Tag Archives: Just Stand Uprising

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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[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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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)

 

Stand with Pete. Just Stand.

Heather Rouillard, Global eMarketing Manager @ Ergotron

What’s your standing story? Can you bring your sit/stand desk to other people in a meeting? Do you understand the health impacts of sitting disease? We realize that here at Ergotron we are lucky, as we get to do this everyday. Watch and listen to Pete Segar, President of Global Branded Product, tell us how he helped start the movement we call The Uprising. He’ll explain his own history of back pain, how he decided to change it, and all with a Healthcare cart…

Are you a sit-stand warrior?

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications @ Ergotron

It is fun to do something a little controversial every once in a while.

Like starting a global Uprising: http://juststand.org.

Like calling myself a sit-stand warrior as I make the choice to sit or stand at my workstation every hour of my 40+ work week.

Radical I know.

Continue reading

Just stand. Is it really that simple?

Nancy Gregson, Sr. Global Events Manager @ Ergotron

I recently ran across an article at Prevention.com, the website that compliments Prevention magazine, that told the readers to “Take a Stand.”   I was shocked to read that standing for an hour more each day can burn 100 calories more than if you were sitting. Bonus!

It made me think about how my health and overall life balance has changed since I started standing at my desk last year. Not only is my Ergotron WorkFit C-Mod height-adjustable workstation changing how I compute, it is helping me get fit too. 

In the past six months I have bought a Wii and recently joined the local YMCA…and not because I am a health nut. I have worked a majority of my life at a desk staring at a computer. I’m learning now how unhealthy “just sitting” can be if movement isn’t added into the mix. And I’m not just talking about avoiding carpel tunnel. 

Because I decided to stand most of my work day, I am sleeping better and my back pain has gone away.  I have more energy and just overall feel better.  I was worried at first that standing would hurt my feet, but after a few days, it wasn’t an issue (the right shoes help).  I have made standing a habit and miss it when I am not at work.  

I think we all go through phases where we blur that line between work and having a life (thanks in part to the invention of laptops and the Blackberry).  Having the choice to bring fitness into my worklife brings a different kind of balance. Our bodies were truly meant to move, so why not burn calories in the process? 

Just Stand.  Your body will thank you.

Ergonomics isn’t about perfect posture

Steve Adams, Senior Web Designer @ Ergotron notAboutPerfectPostureTry searching the web for “computer ergonomics” and you’ll find plenty of handy charts and tips:

Notice a common theme? Each page focuses on maintaining proper posture. You’ll find the correct arrangement for an entire workstation, from the angle of a monitor screen to the configuration of a chair. Good information to be sure.

But what happens when you dutifully follow those guidelines? Do you find ergonomic bliss? Do you experience computing so comfortable that you do it just to get an endorphin rush?

Of course the answer is “No”—because comfortable computing is much more than good posture.

Sitting in the same position all day, day after day, is a recipe for injury. As reported at Canada.com, “Sitting too long is the most common mistake employees are making.” In fact, even if a monitor and keyboard are at the ideal height and you have an ergonomic chair, the effect of so-called “static loading” will take its toll as muscles begin to atrophy. This is because, as a physiologist would describe, “The musculoskeletal system is unsuited for prolonged static work because the body cannot supply fresh nutrients to the stressed tissues.”

Indeed, the sad reality is as Peter Gibbs observed to Michael Bolton in the movie Office Space: “Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day!”

So how does one find computing comfort?

Naturally, first set up your workstation according to the posture guidelines. But that is just the starting point.

The next step is to create a workspace and routine that accommodates movements your body wants to make throughout the day:

  1. Use adjustable monitor arms and keyboard trays to reposition your screen and any input device to where you are moving. Set up your chair properly and know how to use its adjustment features.
  2. Better yet, periodically stand while working whenever you feel like it. Create a sit/stand workstation.
  3. Take rest breaks: make excuses for quick walks—to the water cooler or wherever.

Once upon a time I pretended to be a mannequin for the sake of ergonomics and my body rebelled with shouts of pain and stiffness. But now I move—sometimes I stand, other times I sit, and there are all sorts of twists and turns continually happening in my cube. Heck, I even slouch now and then! And happily, all is well.

CubeLife 2.0: The antidote to “you sit, you die”

Jane Payfer, Chief Marketing Officer @ Ergotron

jpayfer-1A recent news story grabbed everyone’s attention with the shocking headline, “You sit. You die,” from a Fox News video. Okay, we can all agree this is a little overstated.  We’re all going to sit. And we’re all going to die.

But it gets your attention. And there’s something to it.  Recent studies are connecting the health impact of lifestyles that are too sedentary.  Especially vulnerable are workers in corporate environments who have been predominantly sitting in their cubes, or at meetings, the majority of their 40+ hour work weeks.

Robert Probst of Herman Miller  is credited with the design of systems furniture of the 1960’s that has governed much of how corporate America works and interacts ever since.

Cube Life, with all its powerful idiosyncrasies, has been the subject of water cooler conversations, Dilbert cartoons, and TV shows for decades.  The technology used in the cubes has changed, but the general approach to developing semi-permanent interlocking office spaces has remained amazingly constant for the past 50 years.

It’s a new century and a new millennium.

Many of us are no longer “placed based” workers:  they call us knowledge workers now. Our work can be accomplished anywhere we can plug into a network. With the advancement and proliferation of wireless connectivity, this means we can work pretty much anywhere and everywhere.  And we do.  And that’s the problem.

Empowered by digital technology, the impact of sitting in front of computers and analyzing information, developing new software programs and applications, writing content and creating graphics for digital distribution, takes a physical toll on us. The communicating, connecting, sharing and impressing is good.

The “hunched and crunched” positions we find ourselves in, while we’re doing it, is not.

Ergotron’s corporate culture is one that would like to fix many of the world’s problems.  While this problem doesn’t frequently headline the nightly news, the physical toll knowledge workers pay is costing America in hard, real healthcare costs, softer “alternative medicine” solutions, and in absenteeism and presenteeism. 

What's Ailing Corporate America July 2007

What's Ailing Corporate America July 2007

Knowledge workers are either staying home, because of their aches and pains, or they are physically showing up to work ( they are physically present), but they are not getting anything done because they can’t concentrate, can’t focus. They are mentally absent. All productivity is gone.

CubeLife 2.0  is cube life in the new millennium.  It CAN be better.  It has to be.

To reduce the impact of the “hunched and crunched” position, knowledge workers can choose to move around while working. Changing positions from seated to standing is such a seemingly small thing, but it matters.  Physically altering your body is what your body is made to do.  This small, but significant movement can make a difference in workers’ well-being.  Studies like those by Dr. Marc Hamilton, University of Missouri, on the benefit of standing during the workday (Podcast, July 2009) are proving it.

Progressive organizations encourage  knowledge workers collaboration on projects, clustering together in “free form” space when team work is needed, and returning to a private area when quiet concentration is needed.

Earlier this week I was in one of the most progressive offices in Minneapolis, where workers actually “rotate” from area to area just to keep things fresh and keep the employee interactions lively.  Yes, there was some “system furniture” in this facility, but there were no walls, no barriers, and absolutely no Cubes.

Yesterday, I heard from one of the major insurance companies here in town that they are moving to “stand up” meetings.  They understand standing is healthier than sitting, are are looking at ways to provide furniture that accomodate this physical behavior.

These are encouraging signs that the world is ready for a change in CubeLife.

Some may call it a revolution. We call it The Uprising. Getting up from a seated position, undocking those buttocks from a chair, standing, moving, and working.

Explore what it could do for you.