Author Archives: Michelle Judd

Celebrate Nurses Week in Plain-Speak

NurseDay

When you are visiting a loved one in the hospital, it is not hard to get distracted by the drama surrounding you. If you are like me, you compare it to the latest hospital show you are watching, and find yourself uttering things like, “He needs some water, stat!” with strange assurance.

When my dad was sick, I took on a very Sherlockian view of things. Deductive powers gone amuck, i.e., “Surely that beeping sound means something!” Although my dad’s nurse never said it, I imagine “nervous Nelly” was one term that could have described me.

Amidst the chaos of changing shifts, moving patients, and impatient families, one thing was missed. What’s that you say? An ingenious Nurse code according to scrubsmag.com.

It is often a waiting game, right? Waiting for results, waiting for the doctor, waiting for the “all clear” sign or even, “here’s what’s coming next” plan. However, during it all I can’t honestly remember hearing code like “Line & Lab” or “walkie talkie” when the nurses tending him were heroically moving heaven and earth, my dad, and my own heightened sensibilities about the place.

Maybe dad was a “frequent flyer.” Still, I was glad when the nurses seemed to be happy to see him again, although maybe not happy to see him back. I kind of wish now I would have known about nurse slang. And I wonder…there are codes for dramatic patients apparently, but what about dramatic family members? I might have earned that code once or twice, the name of some horribly gone-wrong reality star I am sure.

What nurses may not realize is that the family often has a similar unsaid code. It’s not too fancy, usually along the lines of “ministering angel” or “life saver.” Frequently it’s “wonder worker” or a “sensible Sally.” Sometimes, in the midst of a Jerry Seinfeld-ish “Newman” moment, the still small inkling lingers. Even though this nurse is giving me some tough love right now, the honest thought behind my blank/angry/tired or sad eyes is TGYH. Translation: Thank God you’re here.

Here’s to an amazing National Nurse Day today and a wonderful National Nurses Week ahead! And to all the hard working men and women who make up this field, let me speak for the patient and the family alike here…just call us “grateful.”

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications @ Ergotron

MJudd

 

 

Safety First – A Super Bowl Reminder

Football

Last night, the wall of melty cheese greeted me as I walked into my local Walmart. Must be the Super Bowl, right? With the big day fast approaching, people all over the country are getting their supplies together.

In the spirit of game day, here’s our list of the top three things to do to help ensure that the party is a safe day for everyone invited:

  • Try standing for part of the game. Sure, you might pop up for the occasional high-five when an outstanding play occurs, but most of time you’ll probably be sinking back into the couch, snarfing down the carbs. Standing, even for a short time every twenty or thirty minutes, will keep your metabolism moving, and give you more energy for the after the game play-by-play rehashes.
  • Encourage your guests to stand too. It’s never too late to help spread the message about reducing sedentary time. Make a game out of it for the whole family, like musical chairs after every commercial. Or try tracking how many Fritos® you just burned by standing with our Caloric Burn Calculator. Be the role model for your kids and help them learn healthy behaviors early in life. This way, maybe future Super Bowl parties can be healthy ones too.
  • Assess the needs of your home theater, and in particular, your TV mount. TVs in a room full of moving people can vulnerable to upset if not properly mounted. Check out OmniMount’s blog on TV safety and take time to remind the kids that TVs can tip.

Of course, I might even add, watch the sodium intake, but what am I, your mother? Maybe I am just trying to remind myself. Have other tips to share? Let us know!

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications @ Ergotron

MJudd

[Video] DIY Network: I Want That

© MMIX

Does your job involve being in front of a computer screen? Have you ever thought how you can be more comfortable? This is the decision that this woman had to make in this DIY Network Video. She found that by using products like Ergotron’s WorkFit-P or Ergotron’s WorkFit-S, she’s able to quickly switch between standing and sitting, making her more comfortable and productive. Now she has working while having fun. Check out her story.

Justin Frost, Global Social Media Manager @ Ergotron

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Cheers to our Stand-Up Pioneers

October was National Ergonomics month. People came from far and wide to jump, or more accurately, stand up to our Stand-Up Pioneers Facebook photo contest. Okay, well not really, but you get the idea. Our Stand-Up Pioneers were very excited about the opportunity to create and submit their DIY innovations to us. Stand-Up Pioneers are using laptops and desktops on everything from boxes to upside down garbage cans, to stacking their laptops on back of their seats.

Our two lucky winners are: Nikki and Kevin, both from Auburn, ME.

Kevin thinks outside the box, or in this case, on top of a bucket.

KM entry

Kevin had this to say about his Stand-Up Pioneers experience:

Kevin_WorkStation
“I am absolutely loving my new Ergotron WorkFit-D, Sit-Stand Desk. Having the option to sit and stand has been absolutely amazing. The quality of this product is top notch and I would highly recommend Ergotron products to anyone.

Thank you Ergotron for being such a leader in the ergonomic field and for allowing those who work at a computer station to have the flexibility they need. I am very impressed.”

Kevin is now one happy pioneer!

You may have seen Nikki’s pic before from a previous blog post. Nikki claims to have stumbled on our Stand-Up Pioneers FB photo contest “by fate.” She previously worked beside a standup desk at her old job. Nikki emphasizes, “I couldn’t imagine going back to sitting all day.”

Nikki, Auburn ME

Nikki decided to steal a box from one of the offices new ergo chairs to make her stand up desk. She said that EVERYONE in the office got a good laugh at her “new” desk.

 

 

 

Nikki2

 

Now, Nikki says, “I’m slowly converting my company to become Stand-Up Pioneers one person at a time, AND my co-workers are going to be so jealous.” Well Nikki, I’m sure no one’s laughing at you now.

Are you a Stand-Up Pioneer? Watch for other promotions from Ergotron brands in the New Year and find out more helpful tips about “stand up” in our causal website juststand.org.

Justin Frost, Global Social Media Manager @ Ergotron

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Did we say 20? Ergo tips galore

October is Ergonomics awareness month. Have you found any new and interesting ways to bring better ergonomics into your work life? Some of the participants in our Stand-Up Pioneers contest have. Take a look at their DIY standing desk designs.

In an earlier blog we did promise you 20 tips. Of course, the easiest place to start is always with your monitor height. Are you looking down at your display like an eagle scanning for prey, neck arched, eyes fixed? There’s a better way.

ErgoTIP #2: Position the top of your monitor screen at eye level.
What if your monitor stand doesn’t move up and down? Put something under it that adequately supports the weight of the monitor and stand. Ah…can’t you feel it in your neck? Of course, there are adjustable monitor stands out there…just saying!


The next five tips are associated with this one and easy to adopt now that you are in the mood to start feeling better:

ErgoTIP #3: Tilt your monitor
Tilt your monitor back 10° to 20° to keep the same focal length as your eyes scan from the top to bottom of screen. If using bifocals, use a 30° to 40° angle.

ErgoTIP #4: What’s your eye to screen ratio?
Position your monitor no closer than 20″ (50 cm) from your eyes. A good rule of thumb is an arm’s length distance. The larger a screen, the more distance you’ll want. With bifocals, the distance should be 16″ (40 cm), matching the lenses’ focal length.

ErgoTIP #5: Rest, rest, rest your eyes
Eye strain can be a major job-related headache otherwise; fifty to ninety percent of computer workers may be experiencing it already. Help prevent eye strain by resting your eyes periodically. Focus on an object 20+ feet (6+ m) away, then look back.

ErgoTIP #6: Using bifocals?
If your monitor and stand allow it, lower the monitor further and, if your monitor allows it, turn screen upward.

ErgoTIP #7: Listen to some eye experts
All About Vision has a great list of tips for how to stave off computer vision syndrome (CVS). Take a look at their list of Top Ten Tips for Relief and “see” if you don’t get inspired!


What list would be complete without mentioning the chair? Well, chair, keyboard height, desk height and… Thank goodness there is a calculator for all of that!

ErgoTIP #7: Use a planner to set your measurements perfectly
This planner covers a lot more than just monitor height and is a fantastic resource if you want to feel good in your workspace: Planner.ergotron.com.


ErgoTIP #8: Make it fun!
Everyone knows learning something new is made easier if you make it fun… Here is a giddy reminder from OSHA about creating good safety slogans. Check out this impressive list of Ergo humor that Humanics Ergonomics has gathered. Or re-pin the latest Ergonomics cartoons on ErgoDirect’s Pinterest board.


Twelve more tips to go…for another post thankfully. Happy computing!

Custom sit-stand for the office – don’t fight design, join it

This is a familiar scenario we hear around the ‘Tron: I love the idea of my employees standing more, but we just integrated this new office design with custom worksurfaces…

It’s hard to argue with design at times. Especially when considering the tremendous number of hours spent on deliberating, designing and implementing these work environments to capture the spirit and the culture of the brand it is supporting.

If you can’t fight design, why not join it?

That’s the impetus behind the WorkFit-B Sit-Stand Base. Simply attach your custom worksurface to the WorkFit base of choice (light duty and heavy duty options available), and bingo-presto your employees have attractive, brand supporting sit-stand comfort.

Building the WFB Desk

Whoa. That’s an odd phrase. Brand supporting sit-stand comfort. But culture is important, right? Not only to attract top talent but to keep them healthy and productive while they are there. If you’ve taken the trouble to create a talent attracting environment, why not take the next step?

Sit-stand computing is more than a hot trend. (Although sure, I’d love this to be a “computer on every sit-stand desk” kind of revolution!)

Truthfully, a lot more people than I have discovered that standing more makes them feel better. Smarter people than I have the science to prove it. And now we can help you prove for yourself that your staff will feel (and look good) while standing more.

A few things to know about the WorkFit-B: 

  • Capacity LD: ≤ 60 lbs (27.2 kg);  HD: ≤ 88 lbs (40 kg)
  • Lift: LD: 19″ (50 cm); HD: 20″ (51 cm)
  • Integrated brake secures table in place, with easy release for instantaneous, tool-free, non-motorized re-positioning with Ergotron’s Constant Force (CF) motion technology
  • Assumes worksurface thickness of .87″ (2.2 cm)
  • Four leveling glides establish a firm footing and adjust to install the unit on uneven floors

One thing to keep in mind, the listed weight capacity represents total load applied to height-adjustment platform. So for best results, when calculating load include weight of worksurface, accessory mounts for keyboard and display(s), and any computer hardware being placed on worksurface (less of an issue with quilt squares or scrapbook pages for the home crafter!).

Ergonomic considerations: 

No matter how you choose to use it, don’t miss out on proper ergonomics when considering a custom sit-stand option like this. Here are a few ideas to keep it healthy and to keep it safe:

  • Use the Workspace Planner tool to help calculate the proper worksurface measurements for sitting and standing postures
  • Consider adjustable monitor or laptop arms to ensure proper screen to eye ratios, especially if the keyboard will be placed on the worksurface
  • Integrate an under-desk keyboard option like Ergotron’s Neo-Flex® Underdesk Keyboard Arm (97-582-009) if keying off the worksurface is less than ideal
  • Change postures frequently! Standing too long, just like sitting too long, can cause problems…the key is to find the right balance of sitting and standing for you

How creative do you want to be?

I’ve had some fun thinking of different surfaces to add to this base. I have a new craft room at home and plenty of spare parts squirreled away, like that old wooden door in the garage rafters, or a thick slice of plexi in the storage room. If you have any funky ideas, please send them along.

Sit-stand can go beyond the primary computing space, don’t forget:

  • Makeover the visitor table in your office to a sit-stand hot spot
  • Swap over some of the tables in the cafeteria for the stand-and-graze types on your team
  • Shake things up in your conference or training rooms with sit-stand options for happier, and healthier sessions

This product lets you keep style and function as a work team, instead of opponents. In fact, a true marriage of interior design and sit-stand is possible, when sit-stand is included in the project scope early on and the designer is tasked with making it crazy-cool. A brand feast if you will, for the body and senses. An ultimate win-win for everyone involved.

Go now, get creative.

MJudd
Michelle Judd
Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications
@mjudd 

 

Standing is the next ‘Power Pose’

Is standing a new power pose? And if yes, does the emerging sit-stand culture of movement change the balance of our traditional notion of power in say, the conference room?

Writer Sue Shellenbarger addresses this a little bit in her article in the Wall Street Journal, “How ‘Power Poses’ Can Help Your Career.”

Shellenbarger explains that new research shows how striking a powerful pose−such as standing tall and straight or leaning forward over a desk with hands planted firmly on its surface−actually changes a person’s hormones and behavior, just as if he or she had real power whether they are in their offices or in a meeting.

But what happens when you have a room full of standing people? What impact does this have on the traditional view of the balance of power?

Here’s our story:

At first it was awkward for those of us who were trapped in the norms of the past that said only those in charge stood during a meeting. As the leaders continued to stand, the rest of us sat and watched, wriggling in our chairs in discomfort. Slowly we followed suit, if nothing else, in an effort to practice what we were preaching. Popping to our feet at last, we tried to figure out what to do with ourselves when we got there.

Cross our arms? Jam our hands in pockets? Stand by the chair? Stand behind the chair? Lean on the chair? Find a convenient wall? And then, which pose would help us appear in control? Confident? Non-combatant? 

Other questions emerged. How long should I stand here? If the boss sits down, can I remain standing? If everyone else sits down should I, even if I don’t have control of meeting? Can I continue standing if I am near the front of the room versus at the back of the room? Was there a better place to stand? Did the same “stand when you want” rule applies if it was a c-suite executive is in the room versus a middle manager?

Over time, we have made the act of standing a seamless part of meetings, and our culture. We’ve even surprised a few vendors and guests over the years, inviting them to stand during the meeting. There are some uncomfortable laughs and very few takers at first until, at least for part of the time, they have found it to be a relaxing way to do business. 

Lessons learned:

Here are a few important things we have learned from the experience that may help you to strike a new pose in your company: 

  • It’s best to check your ego at the door. Regardless of company hierarchy people can stand or sit whenever they desire, without taking “power” away from each other. Understanding how comfort can increase effectiveness will lessen the sting of letting archaic social norms, like only the person in power can stand, die away.
  • Take ownership of your comfort. Do not feel embarrassed to stand or sit at any point of a meeting; if your body needs to move, move.
  • Be a courteous stander. As the article suggests, since you are lot more visible when you stand and tower over the table, try not to cause distraction. The same body language rules apply. Finding a good book on what your body language is telling other people and adapt accordingly.
  • Remember that confidence does not equal combatant. As the article suggests “an expansive body position can also increase testosterone, which tends to boost confidence and aggressive behavior,” so employees must member the same business etiquette is expected, regardless of sitting or standing posture.

This may not work in every business environment, but don’t be afraid to attempt it at yours. You might be surprised by the growing number of organizations adopting corporate cultures of movement. At the JustStand Wellness Summit this past summer we met several of them, willing to break the old standards for the sake of their staff’s health and well-being. 

Finally, the article also highlights recent studies about how the physiological changes associated with striking a power pose (like standing) were linked to better performance and more confident, assertive behavior. We certainly find that at Ergotron. In fact, we’d go so far as to say the simply standing is a ‘power pose’ in its own right..at your desk, in your meetings, wherever you are. 

Michelle Judd (@mjudd), Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications @ Ergotron

MJudd

 

 

The WorkFit-D vs. an electric desk

Who doesn’t like a little healthy competition? We paired our WorkFit-D, sit-stand desk in the ring against an electric height-adjustable desk. Waiting for your desk isn’t pretty. Take a look.

Is there a clear winner? You tell us.

Survey shows that Americans hate sitting

Today, at Ergotron’s 3rd annual JustStand® Wellness Summit, we are releasing the sobering results of our independent survey of 1,000 full-time American workers which further highlights how the sedentary nature of the work day is affecting health and productivity of office employees.

Infographic

Our survey found that the vast majority (93 percent) of respondents didn’t know what “Sitting Disease” is, but 74 percent believe that sitting too much could lead to an early death. We at Ergotron see Sitting Disease as global crisis and commissioned this survey to educate the people on its ill-effects. Here are some of the key findings:

  • Americans are sitting an average of 13 hours a day
  • When factoring in sleep hours, Americans are sedentary an average of 21 hours a day
  • 67 percent of full-time American workers hate sitting, yet 86 percent do it all day, every day.
  • 85 percent of workers admit to taking breaks/making excuses to get out of their chair during the workday. For example: More than half (56 percent) admit to using getting food as an excuse
  • 96 percent would be willing to stand more to improve their health or life expectancy

Global research shows links between sedentary lifestyles and diabetes, several types of cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease. We believe there is a significant opportunity for people to change their behavior in the workplace and for corporations to change their cultures. Standing is one of the simplest changes one can make to reduce the metabolic health hazards linked to sitting. However, while this study shows that Americans want to sit less while working, only 37 percent are aware of the existence of sit-stand solutions to reduce sitting time and enable a sit-stand, on demand, work routine. It is our hope that this survey will help advance corporate understanding of the true impact of sitting on employee health and open their eyes to healthy seating alternatives.

You can see more detailed survey results here or tune into the JustStand Wellness Summit live streaming here.

JustStand – on your head?

ISBNPA 2013 Conference In Ghent

 

I’m in Ghent this week, at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) annual gathering. There are about 820 attendees, and 99% of them are researchers from around the globe.

This auspicious group is quite intimidating to me. I don’t know that I’ve ever been in the company of so many PhDs, MDs, or MPH in all my life. My Dutch colleague, Johan Versluis, pointed out that the overwhelming majority of them are very fit in addition to being very, very bright. .

It is satisfying to know that our Ergotron WorkFit products are frequently used as intervention devices by many of these researchers. Sedentary lifestyles, screen time with computers, television watching and gaming, physical activity length, duration and intensity, these are the people who are evaluating all of it and the overall impact it has on the public’s health.

The days are filled with back to back presentations–many quite sobering–on the research that’s being done to explore ways to improve the health and well-being of our populations. With all the ways to approach public health, it is a daunting yet an extraordinary challenge facing the group here this week. How will we take this back to our environments? Our businesses? Our communities? How does it change our personal wellness perspective?

When I got back to my room last night, my daughter had posted a Facebook video of her eighteen month old son, climbing up a ladder to the top bunk bed. He’s ALWAYS on the move.

Always. The only time he is relatively still is when he’s eating or sleeping.

He’ll climb on anything that he can hoist himself up on. He doesn’t walk, he runs. He reaches. He enjoys constantly exploring his world.

We know we were born to move. Just watching this little boy for an hour proves that to me. This week at ISBNPA reminds us all that our health is breaking down by lack of movement; that more movement is a remedy of sorts to a healthier lifestyle.

So where did we lose that love to move?

When I was a kid, I used to love to climb trees. I can remember the views and perspectives 10 or 12 or 15 feet off the ground, and the exhilarating feeling of being on top of the world. I remember climbing a great old tree when I was in my early forties. I experienced the same thrill then as I did as a child.

I used to love to do cartwheels. I lost a bet to Louis Hall, another Ergotron colleague, five years ago, and as payment, had to attempt to do one down the hall. It wasn’t a pretty sight but it was fun!

I used to love to stand on my head. I can’t begin to remember the last time I’ve tried that.
I have no idea why I stopped, but there’s really nothing keeping me from starting again. I’m going to try it this week.

This conference inspires me. Maybe it will inspire you too. To explore ways to start moving again. Why not?

Sit less.
Headstand more.
Start now.

Has a ring to it, don’t you think? Join me! Or let me know what YOU loved to do, that you’re going to start doing again.

jPayfer

 

 

 

 

 

Jane Payfer
Ergotron CMO
@jrpayfer