If you're reading this on your phone or tablet, or anything that's convenient to move around, place the screen above your eye-level.
We know that habitually gazing down at smartphones can cause neck disorders. But a new campaign in Japan suggests it can also make us unhappy.
With ice cream being all about small moments of happiness, Lotte (with help from Dentsu) has devised the ‘So Happy Bench’ project to snap people out of their downward-facing stupour and promote its ice cream brand So.
The Happy Bench is designed to give slightly when people sit on it, thereby tilting their gaze upwards. The idea is endorsed by Professor Takashi Maeno, a happiness researcher at Keio University.
He says studies show that looking upwards can make people feel happier. The bench, developed by Eisuke Tachikawa, a social product designer, has so far been distributed to 10 locations in Japan. They include shared workspaces and companies such as L’Oréal which are looking to improve their working practices based on staff wellbeing.
A spokesperson for Dentsu, Satoshi Takahashi, said they will consider making additional benches if companies ask for them.