Tag Archives: height-adjustable workstation

ErgotronHome: Tiny Home Expo showcases creativity

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Our Global Social Media Manager, Adam Best, reports on the newest residential construction trend for ErgotronHome™:

There was a huge turnout for the first (hopefully) annual Tiny Home Expo in St. Croix Falls, WI in  October.

Attendees toured models representing the entire spectrum of tiny homes: from bare-bones fishing shacks to luxurious models whose interiors looked like something out of a Better Homes & Gardens article.

Presenters Kim Kasl and Emily Koechel Gerde shared stories and tips with an eager audience, and fielded questions from those curious about the lifestyle.

There were plenty of brochures and builders available to inform and inspire, plus live music to keep the Expo festive.

To me, the most interesting part of the Tiny Home lifestyle is how creative the owners are in solving challenges. Think about it: you need a place to sleep, prepare and eat food, relax and work… all in maybe 150 square feet! There’s really no other choice; you have to innovate!

I was especially curious to see how they treated computing and other technology use in the tiny home. While wall mounts for TVs were obviously necessary, I saw some other opportunities to maximize vertical space.

For example, what about a family tech compartment? The ErgotronHome Hub 24 folds up to a tiny footprint (just 24.8″ w × 16.5″ h × 3″ d) with ease. Or perhaps the ErgotronHome Lift24, a height-adjustable laptop stand that tops a table or counter, and then folds up to be stored away when not in use.

Making every square foot count isn’t just about how tiny you can make things. It’s also about how productive and efficient you can be while using those things.

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[Video] Get students standing? It’s time to LearnFit

Students and teachers around the country are discovering the ups and downs of the sit-stand classroom. They are earning an A+ from us for inherently understanding the benefits of moving more during the day with our LearnFit Desk. Watch on.

[Video] DIY Network: I Want That

© MMIX

Does your job involve being in front of a computer screen? Have you ever thought how you can be more comfortable? This is the decision that this woman had to make in this DIY Network Video. She found that by using products like Ergotron’s WorkFit-P or Ergotron’s WorkFit-S, she’s able to quickly switch between standing and sitting, making her more comfortable and productive. Now she has working while having fun. Check out her story.

Justin Frost, Global Social Media Manager @ Ergotron

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Custom sit-stand for the office – don’t fight design, join it

This is a familiar scenario we hear around the ‘Tron: I love the idea of my employees standing more, but we just integrated this new office design with custom worksurfaces…

It’s hard to argue with design at times. Especially when considering the tremendous number of hours spent on deliberating, designing and implementing these work environments to capture the spirit and the culture of the brand it is supporting.

If you can’t fight design, why not join it?

That’s the impetus behind the WorkFit-B Sit-Stand Base. Simply attach your custom worksurface to the WorkFit base of choice (light duty and heavy duty options available), and bingo-presto your employees have attractive, brand supporting sit-stand comfort.

Building the WFB Desk

Whoa. That’s an odd phrase. Brand supporting sit-stand comfort. But culture is important, right? Not only to attract top talent but to keep them healthy and productive while they are there. If you’ve taken the trouble to create a talent attracting environment, why not take the next step?

Sit-stand computing is more than a hot trend. (Although sure, I’d love this to be a “computer on every sit-stand desk” kind of revolution!)

Truthfully, a lot more people than I have discovered that standing more makes them feel better. Smarter people than I have the science to prove it. And now we can help you prove for yourself that your staff will feel (and look good) while standing more.

A few things to know about the WorkFit-B: 

  • Capacity LD: ≤ 60 lbs (27.2 kg);  HD: ≤ 88 lbs (40 kg)
  • Lift: LD: 19″ (50 cm); HD: 20″ (51 cm)
  • Integrated brake secures table in place, with easy release for instantaneous, tool-free, non-motorized re-positioning with Ergotron’s Constant Force (CF) motion technology
  • Assumes worksurface thickness of .87″ (2.2 cm)
  • Four leveling glides establish a firm footing and adjust to install the unit on uneven floors

One thing to keep in mind, the listed weight capacity represents total load applied to height-adjustment platform. So for best results, when calculating load include weight of worksurface, accessory mounts for keyboard and display(s), and any computer hardware being placed on worksurface (less of an issue with quilt squares or scrapbook pages for the home crafter!).

Ergonomic considerations: 

No matter how you choose to use it, don’t miss out on proper ergonomics when considering a custom sit-stand option like this. Here are a few ideas to keep it healthy and to keep it safe:

  • Use the Workspace Planner tool to help calculate the proper worksurface measurements for sitting and standing postures
  • Consider adjustable monitor or laptop arms to ensure proper screen to eye ratios, especially if the keyboard will be placed on the worksurface
  • Integrate an under-desk keyboard option like Ergotron’s Neo-Flex® Underdesk Keyboard Arm (97-582-009) if keying off the worksurface is less than ideal
  • Change postures frequently! Standing too long, just like sitting too long, can cause problems…the key is to find the right balance of sitting and standing for you

How creative do you want to be?

I’ve had some fun thinking of different surfaces to add to this base. I have a new craft room at home and plenty of spare parts squirreled away, like that old wooden door in the garage rafters, or a thick slice of plexi in the storage room. If you have any funky ideas, please send them along.

Sit-stand can go beyond the primary computing space, don’t forget:

  • Makeover the visitor table in your office to a sit-stand hot spot
  • Swap over some of the tables in the cafeteria for the stand-and-graze types on your team
  • Shake things up in your conference or training rooms with sit-stand options for happier, and healthier sessions

This product lets you keep style and function as a work team, instead of opponents. In fact, a true marriage of interior design and sit-stand is possible, when sit-stand is included in the project scope early on and the designer is tasked with making it crazy-cool. A brand feast if you will, for the body and senses. An ultimate win-win for everyone involved.

Go now, get creative.

MJudd
Michelle Judd
Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications
@mjudd 

 

Own your space, own your life

UoChesterStudyHow big is your office? Is it a tiny cubical or a part of an open plan benching system? Do you have a dedicated desk or plop into any available chair? Are you working from the comfort of home or are you alone in a corner office with a million-dollar view?

Whatever your office size or configuration, the area within your control is actually quite small.  Full-time workers spend forty percent of their waking hours sitting within a space no larger than their own height. For the average person, if they spread their arms out to their side at shoulder height, that measurement would be about five and a half feet in diameter from fingertip to fingertip (nails not included).

If those numbers seem bleak, don’t despair. There is a way to make the most of every inch and every minute while you are at work. Just stand–with a sit-stand workstation.

Sure, the media has been full of reports about standing desks, sedentary behavior, and how regular exercise alone isn’t enough to keep us healthy; but a lot of people, employees and employers alike, seem to be missing the point. Not because they’re immune to the health risks of prolonged siting, but because they are reacting to assumptions that side-track them from the truth that they have become accustomed to an unnatural way of working and indeed, living.

Some comment that standing at a desk is nothing new; some bristle at having “one more thing to worry about,” while others delight in pointing out that standing too long is just as bad as sitting too long.

Well, yes.

But what’s that got to do with you?

Given everything that you know about how it feels to be stuck at a computer for hours on end, why wouldn’t you consider standing? Especially in light of an episode called “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor” which aired last Thursday, October 17 on BBC Two television in the UK. The study, conducted by Dr. John Buckley at the University of Chester was built upon previous findings indicating that:

  1. Prolonged sitting causes damage to joints which can lead to inflammation, stress and chronic pain
  2. Prolonged sitting can lead to cardio-metabolic disease
  3. Sit-stand computer workstations have been proven by scientific research to be both feasible and effective at reducing sitting time in a work setting.

The BBC/University of Chester researchers found that both heart rate and energy expenditure were raised significantly by standing work. They speculate that over the course of a year’s work, if workers stood for three to four hours per day doing desk work, it would equate to an additional energy expenditure of 25,000 kcal (about 7lbs or 3 kg of human fat)!

Subjective evaluations found that 8 of 10 workers were very willing to stand doing work as long as they could have breaks and do some work sitting.

No least of all, the UK researchers stated that the simple act of performing desk work, while standing for greater than three hours after lunch, helps to lower blood glucose more quickly back down to normal levels.

The research is in…standing at the computer is both feasible healthier than sitting on its own. And the ability to modify your work surface height, depending on how you feel and the type of task you are doing gives you “decision latitude,” which in itself, is known to improve attitude and consequently, productivity.

Your office may be large or small, near to home or far away. With a sit-stand workstation, it doesn’t matter because you’re in charge. Own your work space. Own your life!

CarrieSchmitzCarrie Schmitz
Ergonomics & Wellness Research Manager @ Ergotron
@giveafig

 

 

 

Additional reading:

Study uncovers the science underlying sit-stand workstation use

In February 2012, Ergotron participated in a scientific study with the University of Minnesota (School of Public Health) and the Mayo Clinic called, “The Effect of Sit-Stand Workstations on Physical Activity in Sedentary Office Workers: A Randomized Crossover Trial.”

pants01-lrWhen we first blogged about it in, “What’s the skinny on sit-stand desks? (Hint, it has to do with magic underwear),” the study was just about to begin. Emphasis was on increasing the understanding of how prolonged sitting can lead to such serious issues as diabetes, cancer and cardio-vascular disease.

“The primary purpose of our research is to establish whether the use of sit-stand desks to reduce sitting time was both feasible and effective,” said Carrie Schmitz, Sr. Manager Ergonomic Research at Ergotron and coauthor of the study.

So where does the “magic underwear” fit into that? Explains Schmitz, “Each participant wore a posture measurement device designed by Dr. James Levine and his researchers at the Mayo clinic. Essentially these were bike pants fitted with accelerometers and worn beneath normal clothing that told us whether participants were sitting, standing or walking.”

A formal announcement of the study occurred last May in Chicago when lead researcher Nirjhar Dutta presented the study findings at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions.

Based on the data gathered in 2012, the feasibility aspect of the study hypothesis was proven because it was demonstrated that participants preferred their new sit-stand work style to their former seated-only habits.

According to Nirjhar Dutta, “The sit-stand workstations were highly popular with over 96% of the subjects enjoying their use.” (Update: The 96% figure turned out to be misleading, because at the 12 month follow-up in 2013, one subject who had initially passed on keeping the sit-stand workstation ultimately returned to it.)

Regarding efficacy, the second part of the study hypothesis, the data showed that the intervention (sit-stand workstations), “significantly increased activity during work hours.” In short, the study was a success and will take its place as an important informer of future, larger studies, like the “Stand-up Australia” and “Stand & Move” studies currently in progress.

Ergotron WorkFit™ sit-stand workstations were chosen as the intervention because they enable office workers to move from a sitting to standing posture (postural rotation) and back again effortlessly. Desks that feature hand-cranking adjustment were ruled out of consideration due to concern that the repeated cranking motion required could itself be a cause of repetitive stress and motor-operated, a lengthy process which likely prohibits mobility, rather than fosters it and burns natural energy resources instead of calories.

Why the distinction? There’s plenty of science indicating that increased activity is vital for a healthy work style, especially these days when technology has taken so many physical tasks out of our hands.

Testament to the importance and timeliness of Ergotron’s continued focus on sit-stand postural rotation research activities is the American Medical Association’s (AMA) recent announcement about adopting a policy on sitting in the workplace: AMA Adopts New Policies on Second Day of Voting at Annual Meeting.

According to AMA board member Patrice Harris, MD, “Prolonged sitting, particularly in work settings, can cause health problems, and encouraging work places to offer employees alternatives to sitting all day will help to create a healthier workforce.”­

Overall, a sit-stand desk appears to be a promising tool to reduce sedentary time at work. Given the proportion of hours spent at work, sit-stand desks may contribute to decreasing sedentary time and improving the health of sedentary office workers.

“Utilizing a product that can improve one’s work experience without negatively impacting health or productivity is paramount,” says Schmitz. “Ergotron’s WorkFit line represents results-driven product design, as evidenced by one of the key findings of the research, that the intervention increased overall sense of well-being, decreased fatigue, and surprisingly, reduced appetite.”

Research like this is helping businesses define how to accomplish the AMA directives. We’ll share more information when the study is formally published. Until then, you will find more sit-stand research and news at Research.juststand.org.

For more information, resources and tools to make your computer experience less damaging and more rewarding, visit us at Computingcomfort.org and Juststand.org.

[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.

Guest Blog: Designing the Sit-To-Stand Office

Daisy McCarty is the long-time office furniture blogger for San Diego based Cubicles Office Environments. She regularly covers topics ranging from office furniture news, design, and products, to refurbishing and sustainability in her blog. We are happy to have her connect with you on this topic.

There’s no shortage of sound medical research pointing to the health risks of prolonged sitting. You don’t have to look in a 3600 mirror to know that being an “office chair potato” can wreak havoc on the human body. Sit-to-stand workstations are the clear choice for a more ergonomic work experience. They should be the first option employers, designers, and facility managers consider rather than a novelty item that only a privileged few get to experience.

However, adjustable height worksurfaces add a new, vertical dimension to office design planning. They introduce a whole new array of questions about how to create a truly effective work environment. This doesn’t mean you should view sit-to-stand desks and worktables as obstacles in the office landscape. Instead, it’s time to spark off some discussion about how to integrate these modern work surfaces into the average open office plan. Let’s get started!

Can I Get Some Privacy Here?

Many top-of-the-line cubicles allow some customization of the worksurface height based on employee height. However, that’s a set it and forget it feature. Truly adjustable worksurfaces that are attached to a cubicle panel are few and far between. Many of the best sit-to-stand worktables and desks are designed to be freestanding. They aren’t meant to serve as a support structure for a panel. This doesn’t mean that cubicle panels can’t be incorporated into the office layout. Panel wall heights may actually need to increase to provide consistent acoustic shielding and reduce interruptions for workers whether they are sitting or standing.

However, panels may no longer be directly linked to the worksurface. Instead, you might start seeing more standalone panels with wide bases for stability. Or, panels with brackets attached to walls could make a comeback. With today’s blended office environments that feature both collaborative and private workspaces, this layout might be very beneficial. The individual workstations could line the perimeter of the office by the coveted window spots where employees can enjoy plenty of natural light. The central area of the room could be reserved for lounge style furnishings and “pods” for group work.

Where Should You Stow Stuff?

To date, most studies of repetitive motion injuries in cubicle workers assume that all movements are done from a seated position. This includes bending, twisting, and reaching to retrieve objects and files. When employees start standing at work, this is all going to change. They will have more mobility and a greater reach. It won’t seem like a huge chore for workers to heave themselves out of an office chair and walk across the room to a filing cabinet – they’ll already be standing up. At the same time, bending over from a standing position or squatting down to reach files in the very bottom drawer of a credenza may not be very comfortable.

Some storage options, such as overhead bins placed directly above the main worksurface may no longer be useful. In contrast, mobile storage pedestals may be a very popular addition (and they can be readily shared between two or more workers). Spine based storage solutions that place file drawers at about waist level could also address the new, variable height of work positions.

Put on Your Thinking Cap…

These are only a few factors to consider in designing a workspace that incorporates sit-to-stand desks and tables. You will also need to brainstorm about these topics:

  • Streamlined cord management
  • Adjustable monitor arms, keyboard trays and task lighting
  • Where to put peripherals such as printers
  • Whether employees need more or less square footage in your new layout
  • If bridges and returns are still needed to provide adequate surface area, or if they can be replaced with other office furniture that isn’t attached to the main worksurface.
  • Anti-fatigue flooring that still allows desk chairs to roll freely

There are no limits to the heights we can reach as we re-imagine the modern workplace! Share your ideas in the comments.

To sit or to stand; or to sit and stand? Eggs are good. Wait, eggs are bad?

Wendy McCubbin, Sr. Manager, Workspace Wellness @ Ergotron

Ahhh… it’s the question of the day – to sit, or to stand? While there are differing opinions, l love that the conversation continues, helping us in our cause to create awareness on the dangerous, sometimes deadly effects of sedentary work environments and sitting disease!

First, THANK YOU Cornell University, specifically the faculty and staff at CUErgo, for contributing to the sit versus stand conversation last week in your posting, “Sitting and Standing at Work” linking to research led by Professor Alan Hedge, Cornell University, Design & Environmental Analysis, in 2004.

Thanks also to LifeHacker, HackerNews and most recently, TreeHugger for picking up on the posting and drawing more people into the conversation. At times, I’ve enjoyed reading the comments almost as much as the postings!

For those of you who’ve not yet read it, the CUErgo posting identifies the perils of sitting and of standing and concludes that periodic acts of movement is all that’s needed to give our bodies the replenishment they need.

The study they reference dates back to 2004 though, and there is a mounting evidence of more current research identifying the dangers associated with long periods of sitting “to do computer work” and which support the need for sit-stand work environments.

Healthier alternatives to fixed or even height-adjustable workspaces have evolved so much since then!

This is why Ergotron launched the Just Stand Wellness Uprising in 2010, a causal campaign designed to educate workers from around the world about the dangers imposed by our sedentary work environments and that healthy workspace options to avoid sitting disease do exist!

But creating an Uprising is a hell of an undertaking, which is why we’re happy you’ve all contributed to the conversation with your postings… and we look forward to more of it!

Sitting too much IS deadly

As a self-proclaimed sit-stand evangelista, I’m jazzed that you all continue to contribute to the awareness through your postings, drawing more attention to an important issue—sitting too much is deadly.

Research claims that we are spending nearly 77% of our day just sitting, so as CUErgo points out, the peril of sitting “…for more than 1 hour has been shown to induce biochemical changes in lipase activity (an enzyme involved in fat metabolism) and in glucose metabolism that leads to the deposit of fats in adipose tissue rather than these being metabolized by muscle, and extensive sitting also relates to heart disease risks, so people are advocating standing to work because this use more muscle activity (burns about 20% more calories). These changes happen in both fit people who regularly aerobically work out and also unfit and obese people, so regular exercise doesn’t address this.”

“It’s not just how much physical activity you get, but how much time you spend sitting that can affect your risk of death.”

Clearly, the physiological and biochemical reactions defined by CUErgo as a peril to sitting might be contributors to the shocking discovery published in 2009 by Dr. Alpa Patel and the American Cancer Society who, after observing over 123,000 individuals between 1993 and 2006, found a link between “More Time Spent Sitting to Higher Risk of Death.”

In their research, Dr. Patel and the American Cancer Society determined “it’s not just how much physical activity you get, but how much time you spend sitting that can affect your risk of death.” In it, researchers concluded that time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level.

Are the theories summarized in the posting by CUErgo wrong?  Not entirely.

While CUErgo seems to question the health benefits of standing, it is interesting to note that Professor Hedge summarized, “There is good evidence to indicate that adjustable furniture that can support sit-stand working may be beneficial to the health and performance of office workers.”

And this summarization is shared by medical experts, ergonomists, and researchers from around the world who provide an important holistic view of the very real dangers of sitting disease and who advocate the need to do away with the sedentary work routines we’ve been forced to work within.

Research has established that the act of standing increases blood flow, metabolic rates and caloric burn while improving focus, energy and productivity and will reduce the stiffness, discomfort and aches commonly associated with computing and long periods of sitting. There is even mounting evidence that increased energy and focus associated with sit-stand options impact productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness in a significant way.

We need never be sentenced to our office chair again!

We agree, CUErgo, standing all day can be unhealthy!  That’s why we advocate a healthy blend of sitting and standing and to give individuals the option to sit and stand whenever, and for as long as, they choose—in doses that are comfortable for them.  But indeed, they need the option.

Unlike the electronic height-adjustable workstations you observed in the 2004 research, what’s exciting for businesses and consumers today is access to a growing list of affordable, height-adjustable, wellness enhancing products that are as easy to adjust from a seated to a standing position as, well, simply standing is. Today’s knowledge worker need never be sentenced to their office chair again.

The interesting thing about the 2004 study is that it claimed the 33 people they observed were “self-assessed with musculoskeletal discomfort.” In the 2011 JourneyWell Take A Stand project, 16 of the participants claimed no health issues prior to access to a sit-stand workstation. After the units were removed? Nearly ALL claimed some level of discomfort when forced to return to their sit-only, sedentary work routine!

It says to me that the average office worker may be completely unaware of how uncomfortable they are and even more unaware of how dangerous long periods of sitting can be.

So the perils may instead lie in not adopting sit-stand workstation options. And with prices ranging from only $400 to $1000, consumers are no longer shut off from being able to afford it!  The beauty is: the sophistication of the technology enabling easy sit-stand adjustability has advanced significantly from the electronic desks of the Cornell Study.

Here’s an invitation Cornell!

Our invitation to Cornell remains the same as one that other leading researchers around the globe have already accepted—let Ergotron be a part of your next sit-stand research!

There is so much more to learn and definitely so much to gain.  Plus, our lives are depending on it.

On a final note, I wouldn’t be completely fulfilling my duties as a sit-stand evangelista if I didn’t attempt to contribute to the conversation and the collaboration we’ve established this week, so of all the research that currently exists, here’s my top ten.

Pssst LifeHacker, you made it … twice!

WorkFit Wendy’s Top Ten “Take a Stand” references

  1. Leisure Time Spent Sitting in Relation to Total Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of US Adults  Journal of Epidemiology (April 2010)
  2. Sitting Time & Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease & Cancer Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2009) Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute
  3. Your Body’s Biggest Enemy The dangers of living a sedentary life: Learn how to ward off the nasty effects of a new epidemic called Sitting Disease (September 2011)
  4. Excessive Sitting Linked to Premature Death in Women USAToday (August 2011)
  5. Calories Burned By Standing Up eHow Health (okay, okay, no date given, but it seems really current, does that count?)
  6. The Many Benefits of Standing at Your Desk Harvard Business Review (August 2010)
  7. Prolonged Sitting Causes Disease, Standing Fights it LifeHacker (11/19/07)
  8. The “Sitting Is Killing You” Infographic Shows Just How Bad Prolonged Sitting Is  LifeHacker (05/11/11)
  9. Physical Inactivity Linked to Increased Risk for Chronic Disease University of Missouri (August 2011)

…. and my absolute favorite? Drumrolllllllllllllllll, please….

10.  Study: Standing and Sitting at Work Improves Health, Happiness of Workers PR Newswire (08/01/11)

 

Business as UNusual?

Tester Guy can do a lot of things but can he tackle sit-stand computing? You know it. Check out his latest antics with Ergotron’s newest height-adjustable workstation, the WorkFit-D, Sit-Stand Desk.