A team of L.A.-based designers has found a new use for the millions of tires that are thrown out every year: recycle them into a bouncy, comfortable platform that might make you more likely to use a standing desk.
"A lot of research is basically saying that sitting is terrible for you, but standing in just one place can be just as bad," says Paul Davidge, founder of Feazer, an "active standing platform" made mostly from recycled tire rubber. "Actually, it's the movement that creates all the benefits of standing. This activates the muscles in your feet and ankles."
Like some similar designs, the platform encourages you to rock a little as you stand, and, in theory, avoid the swelling legs or pain that can come from standing for hours at a time. It also burns calories.
"Because it's essentially a low-impact balance board, it means you can rock side to side and front to back, so you're helping to improve your posture, your core, and your balance at the same time," says Davidge. "When you stand in line and find yourself sort of hopping from one foot to the other, this product enables you to do that sort of instinctively."
It's low enough, and sturdy enough, that it's possible to comfortably stand on it in heels. "You're not going to fall off it," he says. The startup plans to market the product to anyone who stands—not just office workers, but cashiers in grocery stores who currently use less-ergonomic anti-fatigue mats.
While there are a few alternatives on the market, including some that look like surfboards, the designers wanted to make something a little sleeker. They argue that building the base out of rubber also makes it more comfortable and stable. And—if their crowdfunding campaign succeeds—the product can help make a dent in the 44 million tires that are thrown out annually in California alone.