Students and teachers around the country are discovering the ups and downs of the sit-stand classroom. They are earning an A+ from us for inherently understanding the benefits of moving more during the day with our LearnFit Desk. Watch on.
Around the halls of Ergotron, sit-stand continues to be a passionate discussion. Apparently we are not alone! The following is an excerpt of some recent sit-stand happenings around the world, led by people you’ll want to follow. Just kick back, stand for a moment, and read on.
It’s Day 3 of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, where organizers are sending a clear message about the importance of reducing sedentary time. An entire section of the auditorium at the Edinburgh International Conference Center has been designated “stand only” for the 1,200 people from 44 countries who are gathering to examine health issues concerning physical activity, nutrition and sedentary behavior.
Ergotron is exhibiting at the Conference and Satellite Meetings, highlighting the sit-stand solutions that are changing how the world works. “Patterns of Sustainability of Sit-Stand Workstation Use in A Typical Workplace” is a poster Ergotron research manager, Carrie Schmitz presented along with Jacqueline Mair, from the Centre for Physical Activity and Health Research, Ulster University.
Also in the UK today, a lively presentation in Cheltenham Sci Festival, Sitting: The Lazy Killer, featuring Roger Highfield, Dr. Michael Mosley (pictured in tweet) and scientist John Buckley. They are discussed the parameters of a sit-stand lifestyle, and how to break up extended hours of sitting each day.
Next week, on 8 June, Peacock Bros. is hosting Dr. David Dunstan, from Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Dunstan will be presenting the latest research on the health hazards of prolonged sitting and what we can do about it. Baker IDI is holding its first annual On Your Feet Australia day 11 June; follow along on Twitter with the #quitthesit hashtag.
The implications of research into sedentary behavior is significant for heart and diabetes prevention. The American Diabetes Association, which recommends people change sitting or standing postures every 90 minutes as an aspect of the Standards of Care, launched its first annual Get Fit Don’t Sit event in May, receiving tremendous national response from businesses, who took the Pledge and encouraged healthier workstyles for their employees.
Get Britain Standing, at the Active Working Summit in January, released news about a joint statement from researchers in sedentary behavior. The statement was published this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (abstract), and urges companies to adopt workplace and wellness practices that break up sedentary aspects of office culture. They recommend office workers spend at least two hours of their working day standing or moving, and gradually progress to four hours. This is the first statement of this kind from the broader research community. Get Britain Standing has also just launched a Get America Standing site, and is planning an On Your Feet America day in April 2016.
Ergotron’s Ergoman took a short break from his Heart Walk promotional activities this week to visit with a few folks from our headquarters. Ergoman (aka Justin F., Ergotron social media manager) will be taking on a few challengers this Saturday in the mascot race at the Twin Cities Heart Walk. If you are in attendance, cheer on the man in blue, fighting to end heart to disease and advocate for a more comfortable computing experience!
Ergotron is proud to support an organization doing so much to help kids, families and communities live heart-healthy lives. If you haven’t yet, take advantage of the great resources and tools they offer, like this information on understanding the warning signs of heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest.
Their tagline sums it up best: Life is why™.
Team Ergotron will wearing blue on Saturday. Give us a shout if you see us!
Sedentary behavior in the office continues to be a rising concern across urban centers on every continent and highlight an issue that many businesses may not be ready to face. Their workers not only don’t like sitting for so long, they also worry about the negative impact of that sitting.
According to a new On Your Feet Britain survey (conducted by Getbritainstanding.org and the British Heart Foundation (BHF), nearly two-thirds of the 2,000 office workers surveyed were worried sitting at work was having a negative impact on their health. This statistic correlates with results from Ergotron’s JustStand® Index in 2013 which indicated 74% believed sitting so much could lead to an earlier death.
According to Lisa Young, Project Manager for the BHF’s Health at Work Programme, “Too many of us are tied to our desks at work, which could be increasing our risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”
And not only that, research links sedentary behavior to risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, obesity and more. Dr. Frank Booth, of the University of Missouri has identified 26 health risks associated with sedentary behavior.
With viable sit-stand solutions available on the world market to address these concerns, it is perhaps time to ask yourself if your business is ready for a sit-stand workstyle?
A few things need to be in place to support the growing employee awareness of issues like “sitting disease” and their call for a healthier workplace. Not every company can be the Apples of the world, with the creative and adaptive work environments. Most businesses are stuck with rabbit warrens of modular cube construction, undefined budgets for more investment in ergonomics, and no way of knowing if a sit-stand environment would have a meaningful impact on productivity and healthcare costs.
Gavin Bradley, from Get Britain Standing, told the BBC News: “We need new and innovative ways of addressing the issue.”
Here are five ways for your company to get started:
- Design to accommodate sit-stand work environments. Rather than addressing it as an afterthought, bring it forward right at the beginning of a new build or rework. Even if you don’t adopt sit-stand from the start, you will have planned for it down the road. And keep in mind collaborative spaces as well as workstations or conference rooms. Integrating standing options throughout the company helps it become a habitual approach to business.
- Investigate your sit-stand options. Truly, there never was a better time for finding the right workstation to meet any employee need. Take time to find the workstations that fit your decor, technology requirements, and price range, then create a list of approved sit-stand desk options. The key is to have it in place when your employees coming knocking at your door for one.
- Better be prepared because your employees will come knocking. They’ll send you an email. They’ll bring in a doctor’s note. They make their own sit-stand station out of old toner cartridge boxes they find by the printer. Some percentage of your employee population has already heard the sit-stand message and is currently pondering what to do about it. Be ready for them. Here’s one employee’s feedback. Micah R. told us recently: “Just so you know, when I bought the work fit station I was the first person in an office of about 200 people to stand while working. I was worried that I would create problems by doing this, but what has happened has shocked me. Dozens of people have followed my lead and are now standing at work and every year now on my review I get positive feedback on the influence that I have had on my coworkers and my commitment to a healthy lifestyle.”
- Help your hurting employees right away. Nothing sways productivity more than people who are hurting because of their chairs, unable to concentrate or who, all too often, are being whisked away to doctor’s appointments. Giving this population access to sit-stand computing will help them alleviate back strain by allowing frequent posture changes. Studies show it makes a difference. And many employees self-report a reduction in back pain, or a reduction in health related care, like chiropractic visits, when they integrate sit-stand into their work routines.
- Don’t neglect your healthy employees. Incorporate a three to five year strategy for sit-stand work environments into your wellness planning to safeguard healthy employees before they start to hurt. The costs associated with not addressing a worker’s emerging health issues can escalate quickly. Preemptive support to help healthy employees remain healthy has an impact on their productivity and your bottom line.
Where you take it from here will be truly exciting!
It’s not just sit; it’s not just stand. What is becoming very clear now? It’s sit and stand. This postural rotation back and forth is what is associated with the many positive health results we are seeing in existing and emerging research. This is good news for the global community coming to grips with the impact this sedentary behavior is having or will have on our lives.
Our last point could have been: Educate, educate, educate. But in reality, there are many great organizations doing that for you like Getbritainstanding.org, in conjunction with BHF, who are sponsoring the inaugural On Your Feet Britain Day today. A few other organizations with similar bents:
- The American Diabetes Association is claiming May 6 for the Get Fit Don’t Sit Day to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity
- Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute has scheduled June 11 as On Your Feet Australia
When 78% of your work force turns their eye on you regarding this issue, will you be ready?
Did you know that only 12.5% of e-waste is currently recycled? E-waste, of course, being the electronic gadgets, etc. du jour that somehow become immediately obsolete seconds after we use them. Who doesn’t have extra keyboards, extra cords, extra phones, and heaven forbid, gasp, an old CRT?
Earth Day is always a great day to remember these e-wasters and make a plan to dispose of them posthaste!
Fortunately, there are groups like Dosomething.org that are helping us become responsible e-citizens, and that organizations exist that will analyze “e-waste” to determine if it is waste at all. Here at Ergotron, 100% of our e-waste is recycled through an outlet that either gets these materials back in circulation or recycled for materials recovery.
Joanne P., contacted us one day about a resource she found helpful. If you are a Verizon customer, they have a program that provides a safe way to dispose of unwanted electronic devices, and they’ll reward you too. Best Buy does something similar, accepting nearly all electronics and large appliances at no charge.
Looking for other outlets? Spring and Fall are two seasons for neighborhood cleanups. Agencies and businesses come together to help neighbors recycle everything from construction waste to, you guessed it, e-waste. Contact your local recycling center to learn about dates scheduled in your neighborhood.
Of course, there are county-wide organizations that accept your used e-waste all year long. Sometimes for a fee. Still, spending a few dollars to keep it out of a landfill is a good thing.
Each year at the Minnesota State Fair the DNR creates an Adopt-a-River Sculpture create a sculpture out of all the things they dragged out of the Mississippi River. It’s astounding. If you are faced with the choice of the garbage can, the river, some ditch on a remote country road or spending a few minutes researching local resources online, please choose online!
You could even organize your own event, or partner with a local recycler like we did yesterday morning to help celebrate Earth Day. It was surprisingly easy to find a few volunteers, communicate it to the company, and gather up the 330 plus pounds of e-waste.
In the end, Earth Day is always a good reminder…whatever your waste is, recycle responsibly.
While we don’t supply the super-speedy IT elves, we do supply an out-of-the-box experience you’ll love! Available in white or black, the WorkFit-T Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation will open the door to a healthier workstyle. Ready when you are!
HIMSS 2015 is off to an exciting start! This year Ergotron and Anthro are joining forces to give you a hospital-eye view on point-of-care carts and imaging furniture for the entire facility. Step in an experience the difference comfortable computing can make in the digital workflow, supporting care giving and patient engagement everywhere you are.
Looking for things to do? See Anthro’s What to Expect at HIMSS in Chicago, for First time Attendees blog, learn more about our booth promotions, or follow along socially at @ergotron, @ergohit or @anthrocorp.
Let’s all salute the office pioneers who, braving co-worker ridicule and IT angst, reached for the boxes, books, and other cube accessories to create stand-up desks in their sit-only landscapes.
Folks like Nikki, Amy, Ryan and the others, what were they hoping for? More energy, more focus, or maybe even for a back pain free day away from a sit-only workstyle. Like them, Ergotron is focused on pioneering workstations that get people moving too.
Have a DIY desk you want to share? Send us your pic on Facebook!
Recently, District Administration and other news outlets like it, reported the Obama administration’s request for $1 billion in funding for American Indian education, including millions for schools needing new construction or significant repair.
Native American children are considered “at risk” students, not only for lower high school graduation rates, but also for the occurrence of Type II diabetes and obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions as compared to Non-native populations.
Recognizing that Ergotron’s product base gives educators the ability to activate classrooms where children spend much of their sedentary time, we joined forces with the Mayo Clinic at one Minnesota school, Nay Ah Shing Elementary, on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Reservation. The Mayo Clinic was investigating the impact of incorporating more movement (Prevention, 2010) in the classroom on student health, behavior and performance and Ergotron was able to provide sit-stand workstations as intervention.
Physical activity in US schools averages less than 45 minutes per day although the government recommendation is 60 minutes. In the effort to improve academic achievement many schools have sacrificed physical education classes and recess. At the same time, statistics predict that obese adolescents stand a significant chance of becoming obese adults. The health risks associated with a growing population of overweight and obese citizens include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and early death¹.
Building on observations made during the pilot project at Nay Ah Shing, researchers are now studying students using Ergotron LearnFit™ Adjustable Standing Desks at Belle Terre Elementary in Palm Coast, Florida and Fountain Hills Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona. The theory is that once kids get moving, standing, and walking around in the classroom during their learning time not only will it impact their health and risk for disease in the future but also it will increase their learning, processing and academic test scores. As at Nay Ah Shing, Belle Terre and Fountain Hills, students are tracking student activity and educators have been instructed how to teach in an active mode.
The US government encourages manufacturers like Ergotron to collaborate with scientists and research institutions on projects like Nay Ah Shing with the goal of improving the course of the lives of children. Students that may have otherwise left school will have more incentive to stay the course and, ultimately, become high performing adults. In addition, any funding that helps with the adoption of more active learning environments can tackle the issue of overweight students and play a part in preventing the onset of related (and extremely costly) diseases².
We will be blogging more about this important topic in the months ahead.
1. Jeffrey Levi, Chrissie Juliano, & Laura M. Segal, 2006 2. G. F. Dunton1, 2009
Montera Middle School in Oakland, California, is joining Belle Terre Elementary (Florida), and Deer Creek Middle School (Colorado), in a unique approach to learning. They’ve furnished a complete classroom with Ergotron’s LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desks. Hear about the experience from teachers and students alike. Unscripted, direct and honest reactions…just the way you want them.