There is an innovative business in North Kingstown that has a viable solution to how you and your fellow employees can be more productive and healthier, and it starts with the way you are sitting at the office. The name of the business is Focal Upright Furniture. I was introduced to this local furniture company by Doug Perron, a Barrington based physical therapist assistant and certified personal trainer who has worked with professional golfers as well as other high school and professional athletes and has owned and managed Barrington Fitness Studio for close to 12 years. When Doug is passionate about a product or service, people in the health and fitness industry tend to listen, with both ears. In his studio in Barrington, Doug showed me the Locus Standing Desk Seat and the accompanying Locus Standing Desk. My impression was “Wow, this is an incredible upgrade from my office chair and desk.” Doug mentioned owner Martin Keen as someone he had a ton of respect for as well as his company Focal Upright Furniture. And, since they are based in North Kingstown, I decided to get in touch with Martin and learn more about Focal Upright Furniture. Here is a short video as well as an excerpt from our conversation.
Martin, thank for taking the time to speak with me. First off, the website, www.focaluprightfurniture.com is very informative. I love the diagrams and photos and the great descriptions. So, once a customer switches from the traditional office chair to an upright device, what are some of the physiological responses they might experience?
Thank you. Well let’s refer to our product as a seat. In our seat, on the Locus for example, like the one in Doug’s studio, initially you are not taking all the work off your legs. You might feel a bit more loaded in your legs than traditional sitting in an office chair. Your legs, after all, are the largest muscles in your body. Our seats and solutions provide low intensity physical activity (LIPA) while you are at work. In addition, you are responsible for your own posture. Your hip flexors remain stretched, your pelvis is in a more neutral position, and your lower back is in a much better overall position. There are huge physiological advantages to our seats versus traditional office chairs.
How adjustable is the seat?
The height range of the user is 4’11” to 6’8″ and it can hold a user up to 300 lbs. So, you can adjust the seat height, yes. Our aim is to create a leaning or perching posture for you of roughly 130 to 135 degree angle from hip to torso. In working with an adjustable height desk station, you are now working upright and the benefits are very positive.
What has been your greatest objection to your product and how did you respond?
There haven’t been many other that it is odd looking. I believe we have created an incredible product to make a difference in the way people work.
I see that the end of the Locus seat there is a ramp or incline? What is that for?
I referred to it earlier when you asked about the adjustability. The ramp is where you feet are placed to help created that ideal 130 to 135 degree angle from your hip to your torso area.
I noticed on the Mobis Standing Desk Seat there is no ramp.
Correct, however we do offer a foot rail option, which can be purchased separately. The Mobis model was designed to go around a conference table and to be more mobile than the Locus model. In fact, we have designed offices with the Locus and Mobis seats, with the Locus being the primary user’s seat and the Mobis seats for client meetings, for example.
Why is it important to have a height adjustable desk?
Height adjustable desks offer a number of physiological benefits to the traditional desk. Wrist injuries are one of the most common in office settings. Here with the adjustable height desk, you can customize the height to fit your individual size. Our desk heights range from 36″ to 48″ to go along with the standing upright seats. Working with our ergonomists, we have found that the adjustable height desks help promote good posture in not only typing but anything work related on your desk.
Have you found a niche business or market that has gravitated towards your product line?
We have been successful across the board – some of our clients are architects, lawyers, and of course the many, many clients in corporate offices all over the globe.
Have you started working with schools and universities, as most schools are still using those cramped, antiquated desks which cannot possibly encourage good posture and productivity?
It’s in our plans at some point, yes. We feel it is important to educate and be advocates for our children and how they learn. We have been following the work of the organization, Stand 2 Learn, and their goals to combat obesity and to increase engagement time for not only kids, but adults as well.
What does it mean to manufacture the product all under one roof? What does that do to the overall quality control of the end product?
Having been in the manufacturing business as long as I have, it is critical to have good quality control settings for your product. The fact the product is assembled here in RI at our facility in Quonset Business Park means we can make a fantastic product that will benefit our fellow workers. I take pride in being a social entrepreneur. In other words, I get satisfaction helping my community, albeit the working community, solve a problem – the problem of the traditional office chair and desk.
So what are your ties to RI, if any? How about North Kingstown?
I am originally from the UK (United Kingdom) and my family moved to the US and to Ohio when I was young. I went to school in Ohio. Later in my youth, I developed a love of sailing. Newport was and is one of the most beautiful places in the United States for sailing, so I just fell in love with the area. This area, Southern Rhode Island especially, is a wonderful environment. My family and I loved it so much that we live here in Southern RI and have this great location here in North Kingstown.
Any items that you would like to promote? Thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
Thank you. Yes, you should look our Mogo seat. It is a low priced item that you can take anywhere. Soccer games, picnics, maybe an outdoor concert. It is light, portable, and has all of the benefits of the Locus and Mobis models.
The North Kingstown Marketing Company has been selected to be an affiliate sales resource for Focal Upright Furniture. Stay tuned for future articles on the Focal Upright Furniture company and how you can purchase this item right here on the North Kingstown Blog. For more information on this article, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.