Category Archives: Innovation

We were featured in the Intel Health & Life Sciences blog!

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Our Director of Product Development, Michael Mullen, discusses Ergotron’s work in healthcare product innovation on the Intel health and science community forum.

For over 30 years, Ergotron has optimized the digital interface with IT equipment for improved usability, comfort and safety for doctors, nurses, and the entire healthcare team.

Michael explains how we work closely with thought leaders like Intel and our IT partners to optimize the latest technology and improve EMR usage.

You can read the Q&A with Michael here.

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 In this new office makeover-type reality show, acclaimed Interior Designer, Kalyn Rothaus, transforms an outdated warehouse into a sleek, modern office space.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.

Counter-balanced sit-stand for employee well being

I just read a very practical research review article in Ergonomics in Design entitled, “Is Standing the Solution to Sedentary Office Work?” by Jack P. Callaghan, et. al.  It provides a suggested ratio of 1:1 alternating between sitting and standing, with no more than 15 minutes of standing at a time.  That is good practical guidance supported by a number of research studies.

This is certainly consistent with one of the basic tenets of ergonomics, that frequent re-positioning aids comfort by avoiding repetitive stress or static overload.  However, for a typical knowledge worker that computes for six or more hours per day, this means moving between sitting and standing positions 24 times per day.

Is this reasonable?  It depends on the desk.  When one is using an electric desk, the workflow is interrupted by waiting for the desk to reach the proper ergonomic position to start computing again. An electric desk that takes 20 sec to re-position will waste a total of 8 minutes per day if it is re-positioned according to the guidelines.

In American Journal of Preventative Medicine, an article by Dr. Lucas Carr et al. entitled “Cross-sectional Examination of Long-term Access to Sit–Stand Desks in a Professional Office Setting” observed Swedish call center workers with access to counterbalanced spring or electric hoist sit–stand desks for a longer, albeit unknown, duration, and concluded, “It is possible that use of sit–stand desks declines over time and is dependent upon lift type, as more convenient lifts may translate to greater standing.”

This is one of the main reasons why I believe a counterbalanced workstation (where the weight is supported by a spring lift mechanism), promotes health more effectively than an electric desk.  A good counterbalanced desk can be re-positioned virtually instantly, and can be done without disturbing the worker’s thought process. If the worker perceives the effort of re-positioning is too great, they will revert back to sedentary behaviors and begin sitting for longer periods of time, or perhaps standing all the time and experiencing leg or back discomfort.

Wellness experts advise that when you start standing, aim to start in small regular intervals, rather than forcing yourself to stand all day for the first day. The aim should be to get to the point where you can spend half of your working day standing within four weeks.  This can be accomplished with a gradually increasing schedule of standing from 10 minutes per hour in Week 1, to 20 minutes each hour in Week 2 and finally 30 minutes per hour by Week 3. If you experience fatigue or discomfort, ease off a bit. A counter-balanced workstation allows the worker to accomplish this, by easily moving as the worker moves. The workstation becomes an extension of the worker, without a lot of thought need to keep it working with them.

Electric desks still excel for very heavy weights, and highly variable loads; however for a normal office worker with dual or triple monitors and normal levels of paperwork, a counterbalanced desk is going to be substantially easier and quicker to lift and lower, and therefore will be more effective promoting comfort. Furthermore, they do not require electrical power, and are quieter.

Some people will continue to sit longer than 15 to 30 minutes. Some will continue to stand more than two to 30 minutes. But whichever position they are in, switching to the next position can be, and should be, instantaneous.

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

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DIY Standing Desk?

Let’s all salute the office pioneers who, braving co-worker ridicule and IT angst, reached for the boxes, books, and other cube accessories to create stand-up desks in their sit-only landscapes.

Folks like Nikki, Amy, Ryan and the others, what were they hoping for? More energy, more focus, or maybe even for a back pain free day away from a sit-only workstyle. Like them, Ergotron is focused on pioneering workstations that get people moving too.

Have a DIY desk you want to share? Send us your pic on Facebook!

Keeping an eye on health with the new Apple Watch

Copyright 2014

Copyright 2014

“They’re playing our song,” someone on the team said at the launch of Apple’s newest innovation, the Apple Watch (overview).

The “song” they’re singing? It has a catchy little ring to it. We tried to capture it once five years ago in our release of the Cubicle Blues, back when people were still arguing “why would I want to stand when I can sit?” Back when we lit the flame under our JustStand® Wellness Uprising in 2009.

Fast forward to 2014. It’s fabulous to see corporations like Apple designing products with features to address the very human need to move. Getting you to stand more, or move more as John-Michael Bond indicates in his recent TÚAW post (“The Apple Watch health app is an incredible tool for all levels of fitness”) is one of the goals of the Apple Watch health app.

If you are planning to invest in this latest bit of Apple deliciousness, be sure to explore this feature. It is something that all of the pioneer JustStanders out there will appreciate.

Picture the scene. You are knee-deep in editing video and you hear a beep. Stand up for at least 1 minute in every hour is the alert you could receive with the Apple Watch on your wrist, spurring you to action, because, “Oh yeah, it’s time to move around.”

Researchers like Dr. Genevieve Healy, from the University of Queensland in Australia (and others like her), have even been suggesting changing postures every 30 minutes.

Whichever time frame you choose to follow, the edict is this: If you are sitting? Stand. If standing, move around, or even sit for a while. Simple.

The watch will help keep you honest about your body absent mindedness. Especially after you identify those oh-so-sedentary times during your day with our free Sitting-Time Calculator.

Like at your computer where you may want to consider pairing your monitor or laptop with an Ergotron WorkFit sit-stand workstation designed for PC or for Apple. (Hint: This makes the sit/stand part easier AND keeps you productive.)

Either way, with the Apple Watch, you have another means to avoid the “low-down not enough moving around blues!”

[Video] LearnFit for the Active Classroom


Introducing Ergotron’s LearnFit™ Adjustable Standing Desk, our first adjustable desk for students aged nine to adult.

It’s now possible to transform classrooms into active learning environments with on-demand adjustability for students. See what educators have to say about bringing standing postures into the classroom.

Available June 2014.

(Infographic) Nursing Challenges and Changes

While nurses represent the majority of the U.S. healthcare workforce and are on the front lines of the industry’s radical transformation, they face many daily challenges. Nurses are responsible for quality care and patient satisfaction, yet they continue to spend more time interacting with technology and potentially less and less time actually providing care to patients, making it harder to provide outstanding care.

Nurses went into the profession because they wanted to take care of people. In this world of technology they are spending up to 35% of their day doing documentation. This infographic looks at ways that they can make that 35% more tolerable and reduce or combine documentation time with patient interaction (triangle of care).

Nursing Challenges and Changes_Infographic

We believe that if we can provide equipment to relieve physical burdens, solutions to technology problems and broadband telemedicine to alleviate the widespread nursing shortage, the healthcare industry and nurses in particular will be better positioned to do the job they are meant to be doing- providing quality care to patients.

Click here for a PDF of the Infographic and Creative Commons Attribution.

Telemedicine: A practical solution to a global healthcare delivery problem

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When you think of telemedicine, what comes to mind? You’ve probably seen references to it if you have visited anyone on a hospital floor recently. Did you wonder:

  • Is it doctors talking to you from a distant location over “face time” on your iPhone? 
  • How about your home devices like electronic scales, temperature sensors and blood pressure monitoring devices phoning into your doctor your recent measurements?
  • Or maybe it’s all about a surgeon using some type of machine to perform surgery on you from hundreds, even thousands of miles away?
  • Maybe it’s a robot on wheels with some likeness of a talking head telling you to eat your peas and carrots, drink more water and always follow your doctor’s instructions for health happiness?

The fact is these are just a few examples of all the possible options for telemedicine application. So what is telemedicine?  It is not nearly as complicated as it may seem. There are a number of definitions but they all point to the same general idea: Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve patients’ health status.  Simple.

Telemedicine is not a separate medical specialty. In fact, products and services related to telemedicine are often part of a larger investment by health care institutions in either information technology or the delivery of clinical care.

In the near to mid-term, telemedicine technology offers one of the few ways of enabling healthcare personnel to meet the increased demand without unacceptable delays or other forms of de facto rationing. It is said to rest on three pillars:

  • Improved access between the patient and their care provider
  • Enhanced quality in the outcome of the patient’s care
  • Cost savings for the patient as well as for the care provider

As with any change on the healthcare spectrum, there will be some adjustment period by both the patient and their doctor as they negotiate long-distance versus in-the-room care. There is even some thought among experts that the emerging mobile and social media technologies will influence certain aspects of telemedicine, making it more attractive and cost-effective for patients and healthcare facilities alike, while opening up access to care in different locations. There will always be some care needs that can only be accomplished in person, in a location such as a doctor’s office, or medical center. In these cases telemedicine can be an adjunct in the process.

The good news for all is that case studies are showing positive patient outcomes from having experienced a telemedicine care encounter, with the benefits far outweighing the shortcomings for many clinical procedures including telestroke, telepsychology, and teledermatology to name a few. Researchers at UC Davis Children’s Hospital found telemedicine consults “significantly improved outcomes for patients treated in rural pediatric emergency departments that lack pediatric specialists” according to a report in Information Week

From Ergotron’s perspective, helping hospitals and patients interact in ways that support health, versus harm is key. Telemedicine, delivered and viewed on platforms that are adjustable to user requirements will ensure the most comfortable experience possible, no matter the application.

In a world of global healthcare delivery problems, telemedicine is emerging as a practical solution to some of the woes.

[video] New WorKFit workstations designed for Apple users

Watch a day in the work life of an Apple® user to see a new perspective on healthier computing. The new WorkFit-A and WorkFit-P Sit-Stand Workstations – for Apple, are designed for the unique needs of Mac computer and Laptop users. Standing more never looked so good.

Laptop users, get on your feet!

Introducing: The WorkFit-P, Sit-Stand Workstation

WorkFit-P, Sit-Stand WorkstationLaptops. As a partner in computing, their portability is a priority when the yen to connect occurs. Frequently, that yen occurs near a comfy couch or an uncomfy coffee corner, right? Or on the bed, or floor, an airport seat…you get the idea.

In all actuality, getting laptop users on their feet may be a feat unto itself.

Ergotron’s WorkFit-P is designed with our laptop friends in mind. While they can still find a comfy corner around the house or office when they want to sit, the WorkFit will be the ideal alternative when they want to stand.

The WorkFit-P provides a stable, adjustable solution for raising a laptop 20″ inches in the air above just about any worksurface. It attaches to the back or side of existing desks (or even a counter top), and can easily be moved out of the way for seated computing. Or detached and moved to another room if using at home.

And for the desktop users out there? The WorkFit-P gives us some additional worksurface at a standing level. No more bending to write on the desk surface. The WorkFit-P surface rises to elbow height (for a broad range of users) for applications like drawing with a pen and tablet, or as additional raised worksurface in conjunction with another standing desk option.

Is it ergonomic friendly?

ErgotronWorkFitP_SitStandPlatformEven with the large screen laptops, there are always some issues with viewing angles and in a seated or standing position. Still, there are some ways to get comfy quick:

Even by following some of these ergonomic considerations, you will go a long way towards a more comfortable experience. And for those who just can’t give up the couch or floor, here are some ergo tips for the portable laptop user.

Features you’ll appreciate:

  • Spacious worksurface approximately 26″ x 18″ (66 cm x 45.7 cm)
  • Mount via desk clamp or included grommet mount
  • Cable management clips on the underside of the mount arm routes and hides wires
  • Polished aluminum and black finish
  • Standing more burns more calories! Fact. Sitting on the couch does not. Just saying…

The important thing to remember with any laptop computing experience: Keep it comfy but keep it safe. Here’s one solution that helps laptop users do both.

Available now