Higher Health with Ergotron’s Carrie Schmitz & Betsey Banker

Q-A_blueOn April 19th, the much-anticipated Higher Health Symposium will take place at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN. The day-long event is designed to better prepare business owners to make educated decisions about employee health and healthcare. Ergotron’s Carrie Schmitz (Manager of Ergonomic Research) and Betsey Banker (Manager of Wellness) have been asked to present along with other industry experts. Here, they’ve answered a few questions for those interested in attending the event.

Q: What are you planning on sharing at the Higher Health Symposium?

Betsey: Our goal is to educate attendees on the very real and harmful impacts of a sedentary working environment. Our message is simple: sit less, move more.

Carrie: By sharing the scientific research and the business case for sit-stand desks, we hope to empower business owners to embrace a culture of movement within their own organizations.

Q: Why is your message so important for HR professionals and business owners?

Carrie: The latest research on physical inactivity seems to indicate that smaller, more frequent interventions actually have more potential to reduce health risks than anyone realized. One of the unintended consequences of using computers is prolonged inactivity (both at work and during leisure time), but being armed with the latest research gives employers a way to address these growing lifestyle risk factors in a way that can positively impact individuals, employees and really public health.

Betsey: Poor health is driving up healthcare costs and affecting performance and productivity. One almost shockingly simple solution is to get people moving. Even the simple act of standing has proven benefits. There’s so much that an executive or HR professional can’t control when it comes to wellness, but they can control the atmosphere where their employees work. Having a culture that encourages movement is one way to do that, and Carrie and I will talk about that in detail.

Q: What are you looking forward to?

Carrie: The Symposium promises to establish important links between local business leaders from many disciplines in a scientific setting. I love connecting with people to discuss best practices and take aim at shared challenges to employee health and performance.

Betsey: In addition to that, I’m looking forward to learning about other cost-effective strategies for improving employee health. As Dr. Chad Henriksen mentioned in this previous post, solutions don’t have to be costly to be effective.

Follow along on social media for updates, using hashtag #HigherHealthSym16.

Betsey Banker @BetseyBanker

Betsey Banker
@BetseyBanker

Carrie Schmitz @Giveafig

Carrie Schmitz
@Giveafig

 

Ergotron talks to Dr. Chad Henriksen about Higher Health

Q-A_blueDiscover innovative options for employee wellness at the Higher Health Symposium on Tuesday April 19, 2016 at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN. An expert panel of industry professionals will challenge conventional thinking and highlight new opportunities for employer-sponsored healthcare.

Speaker Dr. Chad Henriksen

Speaker Dr. Chad Henriksen

Here’s our Q&A with Dr. Chad Henriksen, coordinator of the ergonomics division at the university’s HC Sweere Center for Clinical Biomechanics and Applied Ergonomics, to answer a few questions and provide more personal insight into the relevance of the day.

Q: What’s unique about what Northwestern Health Sciences University has to say about employee wellness?  

A: Northwestern Health Sciences University is in a unique situation regarding employee wellness. As a health care educational institute we have a distinct approach: preparing the next generation of health care providers to deliver a message focused on early intervention and prevention care.  We believe that the health care provider of the future will focus on integrating their specific specialty with other providers in an effort to maximize the wellbeing of patients, which also happen to be employees. Additionally, we work with employers directly, providing injury prevention programs and on-site care in an effort to control cost and improve quality of life.

Q: What’s the most important topic you’ll be covering at Higher Health?

A: The only thing more powerful than education is application. I will have an opportunity to share real life case studies and successful outcomes achieved through on-site care programs.

Q: Is there anything that might surprise attendees about your presentation?

A: A major focus of the event is curbing rising healthcare costs. I think attendees will be surprised by the low risk and minimal upfront investment that is required to achieve meaningful cost savings.

As the Northwestern Health Sciences University mission states, it prepares the next generation of health care professionals to deliver and advance health care. It is the University’s goal to create a healthier world through education, research and care delivery.  The mission of Live, Learn, and Serve Healthy! fits perfectly with the message of the Higher Health Symposium.

Love hearing the inside scoop? Read our Q&A with Dr. Joe Sweere, brother of Ergotron’s founder Harry Sweere. To learn more about the Higher Health Symposium and to register to attend, visit HigherHealthSyposium.com. Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #HigherHealthSym16.

Talking to Dr. Joe Sweere about Higher Health

Q-A_blueThe Higher Health Symposium, a day-long event for employers to explore new ideas and best practices for employee health and wellness, is just a few weeks away. Northwestern Health Sciences University, Ergotron and several partners are putting the final preparations in place to host a really powerful event. Why so powerful? Because every speaker has something unique and important to share about employer-sponsored healthcare and employee wellness. Take Dr. Joe Sweere, Professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences and Founder of the HC Sweere Center for Clinical Biomechanics and Applied Ergonomics at Northwestern Health Sciences University. He also happens to be the brother of Ergotron’s late founder Harry Sweere. We asked him a few questions about where his passion comes from and why employers should attend the symposium.

Q: First off, Joe, Ergotron and Northwestern University have a long-standing history. Can you share that history with our audience and how it led to our partnership for the Higher Health Symposium?

A:  Throughout the years Ergotron has been extremely supportive of my educational and research work in occupational health and applied ergonomics here at Northwestern Health Sciences University. In a sense, we have joined forces in finding creative ways to reduce the health- related physical stresses involved in today’s workplaces. As you know, my older brother Harry was the founder of Ergotron. In fact, the prototype for the very first of his thirty-seven inventions was built in a small machine shop we owned together. Throughout the years, Harry and I spent many hours sharing ideas regarding the emerging field of applied ergonomics which had become one of my special interests as a healthcare provider. So Harry’s engineering interests and problem solving genius blended very nicely with my focus on health and wellness and the prevention of human suffering. Our Higher Health Symposium will feature a similar problem solving approach among a wide range of topics of importance to employers, all geared toward healthcare cost savings while improving the health, wellbeing and productivity of their employees.

Q: What’s the most important reason for employers and H.R. professionals to attend the symposium?

A:  Since employers now bear the majority of the costs of illness and injury among their workers and their families, they find themselves in a unique role in our country’s health care delivery system. In the spirit of win-win outcomes, our Higher Health Symposium presenters will share innovative and effective methods used to keep workers on the job, injury- and illness-free and fully able to accomplish peak productivity, while at the same time assisting employers in several other ways. These include notable reduction of health care costs; notable decreases in worker absenteeism; increased worker morale, and decreases in worker turnover. These are among the goals of our Higher Health Symposium and the primary reason employers and Human Resource professionals should attend, so they may learn of the exciting options they have in dealing with these ongoing challenges.

Q: What drives your passion for wellness?

A: I suspect that most Americans believe that the primary role of doctors is to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. This is logical and will always remain a grave societal necessity. And obviously for doctors there is great nobility and reward in rescuing people from the immeasurable pain and suffering that results from illness and injury. Therefore, this is certainly an important role and doctors are deserving of all the societal honor and respect that this service brings.

However, as most people know, our current health care system is now faced with terrible challenges, with almost all of its emphasis being devoted to crisis care and management of chronic diseases instead of assisting their patients in attaining and maintaining their health.

So in my estimation, with all the training and clinical experience that is required of them, even greater nobility and reward should be given to those doctors who work toward preventing illness, injury and human suffering in the first place. Coming to this realization at about mid-point in my professional career has been wonderfully fulfilling, and since then I have pledged to assist in raising this consciousness among my brother and sister colleagues within all the healing disciplines.

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Speaker Dr. Joe Sweere

To learn more about the Higher Health Symposium and to register to attend, visit HigherHealthSymposium.com. Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #HigherHealthSym16.

 

 

How to take employee health to new heights

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Achieving a higher level of health sounds great, but what are the actual steps an organization should be taking to make it happen, both for employees and the business? That’s part of the question that Ergotron aims to answer at the Higher Health Symposium on April 19th at Northwestern Health Sciences University (NHSU) in Bloomington, MN.

Ergotron is partnering with the NHSU and several other notable companies, including Advacare, Corporate Health Systems, Optum and Trig. The day-long forum will help HR professionals and executives to better understand the healthcare landscape, and solutions that are both available and appropriate for their own companies.

There’s a lot to be said on the subject and the day’s agenda will be fast-paced. Conference-goers will hear from six unique speakers on all aspects of innovative employee health and wellness, and a panel discussion will delve into the importance of curbing rising healthcare costs through improved employee wellness. Ergotron will present in the afternoon on the importance of workspace designs that allow for regular movement.

If you’re ready to take your own employees’ health to new heights, register to attend. We welcome your participation in the conversation and invite you to visit Ergotron in the exhibition hall as well.

Follow along on social channels, too, using hashtag #HigherHealthSym16.

Teachers + philanthropists = #BestSchoolDay

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We came across something amazing for education recently – a surprise “flash funding” utilizing an online crowdsourcing site, DonorsChoose.org, to support our nation’s school kids. The campaign, #BestSchoolDay, brought together more than 50 celebrities, athletes, and philanthropists (such as Bill Gates) who fully funded 11,000 classrooms in 47 states to the tune of over $14 million.

Since 2000, DonorsChoose.org has been supporting teachers and students by making it easy to help a classroom in need. Their mission is to connect the public to public schools – so that students in every corner of this country have an opportunity to get a great education.

Though the one-day flash funding event took place on March 10th, you can still get involved. There are projects on the DonorsChoose.org site marked with a #BestSchoolDay match offer logo – that means you can double the impact of your donation.

Here’s a great example of a teched project with a match offer, called Chromebooks for Humanities. The request is for Chromebooks and an Ergotron charging cart for Mr. Woolums’s class at the Air Force Academy High School in Chicago.

Are you a public school teacher in need of funding? We recommend DonorsChoose.org as a good way to engage with community philanthropists and major corporations. The more people who know of your need, the better your chance of getting it met.  Start your first project here.

We know teachers are unsung heroes who open up so many doors for their students. That’s why we have educator resources on our website, including a grant writing kit, so that everyone has their #BestSchoolDay. Together, we can help kids do great things in the classroom, and beyond.

American Diabetes “Alert Day” is March 22

Our friends over at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have just sounded the alarm! March 22nd marks their annual “wake up call” asking Americans to take the Diabetes Risk Test as step 1 in protecting their health. Download the Toolkit now to find out how to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Participate in the ADA’s prediabetes awareness campaign, then help spread the word about this critical issue to your employees, customers, or community members.

Here’s 3 easy ways to get involved:

  1. Talk about it. What do the terms mean? Who is at risk? What are the signs? Shedding light on the issue opens the mind to develop new, healthier behaviors. Discussing with others opens the door to new resources, tip sharing, and maybe even some unexpected support to make positive change. The ADA has a suite of online tools to help thoroughly educate you or someone you love. It takes less than a minute to find out if you have prediabetes, visit DoIHavePrediabetes.org to know where you stand. You can even text RISKTEST to 97779 to take the short test over the phone or via mobile device. According to the ADA, diagnosis is key, and research backs up that once people are aware of their condition, they are much more likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
  2. Take steps to make a positive change in your life. Cut out sugar. Cut back on carbs. Exercise more or start to exercise. Increase your daily low level activity. Sit less. Stand more. Move. And if doing all that is too overwhelming, start with one area to work on, whether with a doctor or your support network. Denial doesn’t help anyone. And each day affords you 24 hours, or if you like 1,440 minutes, or even 86,400 seconds to make at least one positive change a day. The campaign features lifestyle tips and links from the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program. You may also want to consider a new app from Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Australia, Rise & Recharge.
  3. Support the campaign. Whether with your family, your coworkers, or through your social networks to countless thousands in the cyber world, the tools and ideas the ADA has pulled together are infinitely shareable. Here are a few:
    • Support a PSA on your sites or blogs; PSAs are available at the ADA’s PSACentral.org
    • Explore their fabulous Prediabetes Social Toolkit or link to the DoIHavePrediabetes.org site (hashtags include #NoOneIsExcused from #prediabetes)
    • Include posters and risk test flyers in break rooms, kitchens/cafeterias, or in other places where people gather.

However you choose to engage, do engage. If it doesn’t necessarily impact your life directly, remember, more that 86 million people in America alone have prediabetes. Your voice counts.

 

Real teachers ask questions – and get real answers!

Q-A_blueThis is the first in a 10-part series as a follow-up to our recent edWeb “School Moves!” webinar on unleashing the power of non-disruptive activity in your classroom. Access it online — and earn CE credit!

Bob Hill, Education Manager at Ergotron, will be addressing the questions we didn’t have a chance to answer during the session.

Q: Is it difficult for students to stand if they are in a lab typing exercises or in a 4-hour-long lab? 

A: If students are in a dedicated computer or typing lab for an entire class period, there are a different set of ergonomic guidelines that should be followed. Because of prolonged repetitive motion, you will need to be particularly attentive to wrist angles, elbow angles, and monitor height. Perhaps a more appropriate solution for a typing or computer lab would be a height-adjustable sit-stand workstation that is designed specifically for ergonomic computer use. Take a look at Ergotron’s WorkFit-S and WorkFit-A.

Q- Is Bob standing during this webinar? I want PROOF that Bob is standing! 

A: I’m a stander! I stand at my desk at least 75% of the time, and take my sitting breaks when I’m in meetings. If I start feeling a little “unfocused” or drowsy in a meeting, I then just go stand in the back of the room. When we did our webinar the other day, I was most certainly standing – I feel inhibited in expressing myself when seated, and I just have more energy when standing. (See photo below of Bob; he’s quick on his feet!)

Q: What’s the best posture? I heard it’s good to pretend that you’re shooting a laser out of your chest at the face of the person you’re talking to? 

A: As ergonomists commonly say, the best posture is the next posture. Translation – don’t be static. With both our youth and us adults, it’s important to keep moving, even if it’s just considered NEAT [non-exercise activity thermogenesis].  As for how to have proper standing posture, here’s a link for more information about the ergonomics of comfortable sitting or standing.

 

Bob Hill,
Education Manager at Ergotron
@LearnFit_Bob, #schoolsthatmove

 

Office Spaces: Design of a Revolutionary Office

Prepare to see Ergotron sit-stand workstations and monitor arms on Office Spaces™, airing on Lifetime Television®. In this new office makeover-type reality show, acclaimed Interior Designer, Kalyn Rothaus, transforms an outdated warehouse into a sleek, modern office space.

The twist? Her revolutionary renovation is for series producer BrandStar‘s own new corporate headquarters!

BrandStar is consolidating operations into one collaborative workspace for their 135 employees. Previously, teams were spread out over four floors and two buildings, which created team silos. Kalyn was up to the challenge with help from incredible partners and cutting-edge design and office products, including Ergotron brands like our WorkFit® sit-stand workstations, LX Dual Side-by-Side Arms and OmniMount ceiling mounts among others.

The premier episode of the 12-part series aired September 24, 2015 on Lifetime at 7AM ET/PT. Tune in to see the show’s take on the latest innovations for creating the office of the future, increasing productivity, and recruiting talent.

We’ll keep you posted on which episodes show our Ergotron and OmniMount brands. Want to stay in the loop with Office Spaces on social? Visit their WebsiteFacebook page, Twitter feed (hashtag #officespaces), or watch clips on YouTube. This show should serve to inspire your next office rebuild.

Governor Raimondo tours our Rhode Island LearnFit classroom!

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Students engage Nortek CEO Michael Clarke and Governor Gina Raimondo in a women’s suffrage small group breakout.

Last week, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo stopped by 360 High School in Providence to tour her state’s first active classroom – equipped with 30 of our LearnFit® adjustable standing desks! Also joining her was Michael Clarke, CEO of Nortek (our Providence-based parent company), who, earlier this year, donated 58 LearnFit desks between 360 High School and West Broadway Middle School in an effort to locally transform classrooms into active learning environments where students stay more engaged.

During the classroom session, Michael and Governor Raimondo discussed the importance of building a healthier generation of students – which begins in the classroom and can be further championed with the use of adjustable standing desks – as well as the key role they will play in fueling the future Rhode Island economy. The Governor also impressed upon the students how collaboration plays a major role in both government and business.

In his own words, Michael relayed, “Our LearnFit desks allow students and teachers to create an atmosphere of collaboration and engagement that you can’t do with traditional desks. We donated the desks because we want to invest in the next generation of Rhode Island’s future. The kids in high school today are the employees we will need tomorrow – and we want them to be smart, healthy and productive. LearnFit desks help on all those fronts.”

Are you interested in bringing standing desks to your school? Learn how your school or district can turn its standing-desk wishes into reality for more active classrooms by accessing grants for K-12 programs. Visit Ergotron’s Resources for Educators to find information to get you started, along with details about the LearnFit desk. You can also hear directly from teachers, administrators and students about their experience at other Ergotron spotlight schools or by following #schoolsthatmove on Twitter.

See you on the red carpet at HIMSS16

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HIMSS 2016 will kick off in Las Vegas on Feb. 29th! Healthcare IT professionals will be there in full force to learn about the hottest trends in the field, check out new products, and hear keynoter Michael Dell talk about starting Dell Inc. at the age of 19, and his vision for tech that enables human potential.

We’ve got the red carpet laid out to show off the star of our healthcare point-of-care portfolio, Ergotron’s StyleView® medical carts and the latest accessories nurses have asked for. So come on over to booth #5432 and take this beauty for a spin. Launched in 2004 as the mobile cart designed by nurses, engineered for IT (see below), the StyleView point-of-care line just keeps getting better with age.

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Check out our whole-hospital solutions for RadiologyTelemedicineTelepresence and everything in between. We bet you’ll feel the difference comfortable computing can make in the digital workflow, supporting care giving and patient engagement everywhere you are.

Don’t forget to pick up your “passport” card to win big! Visit our booth and LenovoHealth booth #2465. Receive stamps in your passport at both booths to be entered to win an Ergotron SV-10 Tablet Cart and a Lenovo ThinkPad 10 Tablet.

Want to make the most of this “Entertainment Capital of the World”? See our Ergotron Tips for HIMSS16 in Vegas blog or follow along socially at @ergotron or @himss (#HIMSS or #StyleView).

What we hope you remember is that whatever new process or compliance issue you are facing, Ergotron is well equipped to help you bring that information to the point of care.