WorkFit-T review: an amazing podcasting workstation

Bryn Huntpalmer's podcasting workstation

Bryn Huntpalmer’s podcasting workstation

It’s always interesting for us to hear how people are breaking up sedentary workstyles and improving their workflow. Bryn Huntpalmer, a popular podcaster, lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. With the arrival of children, she discovered a passion for supporting women as they prepare to become mothers. In 2015, Bryn combined her talents in photography, writing, and connecting people to launch The Birth Hour. This audio podcast series serves as a place for women to share their childbirth stories.

Because it takes up to eight hours to edit a one-hour podcast, switching from sitting to standing and vice-versa is ideal for productivity. Bryn has suffered from back pain and carpal tunnel for a decade, so an ergonomic desk is absolutely crucial for health and wellbeing.

She recently blogged about how to set up the perfect workstation for podcasting workflow, and mentioned our WorkFit-TL Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation, shown above, with the optional WorkFit Dual Monitor Kit. Here’s a short excerpt:

“I used to sit at the dining room table while I recorded but now I use my sit stand desk from Ergotron that I’m obsessed with. I love this desk because it just sits on top of the desk I already own and it can be adjusted up or down really easily. If I decide to upgrade to a bigger desk one day (like when I have an actual office), I can just move this desk wherever it needs to go. I also got the screen mount so that I could have double screens which is really helpful when editing.”

Read More…

 

Variation on a best-selling theme – New LX SKUs in white

Ergotron LX Single Desk Mount LCD Arm
Up. Down. Forward. Back. The LX provides unparalleled range of motion for any business setting. Choose from these three SKUs with white steel and aluminum construction:

LX Desk Mount LCD Arm
LX Dual Side-By-Side Desk Mount
LX Dual Stacking Desk Mount

Planning to grommet mount? Order this kit for the Single LX Arms and this kit for the Dual LX Arms. Or for a Notebook Tray configuration order part number (50-193-200).

Getting Productivity Up & Moving: The 2016 JustStand Index

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At Ergotron, scientific and evidence-based research and data is the foundation of product development. As an extension of this commitment, Ergotron commissioned a survey of 1,000 full-time employees in the U.S. as part of the 2016 JustStand® Index, to uncover how sedentary lifestyles are impacting the productivity, engagement and well-being of employees. The report analyzes how sitting impacts different aspects of the workplace – here are the key findings:

  • Productivity: Although cyberloafing, a term used to describe browsing the internet and social media, has gotten a lot of attention for its impact on productivity, it turns out that restless employees are 61 percent more likely to get up and move around than browse the internet or social media (39 percent). While taking regular breaks for movement is important, the data suggests that employees are being driven away from their desks to alleviate restlessness and physical discomfort from prolonged sitting.
  • Office culture: Over 60 percent of employees dislike or even hate sitting, yet nearly 70 percent do it all day, every day. A happy, healthy employee is more likely to be a productive and engaged employee — and one that stays with your company — yet the majority of our office spaces aren’t designed with that in mind.
  • Employee health: With the influx of wearable technology people are more health-conscious than ever before, but may have been lulled into a false sense of fitness and health. Sixty-two percent of employees indicated that they get the recommended 2.5 hours a week of exercise, which is perhaps why less than half of the office workers surveyed think they are personally at risk for sitting disease. However, sitting too much at work, despite physical activity undertaken throughout the week, is detrimental to mind and body.
  • Wellness programs: Despite health and wellness programs in corporations being a stated priority, only 23 percent of employees are aware of a wellness program at their company and of that population, only 35 percent of these programs offer alternative workstation as a benefit option to help avoid prolonged sitting.

Since launching the first JustStand Index in 2013, more attention has been given to the dangerous metabolic effects of sedentary lifestyles, or sitting disease as it is less commonly known. Although awareness is for sitting disease has doubled (from 7 to 15 percent), it has yet to achieve widespread understanding and sitting is still the most common posture in the workplace.

The landscape of work has changed drastically – with a new generation of workers and innovations in technology – but, for the most part, employees still remain in office chairs. And many of them aren’t happy about it. And while 86 percent of people believe that prolonged sitting increases the risk of early mortality, only 48 percent of people believe they are personally at risk. This demonstrates the need for further education and conversation throughout the business community.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be exploring these key findings in more detail on the JustStand MoveMore blog. In the meantime, visit www.juststand.org/jsindex to download the full eBook.

 

The importance of safety certification for charging systems

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No doubt you have already been through at least one or two technology decisions for your school, choosing devices that will meet your student and curriculum needs. Just as you discovered that you weren’t always comparing Apples to eReaders, the same is true with the charging systems that keep your devices powered up and in play throughout the school day. There is a tendency to assume that all charging systems are safe, but this is not always true. In fact, all device charging systems are not created equal.

Therefore, it is equally important to choose a charging products that has been safety certified by a third-party organization and that the system is being evaluated as a complete and integrated system. It is important to require this of your supplier to ensure the safety of your devices, your facilities and your students.

Some manufacturers use individual components that are safety certified, but then combine them into a larger charging system that is not certified. Charging systems that are not evaluated and certified may exceed allowable load limits, thereby causing electrical arcing, facility problems and/or interaction and interference with other equipment. Safety certification also ensures that mechanical hazards such as user “pinch points,” tipping, sharp edges and crush/cut potential are mitigated.

What are the risks of using non-certified products? You may be surprised at how many there are. Here is a list of considerations when choosing the right systems for your campus:

  1. Critical materials are not fire resistant: This is a potential fire hazard if a battery or electrical fault occurs.
  2. Electrical hazards are not physically enclosed: Shock hazards exist if energized circuitry can potentially be touched either directly or if exposed metal is not safely grounded or properly isolated. Another fire hazard can exist if the enclosure can potentially let out flames or molten metal if an electrical fault occurs inside of the enclosure.
  3. Mechanical hazards are not mitigated: If not properly tested and certified, pinch points, tip, crush or cut, sharp edges, and moving parts can injure students and staff.
  4. Equipment ratings must meet National Electrical Code: Non-evaluated systems may exceed allowable load limits causing electrical arcing, facility problems and/or interaction and interference with other equipment.
  5. No manufacturing factory quality surveillance: Product quality and consistency must be managed and ensured.

Whether you are a choosing a small desktop unit for a back office, a wall unit for an AV center, or a full cart for laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, or netbooks in the classroom, safety should be a number one priority for all the stakeholders involved. Technology is meant to open up new worlds to the students, not new headaches for teachers and IT staff. Look for the certified safety labels or documentation and be sure to differentiate the whole system is safe.

Check out the educator resources on our website, including a grant writing kit, to power up every classroom safely and securely. Also, our charging matrix (PDF) can help you choose the right solution for your environment.

Bob Hill, Ergotron’s Global Education Manager

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager, @LearnFit_Bob

Bob Hill, @LearnFit_Bob

Worldwide Stand Up Days!

Several years ago, most of us weren’t aware of the dangers of sedentary workstyles and prolonged sitting. Today, we know that many office workers sit almost 10 hours a day, which is too much. Regular low-level movement is healthier, so switch from sitting to standing every 30 minutes or so.

To remind us to sit less and move more, engage with one of these upcoming stand up awareness days.

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On Your Feet America – April 29, 2016. To learn more, visit their website, follow @getUSAstanding, share #SitLess #MoveMore #OYF16. (Organizers: Get America Standing and Active Working; Ergotron is a Silver Partner.)

On-Your-Feet-Britain

On Your Feet Britain – April 29, 2016. To learn more, visit their website, follow @getGBstanding, share #SitLess #MoveMore #OYF16. (Organizers: Get Britain Standing and Active Working; Ergotron is a Silver Partner.)

On-Your-Feet-Canada
On Your Feet Canada – April 29, 2016. To learn more, visit their website, follow @getCDAstanding, share #SitLess #MoveMore #OYF16. (Organizers: Get Canada Standing and Active Working.)

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Get Fit, Don’t Sit – May 4, 2016. To learn more, visit their website, follow @AmDiabetesAssn, share #GetFitDontSit #StopDiabetes. (Organizer: American Diabetes Association.)

Join us in making some simple changes so that you spend more time up off of that chair – at work and at home!

Happy Earth Day!

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Ergotron is celebrating Earth Day today, and every day! The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, engaged 20 million Americans and helped launch the modern environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world!

As an environmentally responsible company, we’re doing our part to reduce, reuse, and recycle. For example, our WorkFit line helps turn an ordinary desk into a stand-up workstation, freeing up landfills.

The theme this year is Trees for the Earth, combating deforestation is one of the easiest ways protect our air and water. Check out this map to find tree planting and other green events in your area.

Join the conversation, using hashtag #EarthDay2016.

[Video] CNN takes thoughtful look at standing classrooms

CNN’s Kelly Wallace explores standing in the classroom at the Alexandria Country Day School in Virginia. The school added 128 Ergotron LearnFit™ Adustable Standing Desks to its middle school classrooms to improve students’ focus and increase their physical activity. Multiple Ergotron TeachWell® Mobile Digital Workspaces were also deployed to enable teachers to teach from a mobile, sit-stand platform. The products were funded through a $3 million gift from an anonymous donor in 2014, the largest in the school’s 32-year history. Learn more about other schools piloting standing desks at Ergotron.com/spotlight. Stay in the loop socially by sharing hashtag #schoolsthatmove on Twitter.

Higher Health with Ergotron’s Carrie Schmitz & Betsey Banker

Q-A_blueOn April 19th, the much-anticipated Higher Health Symposium will take place at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN. The day-long event is designed to better prepare business owners to make educated decisions about employee health and healthcare. Ergotron’s Carrie Schmitz (Manager of Ergonomic Research) and Betsey Banker (Manager of Wellness) have been asked to present along with other industry experts. Here, they’ve answered a few questions for those interested in attending the event.

Q: What are you planning on sharing at the Higher Health Symposium?

Betsey: Our goal is to educate attendees on the very real and harmful impacts of a sedentary working environment. Our message is simple: sit less, move more.

Carrie: By sharing the scientific research and the business case for sit-stand desks, we hope to empower business owners to embrace a culture of movement within their own organizations.

Q: Why is your message so important for HR professionals and business owners?

Carrie: The latest research on physical inactivity seems to indicate that smaller, more frequent interventions actually have more potential to reduce health risks than anyone realized. One of the unintended consequences of using computers is prolonged inactivity (both at work and during leisure time), but being armed with the latest research gives employers a way to address these growing lifestyle risk factors in a way that can positively impact individuals, employees and really public health.

Betsey: Poor health is driving up healthcare costs and affecting performance and productivity. One almost shockingly simple solution is to get people moving. Even the simple act of standing has proven benefits. There’s so much that an executive or HR professional can’t control when it comes to wellness, but they can control the atmosphere where their employees work. Having a culture that encourages movement is one way to do that, and Carrie and I will talk about that in detail.

Q: What are you looking forward to?

Carrie: The Symposium promises to establish important links between local business leaders from many disciplines in a scientific setting. I love connecting with people to discuss best practices and take aim at shared challenges to employee health and performance.

Betsey: In addition to that, I’m looking forward to learning about other cost-effective strategies for improving employee health. As Dr. Chad Henriksen mentioned in this previous post, solutions don’t have to be costly to be effective.

Follow along on social media for updates, using hashtag #HigherHealthSym16.

Betsey Banker @BetseyBanker

Betsey Banker
@BetseyBanker

Carrie Schmitz @Giveafig

Carrie Schmitz
@Giveafig

 

Ergotron talks to Dr. Chad Henriksen about Higher Health

Q-A_blueDiscover innovative options for employee wellness at the Higher Health Symposium on Tuesday April 19, 2016 at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN. An expert panel of industry professionals will challenge conventional thinking and highlight new opportunities for employer-sponsored healthcare.

Speaker Dr. Chad Henriksen

Speaker Dr. Chad Henriksen

Here’s our Q&A with Dr. Chad Henriksen, coordinator of the ergonomics division at the university’s HC Sweere Center for Clinical Biomechanics and Applied Ergonomics, to answer a few questions and provide more personal insight into the relevance of the day.

Q: What’s unique about what Northwestern Health Sciences University has to say about employee wellness?  

A: Northwestern Health Sciences University is in a unique situation regarding employee wellness. As a health care educational institute we have a distinct approach: preparing the next generation of health care providers to deliver a message focused on early intervention and prevention care.  We believe that the health care provider of the future will focus on integrating their specific specialty with other providers in an effort to maximize the wellbeing of patients, which also happen to be employees. Additionally, we work with employers directly, providing injury prevention programs and on-site care in an effort to control cost and improve quality of life.

Q: What’s the most important topic you’ll be covering at Higher Health?

A: The only thing more powerful than education is application. I will have an opportunity to share real life case studies and successful outcomes achieved through on-site care programs.

Q: Is there anything that might surprise attendees about your presentation?

A: A major focus of the event is curbing rising healthcare costs. I think attendees will be surprised by the low risk and minimal upfront investment that is required to achieve meaningful cost savings.

As the Northwestern Health Sciences University mission states, it prepares the next generation of health care professionals to deliver and advance health care. It is the University’s goal to create a healthier world through education, research and care delivery.  The mission of Live, Learn, and Serve Healthy! fits perfectly with the message of the Higher Health Symposium.

Love hearing the inside scoop? Read our Q&A with Dr. Joe Sweere, brother of Ergotron’s founder Harry Sweere. To learn more about the Higher Health Symposium and to register to attend, visit HigherHealthSyposium.com. Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #HigherHealthSym16.