Category Archives: Ergonomics

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.

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.

Ergonomic Myths

Debunking Ergonomic Myths: People Don’t Care about Ergonomics

There’s a sense of mystery in the unfamiliar field of ergonomics. Is ergonomics just about chair height and posture at work? Does it require expensive office equipment? And does it really matter, anyway?

In honor of National Ergonomics Month, we’re breaking down the top ergonomic myths with our resident expert, Carrie Schmitz, Senior Manager of Human Factors & Ergonomics Research, AOEAS, CHC. Each week, we’ll describe a common myth and share where Ergotron stands based on our extensive company history and the latest research. Be sure to check back next week for a new myth that we debunk.

MYTH: People don’t care about ergonomics.

Here’s where we stand:

Often called “the science of everyday life,” ergonomic principals apply to any area where people work or play. Everything from the design of a golf club, the grip on a pair of scissors and the cockpit of a jet plane involve ergonomics for both comfort and protection from harm, with the underlying goal of prevention before treatment.

Still, sales people often complain that customers don’t care about ergonomics. If you’re like most people, ergonomics remains an abstract concept until you start to feel weakness in your wrist or a pain in your shoulder. Even after a visit with your doctor, you may not realize that bad ergonomics led to that situation. It’s especially true of musculoskeletal issues related to computer use.

After 20 years in the ergonomics industry, my experience shows that it’s at an individual level that the true value of ergonomics becomes apparent. People appreciate learning about the factors that can make their work more comfortable, and once trained in basic ergonomic principals, they are eager to practice their new-found skills in their own environment.

Ergonomic interventions, like wellness programs, depend on engagement to be successful. When company leaders communicate the importance of being safe, give permission to their people to protect themselves and each other, and serve as good role models, the improvements extend beyond the individual to the company and the community at large. Preventing and treating issues with ergonomic interventions is an expense that will never be wasted.

Of course, not everyone has the luxury of a personal ergonomic evaluation. That’s why Ergotron offers online ergonomic tools to help you do your own workstation customization. Our Workspace Planner provides guidance on locating the best monitor and keyboard based on your stature. Part of our mission at Ergotron is to educate people on the benefits of ergonomic, so we’re glad to share this popular tool.

Stay tuned for next week’s myth: Sitting is the new smoking. See you then!

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.

“Anatomy of a Sit-Stand Company” Webinar on April 26th!

 
Join us Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 9am PT (12pm ET and 4pm UTC) for the “Anatomy of a Sit-Stand Company” webinar. Discover how workplace wellness and productivity is impacted by workstations, whether movement-friendly or not. Ergotron surveyed over 1,000 employees, from seven different divisions, and over 40 locations of a publicly traded corporation and is bringing the insights to you in this informative discussion.

Register now for this 45-minute live web broadcast with Ergotron’s worksite wellness expert Betsey Banker.

Wellness professionals interested in the corporate adoption of sit-stand workstations will especially benefit from this webinar.

WHY ATTEND:

  • Get a snapshot of the various impacts of traditional versus sit-stand desks in a large, multi-segment organization
  • Find out the personal impact access to movement-friendly workstations can have on sedentary employees
  • Receive a free executive summary that highlights results of the Workplace Movement Assessment

PRESENTER: Betsey Banker, CWWS, CWWPM
With over a decade of experience working for a leading manufacturer of ergonomic and sit-stand display mount solutions, Betsey has experienced firsthand the transformative impact that movement can have on worker wellbeing. [read full bio]

CAN’T ATTEND? An online recording of the live session will be available after the event.

Listen Up!: Introducing Our New Podcast Series

Ergotron’s mission is to enhance the human-technology interface, not only to improve productivity while using tech, but also to promote better health and general wellness. To further this mission, we are launching a new series of podcasts by Ergotron experts and guests covering meaningful conversations on healthcare, wellness, education, and ergonomic related topics.

Our first three-part series is by Betsey Banker, CWWPM, CWWS, Ergotron Wellness Vertical Manager, presenting: Embracing Movement at Work. The series covers the dangers of excessive sitting, the science supporting standing, and the value of adopting a movement-friendly workstyle.

Enjoy these short, bite-size segments whenever it’s convenient — either listen here now or download them to your device for later:

Embracing Movement at Work, Part 1:

 

Embracing Movement at Work, Part 2:

 

Embracing Movement at Work, Part 3:

 

Watch for more great topics in the months ahead.

Stay in the loop — follow us on social:#MoveMore, #SitLess. And feel free to suggest topics for us to cover. Tweet us @Ergotron.


Betsey Banker
@BetseyBanker and LinkedIn

Standing Desks Webinar: Educators have Q’s, we have A’s!

Thank you to those who joined us for the recent live Standing Desks: How and Why Educators Are Using Them webinar about how standing desks create a healthy, flexible, and personalized learning environment. (If you missed the webinar, access it online at edWeb and earn a CE credit!)

Bob Hill, education manager at Ergotron interviewed Monica Escobar, fifth-grade arts and history teacher, and Jim Girard, a  seventh- and eighth-grade history teacher at Alexandria Day School in Virginia. They shared many insights gained from introducing standing desks to their students and unleashing the power of non-disruptive activity in the classroom.

Webinar listeners had an opportunity to pose questions on how to reduce student sedentary behavior and boost their academic performance. Bob Hill addresses three questions that weren’t answered during the session due to time constraints.

Q: ISN’T IT DISRUPTIVE TO HAVE SOME KIDS STANDING AND SOME SITTING?

A: This is a very common question among teachers and principals. Most are concerned about the impact of students standing and sitting at will during class, that they will lose control of the kids. The reality, as reported by teachers, is that these concerns become a moot point. The greater good of a more engaged student, more effective classroom dynamics and more classroom efficiency outweighs teachers’ initial concern.

Teacher Jim Girard explains: “I configure my classroom multiple ways throughout the day to allow for teacher centered instruction, group work, individual work and simulations. With the LearnFit® Desk, I can easily move set ups from a horseshoe shape, to multiple small groups and even all desks moved aside for an open floor space. Just one week into the first school year with the adjustable standing desks, I was already enjoying the benefits of giving the students the option to stand or sit at their desks.”

Q: WHAT’S THE COST OF A STUDENT STANDING DESK?

A: The basic desk/chair combo that has been used in education for generations ranges in cost from $150 to $250. These seated student desks inhibit student performance and health, and are not conducive to easy collaboration. Standing desks are priced from a low of $250 to $1,000, with fixed-height standing desks at the lower end. It’s useful for teachers and schools exploring sit-stand options to understand the restrictions of the various models available to them. Some standing desks may restrict individualized student adjustment and collaborative movement, and or are not scalable to multiple classrooms or whole schools. An adjustable, mobile option like the LearnFit standing desk ushers in a whole new era of classroom furniture. It allows students to intuitively adjust the height of the worksurface to suit them, and the casters allow for easy and natural movement for ultimate classroom collaboration.

Q: DO STANDING DESKS WORK FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS?

A: Research at the ATTAIN Tech Lab in New Hope, MN, suggests it does. SPED students were encouraged to stand for at least five minutes every half hour. Simple movement may increase focus, concentration, work quality, and overall behavior for students with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum, developmental coordination, emotional and behavioral disorders. Watch a video of an interview with an ATTAIN educator or read the scientific journal article: Sit, Stand, Learn.

While Ergotron desks are not officially ADA-certified, educators find that both the LearnFit and TeachWell® mobile adjustable workstations help level the playing field for many students with physical challenges. For example, students in wheelchairs can wheel right up to the desk and engage more easily with peers while participating in group projects.

Stay tuned for more Q & A from the webinar, as well as other FAQ’s about active classroom furniture.

In the meantime, check out Ergotron’s educator resources for research on “sitting disease,” grants and funding sources, and other tools to support building the case for standing desks at your school.

You can also access last year’s School Moves! webinar on-demand – it focuses mainly on the metabolic health and engagement aspects of an active classroom. (CE credit is available.)

Bob Hill,
Education Manager at Ergotron
@LearnFit_Bob#schoolsthatmove

HX Monitor Arm: Single, dual, triple…you name it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Ergotron’s mighty HX Monitor Arm mount family for desk or wall!

This sleek accessory is an exciting addition to the office scene, providing flexibility and superior ergonomics to your monitor or TV viewing. Increase your computing comfort and reduce eye, back, or neck strain commonly associated with improper monitor placement. With Ergotron’s Patented Constant Force lift-and-pivot motion technology, you can position your displays with a light touch, rotate screens to share with co-workers or to view documents in portrait orientation.

Sleek and streamlined, it accommodates large monitors weighing up to 42 lbs (19 kg). Extension/retraction motion and height adjustment capability promote user comfort. Product finishes vary by region globally; backed by a 10 year warranty!

This arm can rotate, pivot, and pan like you wouldn’t believe. Click on the links below to learn more about the specs  or see it in motion.

HX Desk Monitor ArmHX Desk Dual Monitor Arm

HX Wall Monitor ArmHX Wall Dual Monitor Arm

HX Triple Monitor Bow Kit

 

 

Build Better Nurse-Patient Connections


 
Find out more about how to improve the nurse-patient connection in this new white paper, The Nurse-Patient Connection, including the four major obstacles that get in the way. Nurses struggle with these job performance challenges:

1) allocating time

2) EHR difficulties

3) physical strain

4) unsuitable workstations

There are a number of proven ways to overcome those obstacles. Addressing substandard physical spaces, convoluted work flows, and poor ergonomics is one key. Research shows that improving the physical working environment for nurses boosts their satisfaction, and ultimately, direct patient care and clinical outcomes.

Ergonomic workstation and medication carts of all styles can help increase nurse comfort, reduce walking time, and allow nurses to engage more with patients and other members of the healthcare team.

The cumulative takeaway? When you improve the environment, you improve the outcomes.

Download the white paper>
 

Ergotron 2016 Holiday Gift Guide


To make it easy for you to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, we’ve assembled this guide to popular Ergotron products and related gear! And as always, if you need help, please reach out.

WorkFit-T, Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation
Give the priceless gift of wellness. Quickly convert an existing surface into a sit-stand workstation with the WorkFit-T. It’s the simple solution for making a sit-stand routine as natural as pouring a cup of coffee. Watch the video!


Neo-Flex® All-In-One Lift Stand
Delight the gamer on your list! Mount a CPU and display on this space-saving accessory and adjust the height of the monitor effortlessly. A small case makes it easy to carry from room to room.


MX Mini Desk Mount Arm
Giving a tablet or other handheld to a techie? Get the MX Mini to go with it and they’ll be doubly happy. An ideal mount for lightweight displays, it’s also stylish and affordable.


ErgotronHome™ Lift24
Perfect for the college student in a cramped dorm room, or the busy professional on the go, the Lift24 portable desk is a space-saving way to sit or stand while using a laptop or other device.


ErgotronHome™ Hub27
And for the multitasking family member, the Hub27 corrals and charges devices, plus doubles as a wall-mounted standing desk. Sort mail, make notes or do some computing, then close and lock it. The glass door acts as a dry erase message board.


Elliptical Trainer
With the ultra-popular elliptical trainer, your loved ones can work out while they work or watch TV, which means less time at the gym and more time to spend with you! Other options: stretchy bands, hand weights, mini-steppers and balance boards.


Noise-Cancelling Headphones
We all know the holidays can be a stressful time. These headphones will help you escape the crazy sleigh ride, and find your own peace on earth.

ErgotronHome: fight ugly ErgoZombie horrors

zombies

While closing out this year’s National Ergonomics Month, we’d like you to be aware that ErgotronHome™ offers timely defense to the horrors of an impending ErgoZombie Apocalypse.

At the risk of sounding alarmist, there is troubling scientific evidence that a spreading epidemic of sedentariness and tortured postures could soon reduce earth’s population to listless hordes of the unfit, preying on unsuspecting friends and neighbors.

You stand a good chance of remaining among the upright with a survival strategy that includes outfitting your home for a long siege. ErgotronHome offers complete protection for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the Posture Plague.

What is the essential gear for ErgoZombie survival? A complete sit-stand desk. A sit-stand desk add-on for an existing workstation. An innovative sit-stand laptop stand. A wall-mounted charging “hub” with a flip-door standing desk surface.

Put your well-being first, and you will also ensure the preservation of our entire species! How does ErgotronHome fight ugly ergonomic horrors? Their sit-stand desk products are heart healthy. They increase energy. Improve posture. Tone muscles. Boost metabolism. Burn extra calories.

So now we’re all familiar with the benefits of using a sit/stand desk, but are you aware of an unusual bonus of using a standing desk?

You’re quicker on your feet when standing, so if zombies actually do invade your community, you’ll be the first to escape.

Be prepared, or be ErgoZombie bait!