There are two major categories of books: those we place on a table for serious study, and those we read while leaning back in a chair, in an easy chair, or while travelling by train. The books we study should rest at a slant in front of us. Few, however, will go to such length. To bend over a book is just as unhealthy as the usual writing position enforced by a flat table. The scribe of the middle ages used a desk; we hardly dare call it that any more because the slope was so steep (up to 65°). The parchment was held in place by a string across it and could be pushed upward little by little. The active line, always horizontal was the height-of-eye, and the scribe sat perfectly upright. Even at the turn of the century, clergymen and government officials used to do their writing standing up behind a small desk: a healthy and reasonable position for writing and reading that has, alas, become rare.
—Jan Tschichold, The Form of the Book
My ideal office wouldn’t have a chair. You would do two things there: stand up or lie down. These are the body’s most natural positions.
I don’t know what physiotherapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists would do for a living if we all weren’t slouched in our chairs and hunched over our square, flat, dust-collecting desks. What are vertical creatures doing working on the horizontal? Revolt, I say! Stand up and say no to the horizontal and yes to the diagonal!