Tag Archives: sitting disease

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. David 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

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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.

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.