Category Archives: Events

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.

Talking to Dr. Joe Sweere about Higher Health

Q-A_blueThe Higher Health Symposium, a day-long event for employers to explore new ideas and best practices for employee health and wellness, is just a few weeks away. Northwestern Health Sciences University, Ergotron and several partners are putting the final preparations in place to host a really powerful event. Why so powerful? Because every speaker has something unique and important to share about employer-sponsored healthcare and employee wellness. Take Dr. Joe Sweere, Professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences and Founder of the HC Sweere Center for Clinical Biomechanics and Applied Ergonomics at Northwestern Health Sciences University. He also happens to be the brother of Ergotron’s late founder Harry Sweere. We asked him a few questions about where his passion comes from and why employers should attend the symposium.

Q: First off, Joe, Ergotron and Northwestern University have a long-standing history. Can you share that history with our audience and how it led to our partnership for the Higher Health Symposium?

A:  Throughout the years Ergotron has been extremely supportive of my educational and research work in occupational health and applied ergonomics here at Northwestern Health Sciences University. In a sense, we have joined forces in finding creative ways to reduce the health- related physical stresses involved in today’s workplaces. As you know, my older brother Harry was the founder of Ergotron. In fact, the prototype for the very first of his thirty-seven inventions was built in a small machine shop we owned together. Throughout the years, Harry and I spent many hours sharing ideas regarding the emerging field of applied ergonomics which had become one of my special interests as a healthcare provider. So Harry’s engineering interests and problem solving genius blended very nicely with my focus on health and wellness and the prevention of human suffering. Our Higher Health Symposium will feature a similar problem solving approach among a wide range of topics of importance to employers, all geared toward healthcare cost savings while improving the health, wellbeing and productivity of their employees.

Q: What’s the most important reason for employers and H.R. professionals to attend the symposium?

A:  Since employers now bear the majority of the costs of illness and injury among their workers and their families, they find themselves in a unique role in our country’s health care delivery system. In the spirit of win-win outcomes, our Higher Health Symposium presenters will share innovative and effective methods used to keep workers on the job, injury- and illness-free and fully able to accomplish peak productivity, while at the same time assisting employers in several other ways. These include notable reduction of health care costs; notable decreases in worker absenteeism; increased worker morale, and decreases in worker turnover. These are among the goals of our Higher Health Symposium and the primary reason employers and Human Resource professionals should attend, so they may learn of the exciting options they have in dealing with these ongoing challenges.

Q: What drives your passion for wellness?

A: I suspect that most Americans believe that the primary role of doctors is to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. This is logical and will always remain a grave societal necessity. And obviously for doctors there is great nobility and reward in rescuing people from the immeasurable pain and suffering that results from illness and injury. Therefore, this is certainly an important role and doctors are deserving of all the societal honor and respect that this service brings.

However, as most people know, our current health care system is now faced with terrible challenges, with almost all of its emphasis being devoted to crisis care and management of chronic diseases instead of assisting their patients in attaining and maintaining their health.

So in my estimation, with all the training and clinical experience that is required of them, even greater nobility and reward should be given to those doctors who work toward preventing illness, injury and human suffering in the first place. Coming to this realization at about mid-point in my professional career has been wonderfully fulfilling, and since then I have pledged to assist in raising this consciousness among my brother and sister colleagues within all the healing disciplines.

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Speaker Dr. Joe Sweere

To learn more about the Higher Health Symposium and to register to attend, visit HigherHealthSymposium.com. Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #HigherHealthSym16.

 

 

Teachers + philanthropists = #BestSchoolDay

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We came across something amazing for education recently – a surprise “flash funding” utilizing an online crowdsourcing site, DonorsChoose.org, to support our nation’s school kids. The campaign, #BestSchoolDay, brought together more than 50 celebrities, athletes, and philanthropists (such as Bill Gates) who fully funded 11,000 classrooms in 47 states to the tune of over $14 million.

Since 2000, DonorsChoose.org has been supporting teachers and students by making it easy to help a classroom in need. Their mission is to connect the public to public schools – so that students in every corner of this country have an opportunity to get a great education.

Though the one-day flash funding event took place on March 10th, you can still get involved. There are projects on the DonorsChoose.org site marked with a #BestSchoolDay match offer logo – that means you can double the impact of your donation.

Here’s a great example of a teched project with a match offer, called Chromebooks for Humanities. The request is for Chromebooks and an Ergotron charging cart for Mr. Woolums’s class at the Air Force Academy High School in Chicago.

Are you a public school teacher in need of funding? We recommend DonorsChoose.org as a good way to engage with community philanthropists and major corporations. The more people who know of your need, the better your chance of getting it met.  Start your first project here.

We know teachers are unsung heroes who open up so many doors for their students. That’s why we have educator resources on our website, including a grant writing kit, so that everyone has their #BestSchoolDay. Together, we can help kids do great things in the classroom, and beyond.

Office Spaces: Design of a Revolutionary Office

Prepare to see Ergotron sit-stand workstations and monitor arms on Office Spaces™, airing on Lifetime Television®. In this new office makeover-type reality show, acclaimed Interior Designer, Kalyn Rothaus, transforms an outdated warehouse into a sleek, modern office space.

The twist? Her revolutionary renovation is for series producer BrandStar‘s own new corporate headquarters!

BrandStar is consolidating operations into one collaborative workspace for their 135 employees. Previously, teams were spread out over four floors and two buildings, which created team silos. Kalyn was up to the challenge with help from incredible partners and cutting-edge design and office products, including Ergotron brands like our WorkFit® sit-stand workstations, LX Dual Side-by-Side Arms and OmniMount ceiling mounts among others.

The premier episode of the 12-part series aired September 24, 2015 on Lifetime at 7AM ET/PT. Tune in to see the show’s take on the latest innovations for creating the office of the future, increasing productivity, and recruiting talent.

We’ll keep you posted on which episodes show our Ergotron and OmniMount brands. Want to stay in the loop with Office Spaces on social? Visit their WebsiteFacebook page, Twitter feed (hashtag #officespaces), or watch clips on YouTube. This show should serve to inspire your next office rebuild.

See you on the red carpet at HIMSS16

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HIMSS 2016 will kick off in Las Vegas on Feb. 29th! Healthcare IT professionals will be there in full force to learn about the hottest trends in the field, check out new products, and hear keynoter Michael Dell talk about starting Dell Inc. at the age of 19, and his vision for tech that enables human potential.

We’ve got the red carpet laid out to show off the star of our healthcare point-of-care portfolio, Ergotron’s StyleView® medical carts and the latest accessories nurses have asked for. So come on over to booth #5432 and take this beauty for a spin. Launched in 2004 as the mobile cart designed by nurses, engineered for IT (see below), the StyleView point-of-care line just keeps getting better with age.

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Check out our whole-hospital solutions for RadiologyTelemedicineTelepresence and everything in between. We bet you’ll feel the difference comfortable computing can make in the digital workflow, supporting care giving and patient engagement everywhere you are.

Don’t forget to pick up your “passport” card to win big! Visit our booth and LenovoHealth booth #2465. Receive stamps in your passport at both booths to be entered to win an Ergotron SV-10 Tablet Cart and a Lenovo ThinkPad 10 Tablet.

Want to make the most of this “Entertainment Capital of the World”? See our Ergotron Tips for HIMSS16 in Vegas blog or follow along socially at @ergotron or @himss (#HIMSS or #StyleView).

What we hope you remember is that whatever new process or compliance issue you are facing, Ergotron is well equipped to help you bring that information to the point of care.

 

Ergotron Tips for HIMSS16 in Vegas

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Less than three weeks from today marks the start of HIMSS Conference & Exhibition – the health IT conference – in Las Vegas, Nevada. From February 29 to March 4, 2016, this annual event will bring together more than 40,000 healthcare professionals, all ready to discover the innovative technology set to transform health through IT in 2016. Here are some tips and techniques you should know before you land in sunny Vegas:

  • Don’t bring a lot of stuff. Sounds commonsensical, but it’s easy to do. You won’t want to awkwardly lug a heavy briefcase or large purse around all day, especially while you’re visiting with people and trying to maneuver in crowded areas. Stick with the essentials; now is a great time to milk your mobile or tablet device for all it’s worth.
  • Weather will be warm, and most likely, delightful. At this time of year in Vegas, the average high is 67 degrees, and like they say, it’s a dry heat. Plan your wardrobe accordingly.  And if you forget a water bottle, no worries, someone is sure to be giving one away free in the Exhibit Hall.
  • Pack a swimsuit. Your hotel will have a pool, and taking a dip in the cold water will be exactly what you need after a long day at the conference. Also pack multiple pairs of comfortable shoes; switching pairs may help sore feet recover each day.
  • The conference takes place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, a massive space and one of the few large enough to contain HIMSS. There are more than 300 educational programs and over 1,300 exhibitors, so plan out what you want to do (and where it is) beforehand. Use these maps to guide you. If you’re attending with several colleagues, agree on a meeting point in case anyone gets lost. There might be spotty cell service. Don’t forget to add our booth #5432 to the top of your list!
  • Get out and explore the city! Vegas is famous as the Entertainment Capital of the World. You’ll have a tough time deciding which activities and adventures to pursue, if you don’t settle in at the casinos, that is! Our best sightseeing tip: get a Las Vegas Power Pass — it gives you FREE entry to 25+ of the town’s top attractions and tours. The view from the “Eiffel Tower” or the Stratosphere is amazing, as is the art exhibit at the Bellagio, FYI.
  • Participate in the conversation surrounding #HIMSS via social media. If you don’t feel real social savvy, now is the time to learn in the supportive HIMSS environment. This year’s HIMSS official Social Media Ambassador team is stellar (follow Ambassadors on Twitter) and we’re glad to help at @ergotron. Want to talk carts and add-on power? COWS, WOWs and workflows? Tweet your thoughts with the hashtag #HIMSS and follow @himss for tradeshow updates and happenings.
  • Last but not least:  We’re unveiling our 2016 healthcare roadmap, sharing some new routes you will want to take! From our most innovative StyleView carts to some brand new solutions, get the first look by visiting us at booth #5432. We’re giving you the glimpse from the whole hospital perspective. We’re advancing the art of charging, bringing healthier movement into administration, and exploring tablet usage in the ever changing workflow. You won’t want to miss it!

 

 

Join us for “School Moves!” webinar for educators

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On Monday, Feb. 8th, join our live webinar for educators, discover how to unleash the power of non-distruptive physical activity in your classroom – and earn CE credit at the same time!

Ergotron’s Education Manager, Bob Hill, will share ways to improve your students’ health, behavior, and achievement through daily movement. Highlights of what you’ll learn:

  • Health and social dangers of childhood sedentary behaviors and associated obesity.
  • Role of low-level, in-class physical activity in boosting health and achievement.
  • Movement links to musculoskeletal, psychosocial, cardiovascular, and metabolic health.
  • Introducing movement and “enheightenment” into your learning environment.
  • Realizing the promise of personalized learning tools and 1:1 devices.
  • Finding funding and grants to add height-adjustable and mobile desks for your students.

Best of all, you’ll have a chance to get an personal answer to your questions during this live, interactive session on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 at 4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT.

Register today and join the Amazing Resources for Educators professional learning community while you’re at it. Can’t make this scheduled webinar?  You can access it at edWeb.net later, at your convenience. And be sure to check out the educator resources on the Ergotron website.

Stay tuned to this blog for news of the release of our companion ebook, Sit, Stand, Move!

Educators, here’s where to find us in 2016!

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Ergotron is on the road again with a busy schedule of educational conferences and tradeshows around the globe. These events are an opportunity for us to meet up with partners, teachers, and the educational community at large. We’d love to connect with you!

We’re bringing some of our most innovative products with us. The LearnFit® standing desk made quite a splash at ISTE 2015, even winning a Best of Show Award by Tech & Learning magazine.

Come see how the LearnFit helps to create a more dynamic and interactive classroom for students by introducing low-level activity into the school day. Our award-winning Zip and YES charging systems are extremely flexible, so they can accommodate most mobile devices.

Will you be in any of these cities or at any of these events this winter? If yes, come and see what the excitement is all about!

FETC 2016
12-15 Jan 2016
Orlando, FL
Booth # 623

BETT 2016
20-23 Jan 2016
London, UK
Excel Stand F105

TCEA 2016
1-5 Feb 2016
Austin, TX
Booth # 1333

DIDACTA 2016
16-20 Feb 2016
Cologne, DE
Halle 9.1 Stand F037

Educatec Educatice
9-11 Mar 2016
Paris, France
Hall 2.1 Stand F6

Can’t make it to these shows? Ergotron has rich online resources for educators at the K-12 to university level. Learn how to turn your wishes into reality for healthier, more active classrooms. Check out our wellness research and grant tools to find funding for bringing standing desks to your school.

Follow us on Twitter (@Ergotron and @ErgoEdTech) for up the minute event updates!

Innovations in Learning from the EdSpaces Education Show

 

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I just returned from the EDspaces 2015 show for education furniture. The attendees were largely educators, architects and designers, and resellers seeking to use new furniture concepts to improve learning objectives. Among what I expected to see there, there were also a few surprises. Here are my “cliff” notes from the event if you couldn’t attend:

  • Introducing motion into the student’s day. There is significant interest in this topic, most certainly fueled by all the recent research proving the benefit of reducing sedentary time. One of the award winners had a wide range of bicycles, walkers and elliptical mechanisms built into desks—a seemingly good idea, but expensive, complex and space-intensive. Perhaps a good specialty solution. Hat’s off to them for their efforts.
  • Standing desk solutions are starting to emerge. Ergotron’s Bob Hill gave an excellent talk surveying the research supporting the value of standing desks, and discussing how the early adopters have achieved success in their schools. The questions being asked by the audience were not exploratory, rather they had detailed questions about how to successfully implement, such as deciding how many chairs need to be planned in a classroom of standing desks. A key point was the need for student-adjustable desks.  In a recent article in FastCompany, the principal of Vallecito Elementary says, “Our current favorite desk has some of the things we need, but is cumbersome to adjust and requires an army of parent volunteers to adjust the desks in each classroom to fit each child. This is obviously not scalable across the country. …”
  • Collaboration is a top educator priority, but solutions are haphazard. There is clearly a strong desire to provide flexible, re-configurable desk solutions. However, ironically, the most common desks that are touted as collaboration solutions appear to be odd-shaped regular desks. Kidney shaped, trapezoidal, interlocking organic shapes. They look nice, but few are mobile, few allow for height adjustability, and few readily allow the students to reconfigure the classroom quickly.   Also there appears to be more attention to color than to performance. The key to developing the ideal collaboration products will be to provide prototypes to innovative educators, and cooperatively work on developing new solutions.
  • Cheapo tablet/laptop charging carts…yikes! Among the exhibitors there, there were lots of manufacturers with cheap charging carts with power strips. Some even were made of particle board. Please understand that computing devices and their power bricks give off a lot of heat during charging, and they also can draw enough power to blow a circuit breaker or overheat. At a minimum, these carts can reduce lifetime of your computing devices by overheating them, but more seriously, they can be fire hazards. Buy a safe cart with power management and a metal or flame retarded housing please!! The number of fires allowable in a school is ZERO. Look for UL certification labels.
  • Knockoffs. I was surprised to see copies of one of our products and some other top manufacturer’s products. Please don’t buy copies—it takes a lot of research and development to create a ground breaking product.

I am convinced that this is the beginning of a major trend towards standing desks that will improve our student’s health and learning outcomes. Check out emerging research on juststand.org.

By Pete Segar, CEO, Ergotron Inc., President, Nortek Ergonomics and Productivity Solutions

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