Stir Kinetic, the Rolls-Royce of standing desks

The brainchild of former iPod engineer JP Labrosse and a team of ex-Apple and Disney employees, this $4000 piece of furniture features everything from a touch screen to activity sensors.

The minimalist desk, which like iPods of old is available in two colors, ‘espresso' or white, uses motors to automatically adjust its height and can remember a user's preferred standing or seating position -- just like a luxury car can be configured for several drivers' seating, mirrors and steering wheel positions -- but the features don't stop there.

The desk's ultimate goal is to make its owner fitter and more productive.

Countless studies have been done highlighting that as humans become more sedentary -- most of us sit at a computer on a desk during the day then relax when getting home by sitting on a sofa with a tablet on our laps -- hours are being shaved off our lives.

The longer we sit, the more our bodies start to shut down at a metabolic level because of a lack of muscle movement. According to Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri, this lack of movement slows down circulation which in turn reduces the number of calories burnt. He claims that a full day spent without movement will lead to a 50 percent drop in the body's ability to burn fat.

Likewise, a 2012 paper published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine which drew on data from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, found that a single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer's life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

The Kinetic wants to put a stop to this by remembering what makes its owner comfortable and then conveniently forgetting it, gradually moving up and down silently throughout the day in order to encourage movement and exercise.

But it doesn't do this in a way that will make you the butt of co-workers' jokes. It actively monitors position and movement, understands how many calories are being burned and starts to learn how a user prefers to work, fitting in the height adjustments, and therefore gentle exercises around working patterns.

Controlled via a touch screen, a user can double-tap to start or stop movement and can connect all of their other electronic devices directly to it, to eliminate cable clutter -- it even has built in wi-fi and Bluetooth. A built-in sensor can recognize not just the desk's official user, but also others and can cater for several different people if need be. As well as providing input, the touch screen also gives a running report of movement calories burned, goals reached and a host of other health-based information.

And as well as forcing users to stand or sit to boost their bodies, it is also meant to force users to have a stretch, walk away, take a breather and come back energized in order to boost their minds.

Standing desks have been shown to improve creativity and productivity and by combining the best features of a standing desk with the health monitoring and connectivity of the best fitness apps and trackers, Stir can claim to be offering a whole new category of device.

Hand-built in the US, the Stir Kinetic desk is available to reserve now. It is expected to cost $3,890 when it ships.