Category Archives: Ergonomics

Calling all sit-stand champions! New resources for you.

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Looking for ways to make your workplace even healthier? Ergotron’s new Resources Center on Juststand.org helps you to educate your employer, co-workers, and other stakeholders on the benefits of creating a culture of movement.


On the Resources Center you’ll find:

A downloadable WorkFit Champion Toolkit which includes an “Ask Your Boss” sit-stand desk template, checklist and talking points for wellness champions, plus our e-books, white papers, infographics and tip sheet about active workstyles.

Visit Juststand.org/toolkit to learn more.

ErgotronHome™ Workspace™ Desk35 now shipping!

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Elevate your altitude and attitude! The Workspace Desk35 is a flexible sit and stand desk that’s perfectly sized for the home, giving you the health and productivity benefits of movement. Whether for work or play, the Desk35 quickly adjusts to sitting or standing height, whatever is most comfortable at that moment.

There’s no limit to what you’ll discover when you experiment with your workspace. Watch this video to see the Desk35 in action or shop the entire sit-stand line now at ErgotronHome.com.

 

Ergotron’s FitForward™ program gives back

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For decades, Ergotron has been helping computer users like you have a healthier, more active workday. And now our joint passion for wellness can impact future generations. When you purchase WorkFit® or ErgotronHome™ Lift 35 products, Ergotron donates LearnFit® Adjustable Standing Desks to schools across the country. Together, we can give our children the life-changing benefits of active learning, decrease sedentary time in the classroom and set our youth on a course of lifetime wellness.

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Betsey Banker, Ergotron’s Vertical Marketing Manager for Wellness, explains how you can be a part of paying “fit” forward:

It’s inspiring to see so many organizations taking a stand for employee wellness with products like WorkFit. Most have read the research about the many benefits of standing up while working and now they’re seeing the difference in their employees. It makes sense that other sedentary places, like classrooms, could benefit from these same discoveries. That’s what makes FitForward so great. Doing something good for yourself, your coworkers or your employees is helping deliver the same benefits to students.”

In the coming weeks, we’ll feature profiles of some of the students, teachers and schools this new program is influencing towards a healthier learning environment.

To learn more about this initiative, visit the FitForward page of our website.

Classrooms of the future need the right furniture

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By Bob Hill, Ergotron Global Education Manager

Have you noticed? While there is little doubt that classrooms have become more sophisticated and digital, the physical classroom setting and furniture don’t seem to have evolved at the same pace.

It’s true.

The tablets and devices that are transforming the learning process still sit on top of the same style desks from the 1950s. The blackboards and chalk may have been replaced by interactive whiteboards connected to a computer or projector, but far too often, students still sit in stagnant rows looking up in the same direction at the teacher for the daily lesson.

While curriculum modernization creates opportunities for teachers and students to use the classroom space more effectively, traditional classroom furniture does not. In order for the classroom to truly evolve, teachers, principals and district administrators need to address the entire classroom environment.

Consider this about classroom furniture:

  • Classroom furniture at the most foundational level should enhance the educational tools and technology it’s supporting. At an aspirational level, it should also support the teachers’ curriculum, the students’ health, comfort and learning styles. This requires a fundamental change in thinking as schools adopt 1:1 technology, requiring analysis of what else is changing in association with the technology.
  • Facilitating the move from traditional lectures to more group-based, collaborative and active environments requires adjustable and highly mobile furniture for both students and teachers. Stationary desks do not lend themselves to an active classroom nor do they facilitate a group-dynamic or mobile learning environment that has become so prevalent in today’s educational system.
  • A desk that is both height-adjustable and mobile will foster an individualized learning environment that addresses these issues and offers a myriad of benefits to teachers, students and the school.

Why adjustable desks?

Access to adjustable furniture has been proven to help reduce fidgeting distractions, give teachers more time to teach, increase student engagement, improve academic performance and enliven curriculum. In addition, the rising concerns about childhood health issues are addressed when students are given an alternative to sitting all day—introducing standing into the classroom is an effective means to break up sedentary behavior. We’ve seen this played out dozens of times in our LearnFit® ambassador schools across the country.

Input from surveys, interviews and case studies have all demonstrated that teachers prefer desks that facilitate movement and that students adapt to them intuitively. These types of desks foster collaborative learning while satisfying a child’s need for motion and allow for the teacher to use every inch of the environment for instruction.

Given today’s intersection of technology and education, the classroom set-up is at a crossroads. Schools like the Alexandria Country Day School in Virginia get the critical role classroom furniture can play in making today’s classrooms healthier, more collaborative and more conducive to learning even as schools prepare for the next wave of digital instruction.

It is time to “stand up” for important and fundamental changes for today’s classroom and the classroom of the future.

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager, @LearnFit_Bob

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager, @LearnFit_Bob

ErgotronHome™ Workspace™ Hub27 a “Top 10 Tech Gadget”

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Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about the ErgotronHome™ Hub 27! Take a look at Tech Gadgets to Check Out This Year on the Huffington Post and 10 New Tech Gadgets to Rev Up Your Home Office on CNBC.com.

Both reviewers rave about this sleek space-saver that organizes and charges all your devices (laptop, tablet, and phone), while also doubling as a height-adjustable standing desk.

Make spaces work for you! Shop the full Workspace line at ErgotronHome.com.

MX Mini Arm Helps to Integrate Tablets into Workflow

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Ergotron’s new MX Mini Desk Mount Arm — for lightweight monitors and tablets like the Apple iPad® and Microsoft Surface™ — is an ergonomic mount that’s easy to love. The MX Mini offers height adjustment up to 19.5″ (50 cm) as well as a full tilt, pan and rotation for your display or tablet. It also includes hardware (a desk clamp or grommet mount) for installation on most desks, table or counter tops, including our popular WorkFit-T Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation. The MX Mini Wall Mount Arm frees up work space completely, by securely attaching to a wall.

When combined with the optional Lockable Tablet Mount, either model is perfect for info kiosks, restaurant/retail ordering, and public signage or entertainment displays.

With the increasing popularity of tablets, businesses have turned to us to provide a solution that not only enables their use in the workplace, but also one that provides ergonomic comfort and enhanced productivity. With the MX Mini you can address both objectives, with a product that adjusts to your unique requirements and wherever you need it.

Do Fitness Apps Give a False Sense of Health? 

With the rise of mHealth apps, fitness trackers and even “toning” attire, consumers are now armed with an unlimited number of resources to help them meet their health and fitness goals. Ergotron’s JustStand® Index 2016 recently revealed over 50 percent of people believe that wearable devices or mobiles apps for monitoring nutrition/activity are the devices that offer the greatest health benefits. But are these devices truly a solution to reversing the effects of sedentary behavior or are they simply Band-Aids providing quick fixes to a bigger issue?

According to the survey results, 62 percent of employees indicated that they get the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise per week, which a wearable device or mobile app can track and confirm for them. However, studies have found that simply logging this suggested level of activity does not counteract the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.

Experts “Weigh-In”

As stated by Dr. James Levine, “The nature of the human body was to be active and moving all day. The body was never designed to be crammed into a chair where all of these cellular mechanisms get switched off. Obviously we’re supposed to rest from time to time. But that rest is supposed to break up the activity. It’s not supposed to be the way of life.”

Ergotron’s Manager of Ergonomic Research Carrie Schmitz recommends increasing low intensity, ‘non-exercise’ activities, such as walking or standing, which can play a critical role in one’s overall metabolic rate. In fact, these low-intensity activities account for more daily energy expenditure than a moderate-to-high intensity activity, such as running.

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Making Simple Lifestyle Changes 

There is no denying that wearable devices and fitness apps can be helpful tools in maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside the office, but what about during work hours?

Ergotron’s survey results suggest that while today’s workforce may be more focused on personal health and wellness than we’ve seen previously, people may be missing the mark in terms of understanding the importance of incorporating regular movement throughout the day and avoiding sedentary behavior.

One way to start may be in targeting the areas of your work day that continue to be the most sedentary—your commute to and from work, time spent at your desk, and time spent in meetings or on conference calls. These are the areas that you can directly impact and increase your overall fitness and wellbeing.

Ways to stand or move more may be a simple as choosing to stand on the bus instead of sit on the way to work, or stand periodically during a conference call or in a meeting. Other simple workstyle changes might include a standing desk at work or a wall mount in a home office—small changes that can have a monumental impact on one’s health.

For more information on the implications of a sedentary lifestyle and the ways to combat the implied health effects, please download the full JustStand Index at www.juststand.org/JSindex.

 

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.

 

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.