Category Archives: Wellness

On-demand Webinar! Build a business case for sit-stand

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ON-DEMAND WEBINAR NOW AVAILABLE

With so many organizations looking for ways to reduce employee absenteeism and presenteeism, improve productivity, and lower healthcare costs, this complimentary 30-minute on-demand webinar followed by Q&A, helps HR and wellness professionals learn why standing at work is gaining popularity and how to make a business case for sit-stand solutions. Attendees who work in the fields of health, safety, wellness or ergonomics will benefit most from this webinar.

This webinar will help you address such questions as:

* Why is standing at work such a focus all of a sudden?

* What research has been done on sit-stand interventions?

* How can I build a business case for investing in sit-stand?

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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.

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.

 

Worldwide Stand Up Days!

Several years ago, most of us weren’t aware of the dangers of sedentary workstyles and prolonged sitting. Today, we know that many office workers sit almost 10 hours a day, which is too much. Regular low-level movement is healthier, so switch from sitting to standing every 30 minutes or so.

To remind us to sit less and move more, engage with one of these upcoming stand up awareness days.

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On Your Feet America – April 29, 2016. To learn more, visit their website, follow @getUSAstanding, share #SitLess #MoveMore #OYF16. (Organizers: Get America Standing and Active Working; Ergotron is a Silver Partner.)

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On Your Feet Britain – April 29, 2016. To learn more, visit their website, follow @getGBstanding, share #SitLess #MoveMore #OYF16. (Organizers: Get Britain Standing and Active Working; Ergotron is a Silver Partner.)

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On Your Feet Canada – April 29, 2016. To learn more, visit their website, follow @getCDAstanding, share #SitLess #MoveMore #OYF16. (Organizers: Get Canada Standing and Active Working.)

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Get Fit, Don’t Sit – May 4, 2016. To learn more, visit their website, follow @AmDiabetesAssn, share #GetFitDontSit #StopDiabetes. (Organizer: American Diabetes Association.)

Join us in making some simple changes so that you spend more time up off of that chair – at work and at home!

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.

 

 

How to take employee health to new heights

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Achieving a higher level of health sounds great, but what are the actual steps an organization should be taking to make it happen, both for employees and the business? That’s part of the question that Ergotron aims to answer at the Higher Health Symposium on April 19th at Northwestern Health Sciences University (NHSU) in Bloomington, MN.

Ergotron is partnering with the NHSU and several other notable companies, including Advacare, Corporate Health Systems, Optum and Trig. The day-long forum will help HR professionals and executives to better understand the healthcare landscape, and solutions that are both available and appropriate for their own companies.

There’s a lot to be said on the subject and the day’s agenda will be fast-paced. Conference-goers will hear from six unique speakers on all aspects of innovative employee health and wellness, and a panel discussion will delve into the importance of curbing rising healthcare costs through improved employee wellness. Ergotron will present in the afternoon on the importance of workspace designs that allow for regular movement.

If you’re ready to take your own employees’ health to new heights, register to attend. We welcome your participation in the conversation and invite you to visit Ergotron in the exhibition hall as well.

Follow along on social channels, too, using hashtag #HigherHealthSym16.

American Diabetes “Alert Day” is March 22

Our friends over at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have just sounded the alarm! March 22nd marks their annual “wake up call” asking Americans to take the Diabetes Risk Test as step 1 in protecting their health. Download the Toolkit now to find out how to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Participate in the ADA’s prediabetes awareness campaign, then help spread the word about this critical issue to your employees, customers, or community members.

Here’s 3 easy ways to get involved:

  1. Talk about it. What do the terms mean? Who is at risk? What are the signs? Shedding light on the issue opens the mind to develop new, healthier behaviors. Discussing with others opens the door to new resources, tip sharing, and maybe even some unexpected support to make positive change. The ADA has a suite of online tools to help thoroughly educate you or someone you love. It takes less than a minute to find out if you have prediabetes, visit DoIHavePrediabetes.org to know where you stand. You can even text RISKTEST to 97779 to take the short test over the phone or via mobile device. According to the ADA, diagnosis is key, and research backs up that once people are aware of their condition, they are much more likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
  2. Take steps to make a positive change in your life. Cut out sugar. Cut back on carbs. Exercise more or start to exercise. Increase your daily low level activity. Sit less. Stand more. Move. And if doing all that is too overwhelming, start with one area to work on, whether with a doctor or your support network. Denial doesn’t help anyone. And each day affords you 24 hours, or if you like 1,440 minutes, or even 86,400 seconds to make at least one positive change a day. The campaign features lifestyle tips and links from the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program. You may also want to consider a new app from Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Australia, Rise & Recharge.
  3. Support the campaign. Whether with your family, your coworkers, or through your social networks to countless thousands in the cyber world, the tools and ideas the ADA has pulled together are infinitely shareable. Here are a few:
    • Support a PSA on your sites or blogs; PSAs are available at the ADA’s PSACentral.org
    • Explore their fabulous Prediabetes Social Toolkit or link to the DoIHavePrediabetes.org site (hashtags include #NoOneIsExcused from #prediabetes)
    • Include posters and risk test flyers in break rooms, kitchens/cafeterias, or in other places where people gather.

However you choose to engage, do engage. If it doesn’t necessarily impact your life directly, remember, more that 86 million people in America alone have prediabetes. Your voice counts.