Tag Archives: sitting disease

The Summit is back…5 reasons to look forward to it

Corporate leaders share best practices at summitThe recent announcement by the American Medical Association (AMA), cited “Health Risks of Sitting” (and “Recognizing Obesity as a Disease”) among the new policies they voted to adopt during their annual meeting. At Ergotron, this is a huge milestone in our 3-year long charter to reduce sitting time and the health risks linked to it.

Does knowing this now concern you about the amount of sitting you do in your day? Do you know what YOUR risk is for “Sitting Disease”? Or what you can do to reduce this risk AND encourage employers/employees to do the same?

Sounds like it’s time to check out Ergotron’s 3rd Annual JustStand™ Wellness Summit, July 17 at the McNamara Alumni Center (University of Minnesota campus), Minneapolis, MN. 

This complimentary event gives you a unique opportunity to rub elbows with the top researchers and organizations in the world who have explored alternatives to reducing sitting time, and other “out-of-the-box” approaches to producing healthier, more active, more productive individuals!

So what will YOU get by joining us? Here’s the short list:

1. Be in on the leading edge of global research. When you get minds from the University of Queensland (Australia), Stanford University, the Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota and Humantech in a room together, expect something ground-breaking. From to up-to-the-minute research to practical applications, hear about the global initiatives that are shaping the news.

2. Hear from the businesses who are blazing the trail. Organizations like Oberon (a brand of Sálo LLC), the Blue Zones, Rodale, Inc., American Council on Exercise (ACE) and David Martin Consulting Group are pioneers in creating healthier cultures for employees and the businesses they serve. Hear about their challenges and successes, and gain insight into how you might bring that knowledge back to your organization.

3. Network with other industry professionals. Get real-world advice from others facing the same challenges you are. Attendees include human resources, health and wellness, employee relations, compensation and benefits, occupational health, organizational development, facilities and organization development professionals from multiple industries–in both public and private sectors.

4. See and experience the solutions designed to help people reduce sedentary time.  Come see the full-line of WorkFit sit-stand workstation add-ons, desks, and carts for any business environment to evaluate sit-stand computing firsthand.

5. Become a catalyst for change in your environments. It just takes one person to see the vision for a healthier, more productive workplace. Come get all the tools you need to spark a sit-stand Uprising in your business or community. Education is the first step to creating a culture of movement and that’s why we created Juststand.org as a resource and launch pad.

As a bonus! National fitness expert Chris Freytag with tips on fitting fitness into your day, and new this year, exhibitors like the American Heart AssociationAmerican Diabetes Association, and SmartMove, Inc. will be on-site providing additional education on influencing health.

Convinced? We hope so. REGISTRATION is easy but if you have questions, contact us at info@juststand.org.


The Management Challenge Presented by the “Sitting Disease”

by Pete Segar, President, Ergotron Branded Products 

A challenge every manager should consider: The  responsibility to deliver a safe working environment to our employees. 

Up until recently, the standard approach has been to provide computer equipment, and later upgrade with custom ergonomic devices as employees develop problems. Often times, even requiring a doctor’s note to justify the expense. 

But today, with strong evidence that the computing environment itself leads to extended sedentary periods that are damaging to employee health, it is no longer responsible to provide static seated office computing stations to our employees. 

It is our responsibility to provide a safe working environment to all of our workers, and the ability to move fluidly from sitting to standing to help prevent the health impact of overly sedentary behavior during the work day.  The question is no longer whether we need to provide sit to stand workstations, but simply HOW to quickly to deliver them.

Ergotron’s new online WorkFit Finder Tool helps make this decision easy for prospective users looking  to upgrade their computing workstation to sit-stand.

Has your company accepted the challenge?


Come experience the best HIMSS…wait for it, EVER!

Ergotron Perps For HIMSS12 In Las Vegas, Booth 4002

Ergotron Events Managers Jorge Juarez and Nathan Johnston (@bsonoma) are striking a pose in Ergotron’s 2012 HIMSS booth space (#4002). It’s Friday, and they are already exhausted just prepping the shipment of double digit carts and crates to the show.

It’s pretty quiet right now but in a matter of hours they will be backing TESS in that corner, letting sit-standing workstation goodness explode all over that corner and interwoven throughout? Our “you-really can’t-believe-it-until-you-see-it-broadest-selection-anywhere-on-the-HIMSS-floor” point-of-care solutions!

Our friendly Tester Guy will even be there, picture perfect on dozens of well-placed mounted screens…

We’re also going to entice you to come check out what the Just Stand Wellness Uprising is all about you’ll definitely want to learn more about why you might just want to #Findtess.

Can’t you just see it?

If you aren’t heading out, follow show fun on Facebook or @ergoHIT and @ergotron. There’s going to be a great promotion you can enter too—right from your desk each day. Learn more at Promos.ergotron.com.

If you ARE headed to Las Vegas, come on over. We’ll show you around. And don’t forget to say hi to Nate and Jorge. They’ve been working hard to ensure you experience the best HIMSS ever.

What’s the skinny on sit-stand desks? (Hint, it has to do with magic underwear)

A new research study by Ergotron, the University of Minnesota (School of Public Health) and the Mayo Clinic was launched in January: “Standing Compared to Sitting in the Workplace: An Experimental Study of Physiological, Behavioral, and Psychological Effects.”

The study is designed to gauge the impact of increased activity when office workers use sit-stand desks instead of the traditional sitting posture desks which have been linked to risks associated to sedentary behavior. “Magic underwear” from the Mayo Clinic (biker shorts fitted with a unique tracking device), worn through various stages of the study, allow the researchers to tell when participants are in a vertical or horizontal position (i.e., sitting or standing).

Caldrea president and VP of marketing chat with James Levine, MD, during research kickoff @ Caldrea

The research is being conducted at Caldrea/Mrs. Meyers, a manufacturer of natural cleaning products situated in the warehouse district of Minneapolis, Minnesota, by the following team:

    • Mark Pereira, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
    • Steven Stovitz, MD, MS, Associate Professor , University of Minnesota
    • Nirjhar Dutta, Masters Student in Public Health, University of Minnesota
    • Gabe Koepp, M.S., Project Manager, Mayo Clinic
    • James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
    • Carrie Schmitz, Ergonomic Research Manager, Ergotron

The study consists of three phases:

    • During the first month, approximately half the participants are working at an Ergotron sit-stand workstation while the other half continue to sit as they have always done.
    • The second month of the study is a “washout,” meaning everyone engages in sit-only desk work, although health measurements are still gathered.
    • In the final month, the people who had sit-stand desks during Month 1 will sit at their normal sit-only desk, while the other half (those who sat during month 1) will use the sit-stand desks.

All desks have been configured to meet the individual needs of the participants.

Measurements taken during the study include: height, weight, hip and waist circumference, sitting and standing heart rates, and heart rates taken after three minutes of stepping on a 16” platform and 15 minutes (one mile) walking at variable speeds on a treadmill.

Self-report surveys are also being administered throughout the study to learn about a participant’s caloric intake, type and level of activity and perceived stress. Participants are encouraged to actively stand 50% more throughout their workday, and will achieve this by adjusting their workstations to sit or stand as their body demands throughout the day, by standing more in meetings, etc.

A significant feature of this study is the use of a medical van developed at Mayo, in partnership with the U of MN, for use within communities. The van houses a DEXA scanner that delivers body mass index data on each of the 30 participants. At the end of the study the measurements and surveys will be compared in order to determine if participants benefited from the time spent engaged in sit-stand work.

Throughout, Ergotron has played a major role, not only supplying the sit-stand workstation solutions participants will be using during the research, but also serving as Project Manager and lending crucial ergonomic resources in terms of education and personal workstation assessments.

Here’s some coverage* of the research to date:

The results of this study are expected to be made public at the end of May and will also be presented at Ergotron’s second annual Just Stand Wellness Summit in July. With what we expect to learn from the Caldrea participants, the possibility that this effort will fuel an even larger, more comprehensive study is high.

*Due to inaccuracies that sometimes get reported, if you have any questions about the study feel free to contact us info@ergotron.com.

Stand-biased? Indirectly we hope so…

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

February’s Men’sHealth Magazine offers some sage advice from self-professed “notorious sloucher stuck in a sedentary routine and working long hours,” Clint Carter. In his Switch to a Stand-up Desk write-up, Clint, a health editor for the magazine, decided to test drive a WorkFit-S Sit-Stand workstation last fall.

His goal was altruistic: “Slump less and boost productivity.”

He offers some quick Rx to reach his goal but I was curious about his comment to “use stand-biased instead of a sit-stand desk; you’ll spend more time on your feet this way.” He goes on to suggest Ergotron’s WorkFit is stand-biased.

Searching “stand-biased” brings up some interesting articles about use of stand-biased desks in classrooms and of course, Clint’s article. Clint’s point was that a stand-biased desk is higher than normal desks.

Stand-biased is a good thing after all. It’s why we launched the Just Stand Wellness Uprising on Juststand.org.

But equally important as standing more, is adjustability. Does the workstation give you the option to easily and effortlessly sit or stand as your body demands throughout the day? That’s the real motivating factor.

The beauty of the WorkFit line of products (yes, I am evangelizing) is that they attach to any height desk, and still offer 20″ of height-adjustment on top of that. Fit for a really nice chunck of the short to tall global population.

We are stand-biased. Yes. But our units offer both. Not a ground-breaking distinction but an important one.

I was happy to see Clint, in my last communication, is “still standing.” His write-up gives some great tips for easing into a standing routine. Further proof that work can be part of your fitness goals? I think so.

There’s a reason they call it sitting disease

The office worker has been facing a deadly foe each week as they settle down before their computer—little do they know it. This foe? Sitting Disease.  A new study just released from the American Cancer Society reveals an even deadlier link, the strong connection between sitting around and cancer.

According to CBS News report “Study links sitting around to cancer,” the analytical study, presented today at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) annual conference in Washington, D.C., cites “92,000 cases a year of breast and colon cancer that can be blamed on physical inactivity.”

The AICR presented data from a new paper on physical inactivity and breast cancer presentation. The paper, took the findings of 200 studies worldwide and found specific links to 43,ooo new colon cancer cases and 49,000 breast cancer cases.

This press release from the AICR, Getting Up From Your Desk Can Put the “Brakes” on Cancer, explains it more detail.

“Taken together, this research suggests that every day, we’re each given numerous opportunities to be active and protect ourselves from cancer, not one,” said AICR spokesperson Alice Bender, MS RD.  They suggest  a simple model of “make time and break time” as shown in this Infographic (PDF) by the AICR:

“This new research on break time suggests there are small things we can do in the other 15 hours and 30 minutes we spend awake that also make a big difference.” said Bender.

Here’s what a few people are already saying about the news:

@RachaelRettner: More reason to feel guilty about sitting down all day: Prolonged Sitting Linked to Breast and Colon Cancers myhealthnewsdaily.com/prolonged-sitt… #AICR11

@JNCI_Now: @aicrtweets getting up from your desk periodically through out the day can significantly reduce your cancer risk #AICR11

 @aicrtweets: press conference on diet, inactivity and cancer starting – almost 100,000 cancers related to inactivity. #AICR11

And here is some of the other coverage:

Experts: Sitting All Day Is ‘Killing Us’ ow.ly/7i6CK via @CBSChicago #juststand

Prolonged Sitting Linked to Breast and Colon Cancers ow.ly/7i6eW via @MyHealth_MHND #juststand

Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/11/03/prolonged-sitting-may-increase-risk-certain-cancers/#comment

USA Today: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/cancer/story/2011-11-03/Prolonged-sitting-linked-to-breast-cancer-colon-cancer/51051928/1

We have been tracking research on sitting disease  and the health risks of sitting too much for a couple of years. Take a look at the mounting evidence and make the decision for yourself. Isn’t it time to take your health to a new level?

Small things like taking breaks, moving around are good. Over the typical day, you begin to see opportunities to add in more movement, both at work and at home.

Integrate sit-to-stand philosophy in the areas of your life where you spend the largest time sitting, like working at a computer or in front of a TV. Taking an interactive approach to your life not only increases your energy, focus, productivity and general sense of well-being…there are also the obvious benefits of taking preventative measure against serious health risks.

We’ll be tracking the coverage over the weeks and months ahead on Juststand.org and throughout our social media platforms. Take time to start talking about this with your families, coworkers, neighbors and bosses.

The AICR urges us to make time for physical activity and break every hour of sitting with 1 to 2 minutes of activity. This isn’t anything new, we know. The breaks can be simple (e.g. standing to take a call, filing something, walking to talk to a co-worker, etc.). Or, even better, you could adopt a sit-stand workstation.

The real challenge is whether you will do it. Will you?

Inbox wellness? It’s a good fit

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager @ Ergotron

Today I received a Fit Tip Tuesday email with 10 Outstanding Fit Tips from Jill Knapp and her Get Up & Get Moving blog. Jill has a wonderful health testimony fighting Type II diabetes. Did you see her on Dr. Oz? She is sharing her success and motivation with others, encouraging people to eat right and exercise for healthier and fuller lives. It is inspirational.

I signed up originally since there is Type II diabetes in the family and I am trying to stay proactive about my health.

In her list she covers the basics: Being physically active, eating protein,  being choosy when eating a nighttime snack. However, what I secretly hoped to see listed wasn’t there. Can you guess what that is?

Stand up at work.

The simplest non-exercise activity intervention you can do for yourself is to stand up. Barring medical conditions that prohibit you from doing so (e.g., pregnant women, people with varicose veins), getting out of your chair is like a wake-up call for your body.

The benefits range from simple muscle strength to mitigating formation of blood clots deep in the legs or even reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and yeah, diabetes. But don’t just take it from me, the research tells more of the full story.

I know, I know, patience grasshopper. Jill could be sharing that tip next week. I’ll be watching with interest.

Do you have Type II diabetes or know someone who does? Jill and her Get Up & Get Moving blog might offer some hope.

5 steps to a killer sit-stand desk

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager @ Ergotron

I got a call one night from a reporter asking, “How do you go about choosing a sit-stand desk? Is there a science to it?” It got me thinking. What is involved with choosing the right setup?

Here is my take. See if you agree. 
Continue reading

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.