Author Archives: Jessica Weinberger

Ergonomic Myths

Debunking Ergonomic Myths: Standing Desks are All the Same

We’re on to week three of our ergonomic myths blog series in honor of National Ergonomics Month. It’s time to demystify another myth that may be hindering your path to a new sit-stand workstyle.

MYTH: Standing desks are all the same.

Here’s where we stand:

Today’s technology allows us to choose whether we sit or stand when using a computer or device. Science supports this functionality, with research showing that sticking with one posture or the other is unhealthy. The ability to choose your posture, based on how you feel and the task at hand, is a crucial factor in job satisfaction, and by extension, performance. So the question is not whether to use a sit-stand workstation, but which sit-stand option should you use?

Standing workstations are not all the same. Over the last five years, dozens of alternatives have flooded the market. The designs fall into a handful of categories, and yes, many are beginning to look alike. As consumers, it helps to be a savvy about the differences to avoid the pitfalls of a knock-off standing solution, that may not adhere to the stricter definitions of safety and standards of quality.

How do you distinguish between a lasting, effective sit-stand solution and a less desirable knock-off? The best sit-stand workstations offer a full range of motion to address the broadest range of users. This is especially important in shared workstations across multiple shifts.

WorkFit-SProducts like Ergotron’s WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Workstation that offer 20” of height adjustment with an additional 5” in monitor adjustment accommodate this range, while add-on accessories can be added for very tall users’ needs. Other workstations may actually discourage movement because they are too hard to adjust or adjust too slowly. When users don’t have a positive experience, they don’t reap the benefits promised by the sit-stand aspect of the product.

An easily adjustable workstation allows you to change positions on the fly as your workload or body requires. We advocate for the Sit-Stand Switch™ – changing postures every 30 minutes.

The best standing solutions are also stable. Unstable solutions have the potential to tip over and hurt you or damage your technology.

Buyers should select an option that has a weight adjustable counterbalance with wide weight range to cover a range of displays. Ergonomic handles, clean cable management, clearly defined testing criteria and a warranty are also important features to look for. Learn more how to choose a station that support you or your company’s needs in Designing an Ergonomic Sit-Stand Desk Converter.

I look forward to sharing our final ergonomic myth with you next week!

Carrie SchmitzCarrie Schmitz
Senior Manager of Human Factors & Ergonomics Research, AOEAS, CHC

Carrie oversees ergonomics research and outreach, working closely with global researchers to advance knowledge around the health and well-being benefits of sit-stand activity.

3 Strategies to Create a Culture of Movement

Sit-stand SwitchEvolving into a movement-friendly culture can be a challenge for many organizations. But with uninterrupted sitting negatively impacting employee productivity and contributing to many unhealthy and costly physical conditions, companies know they need to make a change. But where to start?

In our new handbook, Make the Sit-Stand Switch, we outline three strategies that will help businesses not only replace their static office furniture with sit-stand workstations, but develop a program that infuses movement for the long term.

In Make the Sit-Stand Switch, you will learn how to:

  • Build mindshare among influencers and address concerns
  • Design a program with an effective policy, process and communications
  • Choose what and when to measure results

Ready to improve engagement, performance, health and your business goals? Download the handbook today!

Camel Pose

[Movie] 3 Poses to Counteract Back Pain

Hours spent sitting in your chair can lead to back pain that stays with you long after you leave the office. Get into a movement mindset while improving your spine health and lowering your back pain with these simple poses, all done from the convenience of your work area.

View video.

For more resources to get you moving, visit www.themovementmindset.com.

Ergonomic Myths

Debunking Ergonomic Myths: Sitting is the New Smoking

It’s week two of National Ergonomics Month and time for our next ergonomic myth.

MYTH: Sitting is the new smoking.

Here’s where we stand:

The phrase “sitting is the new smoking” may cause a few eye rolls, but people had the same reaction 50 years ago when scientists began to suggest that smoking leads to cancer and heart disease. It may seem provocative to compare smoking to sitting, but it’s not just a made-up headline. This comparison originated with Anup Kanodia, a physician and researcher at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, and scientists from the Mayo Clinic (James Levine, “Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It”) to NASA (Joan Vernikos, “Sitting Kills, Moving Heals”) agree.

Cigarette in handSedentary behavior research shows that prolonged, uninterrupted bouts of sitting impact the human body similarly to smoking because both behaviors initiate changes at the genetic level. They each can contribute to serious short- and long-term health consequences, including certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and even premature death.

The Greeks noted the connection between physical activity and health more than 2,000 years ago, but only in the last 50 years have scientists started focused research on this topic. They now realize the importance of light physical activity, especially in short bursts throughout the day, and the impact it has on our mental, cardio-metabolic and musculoskeletal health.

Just a few decades ago, more people died every day from infectious diseases than any other cause. But now, lifestyle diseases, like sitting too much, pose the biggest risk to human life even though we have more control over this reality than we realize. A lifestyle disease depends on choices that people make, from how they behave to the foods we eat to the activities we engage in to types of employment to the surrounding environment. Some of these factors are still out of our control, making it more important to mitigate known hazards whenever possible.

Ergotron’s 2016 JustStand Index survey of workers in the U.S. showed that people tend to under-estimate their risk because they don’t realize how much they sit throughout the day. Since awareness represents a crucial first step in embracing good lifestyle habits, we created an interactive Sitting Calculator to help you accurately assess risks associated with your sedentary time.

Just as smoking emerged as a real health concern, sitting now represents a valid threat to our overall health and well-being. And the medical and health effects are costly for employees and organizations. Implementing a sit-stand workstation may require an initial investment, but that decision will pay off in long-term benefits. Our Payback Calculator can help leadership and other key stakeholders understand the value of bringing sit-stand to your organization.

Sitting may be the new smoking, but just like smoking, you’re in control of managing this lifestyle disease—like increasing your daily movement by even an hour more a day. Looking for more ways to add activity to your day? Check out the tips on the JustStand.org, and stay tuned to another ergonomic myth next week!

Carrie SchmitzCarrie Schmitz
Senior Manager of Human Factors & Ergonomics Research, AOEAS, CHC

Carrie oversees ergonomics research and outreach, working closely with global researchers to advance knowledge around the health and well-being benefits of sit-stand activity.

Why You Should Start Thinking About Physical Activity as a Continuum

We’re all familiar with the benefits of traditional exercise like running, weight lifting and even taking the stairs, but how do those activities stack up against standing? And where does the impact of sedentary behavior like sitting fit in?

Physical activity should be looked at as a continuum, ranging from sedentary behavior all the way to vigorous exercise. Every move we make (or don’t make) shows up on the continuum. Due to national guidelines and prompts from our doctors, we often focus solely on getting enough moderate-to-vigorous exercise. But overlooking the rest of the continuum is a big problem since exercise is not enough to counteract sedentary behavior. All movements, even small ones, matter.

In our latest podcast, Betsey Banker, Ergotron’s Wellness Market Manager, breaks down the different components of the physical activity continuum while echoing the importance of balance across all activity types for reaching our best level of health and well-being. With technology constantly pulling us toward the inactive end of the spectrum, understanding the full physical activity continuum is more important than ever.

You can listen to the podcast here. Want to dig deeper into the study of movement? Download Ergotron’s recent “Why Movement Matters” white paper.

Stay in the loop — follow us on social with #MoveMore, #SitLess — and watch for my upcoming handbook soon!

Betsey Banker, Wellness Market Manager, CWWS, CWWPM
@BetseyBanker and LinkedIn

Simple changes? Big benefits! Introducing the new JustStand.org

The average person sits more than 12 hours each day with much of that time spent at the workplace. To fight against a culture of inactivity, Ergotron has spent the last seven years raising awareness of the dangers of prolonged sitting through JustStand.org.

Now stacked with new resources, interactive tools and a fresh look and feel, JustStand.org connects employees and employers with the tools you need to infuse movement into your work day.

“Research is rapidly progressing on the health impact of a sedentary lifestyle and the effectiveness of products like sit-stand desks,” Pete Segar, Ergotron CEO, said. “JustStand.org is a convenient source for research and useful tips on creating a healthy, productive workplace.”

JustStand

Within the new site, visitors will be automatically routed to the new design with access to popular tools like the calorie-burn calculator and sitting time calculator. You can also view new resources like an interactive Ergotron timeline and benefits of standing section also available at research.juststand.org.

Within other main sections, you can view quick tips for standing at the office and download surveys, infographics, case studies and more to share with your colleagues.

Ready to take a stand with us? Explore the new site to discover the latest facts, research and benefits of adding movement to your workplace. And be sure to join our mission, subscribe to the MoveMore blog, or sign up receive the latest news from the JustStand® Wellness Movement.

MXV Monitor Arm Elevates Your Workspace with Functionality and Style

MXV DualYou don’t have to sacrifice style for functionality. Showcase your monitor or TV while maintaining ergonomic comfort with the new Ergotron MXV monitor arm. Sleek and versatile, MXV offers 13″ (33 cm) of height adjustment, a minimum 19.5″ (49.5 cm) of extension, integrated tilt and more — all on a convenient swivel base. The arm’s adjustability helps increase viewing comfort, while its upscale finish leaves a stylish impression.

The MXV saves valuable desk space with the cable management system and a narrow profile that’s 25% slimmer than the LX monitor arm. You can easily adjust your display with a light touch thanks to patented Constant Force™ technology, and the MXV passes Ergotron’s 10,000-cycle motion test, which ensures years of trouble-free height adjustment. The arm arrives full assembly for easy install. To learn more about the new MXV, available as a single or dual desk arm or single wall arm, click the links below: