Tag Archives: sitting disease

Q & A with Dr. James A. Levine

jameslevineIn advance of his book launch, Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You & What You Can Do About It,”  Dr. James A. Levine participated in this Q & A with his publisher Palgrave Macmillan.

The following will give you a glimpse at his passion and commitment to uncovering “why and how people move” and the impact it has on our bodies.

You have done some much research in this area and published so many papers. Why did you want to write this book?

Dr. Levine: I have spent 40 years, ever since I was child, on a mission to understand how—and why people move. I never expected to discover that that everyday sitting—what we all experience—is so harmful to the body and mind alike. I wrote this book to explain the science, scientists, joy of discovery, and the challenges of using science to reverse the ill-fates of seat-sentenced humanity.

Your book features many quizzes on how much we are sitting, how far our bodies have evolved, etc. Where do you rate on your quizzes, and were you happy with your own results?

Dr. Levine: A key component of Get Up! is to engage people’s minds in finding their path forwards, and a quiz engages the mind!  As the writer, I too became engaged. The quiz about car seat addiction was written the night I drove 100 miles in my car between meetings. I realized there was a better way – and yes, I changed how my meetings are scheduled.

If you HAD to pick a chair to sit in, what is the best, most healthy kind of chair? (if it exists!)

Dr. Levine: The best kind of chair is the one you use to take a break between activities!

Why is it so hard for people struggling with obesity to decrease their sitting time by just over 2 hours, as you recommend to your patients?

Dr. Levine: We have created a world where sitting is implicit in almost every everyday activity: work, leisure, dating and shopping. Once a sitter becomes accustomed to sitting, finding sustainable leg-based solutions is complex. For a person, the tactics might involve converting a desk based job to a leg based one; converting sofa-based partner time to active intimacy and switch for a car commuter to a leg-based calorie burning alternative.

How do you see advancing technologies helping and hurting our society’s sitting problem?

Dr. Levine: We foresee a world of dynamic and moving people free from the chairman’s curse.  The alternate is unimaginable—a world in which all children are prescribed a polypill in order to mitigate the harm of sitting disease.

What is the ideal speed for working on a treadmill desk, and why?

Dr. Levine: The most ideal speed  for working on a treadmill desk is 1.1 mph—it is the natural speed at which humans move throughout the day, so it will be the most comfortable without becoming too distracting.

What is your ideal office environment of the future?

Dr. Levine: Happy, dynamic, productive, creative and healthy—where chairs are only used to take a break!

The news is full of articles about why sitting is bad for us, but there is good science behind the claim that sitting is the new smoking. Carrie Schmitz, research manager at Ergotron, concurs. “Dr. Levine’s book does a great job explaining why all of us should be concerned about the sedentary lifestyle, but more important, he provides proven guidelines for avoiding obesity-related diseases like diabetes and cancer.”

You can hear Dr. Levine speak more about this topic during the upcoming ErgoExpo™ Wednesday Webinar, August 13, 2014, or take his Chair Quiz at Juststand.org/getup. Dr. Levine’s book is now available everywhere books are sold.

[Webinar] ErgoExpo is hosting Dr. James Levine

Ergotron is sponsoring ErgoExpo’s August Wednesday Webinar: “Get Up: Your Life Might Depend Upon It” featuring James A. Levine, MD, Ph.D on August 13 at 1 pm CT/11 am PT. jameslevineIn today’s chair-based world, sitting has become the new smoking. Dr. Levine argues that the main problem is the way our modern world forces us to sit in nearly every aspect of our lives. Drawing on decades of research conducted in his Mayo Clinic lab, Dr. Levine will reveal the effects sitting has on our bodies and minds and more. Visit the ErgoExpo website to learn more, or…




Tweet along with us using the hashtags #getup and #juststand the day of the event. There will be time to ask Dr. Levine questions at the end so be sure to take advantage of this rare opportunity!

Get Up! by Dr James A LevineDr. Levine’s book, “Get up! Your Chair Is Killing You & What You Can Do About It” is launching today, available everywhere books are sold. Visit http://juststand.org/getup to learn more.

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.

Michelle Judd
Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications