Apple employees get standing desks; Tim Cook has said that ‘sitting is the new cancer’

In a recent interview with The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein published on Wednesday by Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “We have given all of our employees, 100%, standing desks. If you can stand for a while, then sit, and so on and so forth, it’s much better for your lifestyle.”

“If I sit for too long, it will actually tap me on the wrist to remind me to get up and move, because a lot of doctors think sitting is the new cancer,” said Cook during an on-stage interview at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference in February 2015.

Ten minutes before the hour, it will remind you to move. We have a lot of people using the Apple Watch at Apple, and ten minutes before the hour, suddenly they all get up and move. It took a little to get used to, but it’s great. – Apple CEO Tim Cook

Last July, Christina Passariello reported for The Wall Street Journal on Apple’s Park’s “sliding-glass doors on the soundproof offices, a giant European white oak collaboration table, adjustable-height desks, and floors with aluminum-covered hinged panels, hiding cables and wires, and brushed-steel grating for air diffusion.”

Desks in Apple Park's open-plan workspaces can be raised to standing level at the push of a button. (Photo: Mikael Jansson for WSJ Magazine)
Desks in Apple Park’s open-plan workspaces can be raised to standing level at the push of a button. (Photo: Mikael Jansson for WSJ Magazine)

Direct link to video here.

MacDailyNews Note: Last August, Harvard University reported:

Odds are you are sitting while you read this. In fact, more than half of an average person’s waking hours are spent sitting, according to a study in the Jan. 19, 2015, Annals of Internal Medicine.

All that sitting can cause great damage to your health. “The health risks tied to sitting may not be completely related to the act of sitting itself, but rather that sitting keeps you from doing healthier activity,” says Dr. I-Min Lee of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

It’s simple math: the more you sit, the greater the threat — and the less time you spend sitting, the longer you’re likely to live.

For instance, a study in the August 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that sitting less can increase life expectancy. The researchers analyzed behavioral surveys of 433,000 people in 54 countries and matched them with statistics on population size and overall deaths. They found that a 50% reduction in time spent sitting per day would represent at least three times fewer deaths. Even a 10% reduction in daily sitting time (about 30 minutes) could significantly lower death rates.

Of course, you cannot eliminate all sitting. The goal is to be more mindful of how much you sit during the day and then take steps to reduce that time and substitute it with more movement.

Read more in the full article here.

Review of Vitra’s Pacific Chair, Jony Ive’s choice of seating for Apple Park – January 29, 2018
Apple is leading a revolution in office chairs – December 7, 2017


  1. And sitting isn’t cancer Pete’s sake. Misinformation is the new brain cancer. It’s malignant and it metastasizes. The correct verbal meme is “Sitting is the new smoking.” I.e. sitting leads to cancer, which clearly it does not. Fake news Tim. Fake news.

    There was one study that found a weak link between sitting and diabetes. That started the whole “Sitting is the new smoking” campaign. Of course the standing desk makers went nuts with it.

    Subsequent studies, also found only a weak association with type 2 diabetes, and that only occurred if the person was both overweight and sitting, a bad combination.


    “…For example, sitting down at work isn’t strongly linked with long-term health risks. Perhaps that’s because higher status jobs involve more sitting, and higher socioeconomic position is linked with a lower risk of chronic disease…”

    So sit down and work productively, eat healthy, get exercise.

    Once again the bottom line is “All things in moderation.”

    Your Apple Watch will remind you to stand up and stretch and take a walk around the block.

  2. Hmm I wonder what they think of sitting on a bike while pedaling? Lol

    I think bottom line is having good diet and exercise. If you exercise for an hour and then sit on your ass for 8 hours does that throw out the belief “sitting is bad”?

  3. I did not realize health cook is a gullible follower of the fads that go around. I bet he practices, mindfulness, kindfulness, and veganism too.

    1. In my last house, the desk I had my computer on was much higher than a standard desk and I had an old fashioned draughtsman’s chair ( imagine a basic swivelling office chair, but with the height of a bar stool, together with a footrest ). The reason for having this arrangement was to make better use of limited space in that area, but it meant that I could easily use the computer while standing at my desk and could also sit down whenever I preferred to.

  4. … my desk removed and a long countertop installed to place my computers and printers on. I have a chair that I could still use but I never do, and the only time I sit is during lunch, unless I’m in someone else’s office for any length of time. This has worked well for me for the past seven years, before they ever came up with this reasoning.

    Now I hate to sit at work, but you should see me hit the old La-Z-Boy when I get home.

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