts Employee Health & Productivity

Joonyeon Jo

Increasing work hours and growing public concern over wellbeing are driving individuals and businesses to invest in improved office ergonomics. UK designer Joonyeon Jo explores the potential of tactility within this environment to improve both user health and productivity.

His Motion Office project aims to introduce movement and activity into the corporate workspace. The design consists of two elements: Motion Desk and Motion Ground. The first is a thin stand-up desk that can be adjusted in height for different users. The second is a floor mat fitted with small triangular tiles in glazed ceramic, timber, glass and bronze. The mat is inflated slightly using motion airbags, while heating elements warm up the tiles in certain areas.

Jo employs a multitude of sensory features to create a dynamic and changing physical environment to suit and awaken the body. The uneven surface of the mat aims to mimic nature, making the user more aware of their surroundings and, in response, encouraging the circulation of blood to the head, supporting more engaged work. 

US employees spend an average of 8.1 hours at work each day – the majority of which is inactive and desk-bound (Centre for Active Design, 2016). Physical activity, even through minor sensorial interactions, is being used as a means to break the monotony of extended sedentary working hours, and incite a more natural and interactive state of being. 

As explored in our Active Lives Macro Trend reporting, consumers are seeking to reconnect with their bodies and discover moments of intrigue and exploration in their everyday lives. Brands need to consider how they can cater to this emerging need, and reinvent the office so that employees are both physically and mentally absorbed in their work. For more, see Blueprint for the Modern Workplace.