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.
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
The “song” they’re singing? It has a catchy little ring to it. We tried to capture it once five years ago in our release of the Cubicle Blues, back when people were still arguing “why would I want to stand when I can sit?” Back when we lit the flame under our JustStand® Wellness Uprising in 2009.
Fast forward to 2014. It’s fabulous to see corporations like Apple designing products with features to address the very human need to move. Getting you to stand more, or move more as John-Michael Bond indicates in his recent TÚAW post (“The Apple Watch health app is an incredible tool for all levels of fitness”) is one of the goals of the Apple Watch health app.
If you are planning to invest in this latest bit of Apple deliciousness, be sure to explore this feature. It is something that all of the pioneer JustStanders out there will appreciate.
Picture the scene. You are knee-deep in editing video and you hear a beep. Stand up for at least 1 minute in every hour is the alert you could receive with the Apple Watch on your wrist, spurring you to action, because, “Oh yeah, it’s time to move around.”
Whichever time frame you choose to follow, the edict is this: If you are sitting? Stand. If standing, move around, or even sit for a while. Simple.
The watch will help keep you honest about your body absent mindedness. Especially after you identify those oh-so-sedentary times during your day with our free Sitting-Time Calculator.
Like at your computer where you may want to consider pairing your monitor or laptop with an Ergotron WorkFit sit-stand workstation designed for PC or for Apple. (Hint: This makes the sit/stand part easier AND keeps you productive.)
Either way, with the Apple Watch, you have another means to avoid the “low-down not enough moving around blues!”
Pioneers should be awarded. Enter Ergotron’s Facebook Photo Contest and you could be replacing your DIY workstation with a WorKFit system.
We support your enthusiasm to stand. We’ve been working with researchers to better understand why standing more throughout the day feels so good. We applaud like-minded individuals who are braving censure and ridicule, stacking monitors and laptops on milk crates, phone books, encyclopedias, scrap wood…in a creative bid for better health.
Now it is time to set aside the slivers. Take a pic of your DIY desk. Upload it to our contest page. Garner votes. Maybe you might be the lucky one to win the ergonomic set up to make all your previous critics squirm.
And even if you are behind in the game? Now is a great time to start.
Ergotron has been spearheading the sit-stand movement for several years. It has been an interesting ride watching as public perception has shifted from ‘sitting is a disease?’ to this story from the DailyMail.co.uk.
Health writer Louise Atkinson explains in her article, “I stood up for a month – and dropped a dress size! As experts say sitting down is more unhealthy than smoking, LOUISE ATKINSON set herself an extraordinary challenge…,” that one day she decided to stand more for one month, wondering “what it’s really like to actually heed the warnings and spend all day, every day, standing up.”
She took a look at both her personal and professional life to see where she could add in more vertical time. She had some rules for her four weeks too:
- Stand when working
- Stand to eat (whether alone or with the family),
- Stand when watching TV
- Stand more when spending time with the family or meeting up with friends
- And sit minimally, as she says, “when driving, or when nature calls — and lie down only to sleep.”
For the work part she is using an Ergotron WorkFit-A for Apple Sit-Stand Workstation, shown in the picture above. For the rest of her strategies and fascinating personal results, read on!
Access to sit-stand computing is just one part of the reducing sedentary time puzzle. What are some strategies you employ to break up the rest of your day?
Any job can have its ups and downs. Take Javier, an independent producer based in the US in the Los Angeles area. He’s always on his computer, making calls, connecting with people. One of the bad parts? All the paperwork. But with Ergotron’s WorkFit-P, Javier enjoys being able to move around, a lot, making whatever task at hand a more comfortable and active one. See Javier’s story.
The pilot, “Cardiovascular and metabolic benefits of standing desk work”, conducting by researchers from the University of Chester, UK, was recently published in the BMJ Group’s (British Medical Journal) Occupational & Environmental Medicine Journal.
This Infographic highlights the results of a pilot study conducted by researchers as they evaluated changes in energy expenditure and metabolism among urban office workers when sitting versus standing throughout a work day.
According to researcher Dr. John Buckley, “Our study showed that when the participants were standing, their hearts rates were quite a lot higher – on average about 10 beats per minute higher and that makes a difference of about 0.7 of a calorie per minute. If you want to put that into activity levels then that would be the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year – just by standing three or four hours in your day at work.” (Read the press release.)
The abstract on the BMJ concludes, “This is the first known ‘office-based’ study to provide CGM measures that add some of the needed mechanistic information to the existing evidence-base on why avoiding sedentary behaviour at work could lead to a reduced risk of cardiometabolic diseases.”
The results of the study (Ergotron WorkFit-D adjustable desks were deployed), were aired October 2013 in Episode 2 of the “Trust me I’m a Doctor” series on BBC Two Television in the UK.
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.
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!).
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.
Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications
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.”
When 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.