Tag Archives: Wellness

Has your CEO signed the Pledge?

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As you can see, Ergotron’s Pete Segar is happy to support the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) in its goal of encouraging every CEO in the U.S. to recognize physical activity as an important driver of employee health and business performance. The NCPPA identifies several key reasons why you may want your CEO to get onboard the CEO Pledge:

  • Employees will be healthier
  • Employees will be happier and more engaged
  • Your organization will increase productivity
  • Your org will be better positioned to recruit and retain top talent

Just think of the possibilities when you add dual monitor productivity and sit-stand computing to break up sedentary time to that mix? Wow. Join us!

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.

Put the glass down and push that chair away: Simple spins on minimizing stress each day!

Sit less. Stand more. Start now. The question, “Is your glass half-full or half-empty?” is one of those nasty little clichés that you don’t want to be asked when life’s daily grind starts getting you down.

It’s inevitable, though, right?

No matter how full your glass is each day, the grind will get you down. So the better question might be, how can you reduce the stress induced by the daily grind so you can maintain that ‘my glass is half-full’ mentality each day?

Here’s a great little nugget my dad shared with me. Thank you “Author Unknown.”

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading a talk and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’… She fooled them all. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. 

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

“If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden–holding stress longer and better each time practiced.”

~ Author Unknown

In my role as “WorkFit Evangelista” @WorkFitWendy, people always ask, “Why is it so important to reduce sitting time and stand up now and then?” So I quickly jump into “according to researchers”, and deliver the science with passion! Since I’m always looking for ways to keep the recipients of my message engaged with the science of it all, this little nugget kind of serves as a great analogy.

It’s not just the act of sitting that puts our bodies at risk; it’s how much of it we do each day that puts our bodies under stress.

Reduce the stress and other health risks you put your body under each day by adding more standing breaks into your daily routine. You’ll ramp up metabolism, burn more calories, increase muscle tone, improve blood flow and boost oxygen levels to your brain!

@workfitwendy

 

 

 

 

Wendy McCubbin
Sr. Wellness Manager, Ergotron

P.S:  Grr–my apologies, folks, was hoping that I could end the blog there, but I just…can’t…do… it…!! 

Sitting time adds up quickly. Really quickly. Increasing your risk for the chronic illnesses linked to what metabolic researchers call “Sitting Disease.” See just how quickly for yourself—calculate the amount of sitting you do each day using the nifty cool sitting calculator on juststand.org. Disclaimer: Enter at your own risk. This nifty cool calculator also calculates your risk for developing Sitting Disease!

Active people, also beware! “We’ve become so sedentary that 30 minutes a day at the gym may not do enough to counteract the detrimental effects of eight, nine, or 10 hours of sitting” says Genevieve Healy, Ph.D., world-renowned metabolic researcher AND the research keynote for the 3rd Annual JustStand™ Wellness Summit, July 17, 2013.