Obama Administration Requests $1 Billion in Education Funding

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Recently, District Administration and other news outlets like it, reported the Obama administration’s request for $1 billion in funding for American Indian education, including millions for schools needing new construction or significant repair.

Native American children are considered “at risk” students, not only for lower high school graduation rates, but also for the occurrence of Type II diabetes and obesity, which has reached epidemic proportions as compared to Non-native populations.

Recognizing that Ergotron’s product base gives educators the ability to activate classrooms where children spend much of their sedentary time, we joined forces with the Mayo Clinic at one Minnesota school, Nay Ah Shing Elementary, on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Reservation. The Mayo Clinic was investigating the impact of incorporating more movement (Prevention, 2010) in the classroom on student health, behavior and performance and Ergotron was able to provide sit-stand workstations as intervention.

Physical activity in US schools averages less than 45 minutes per day although the government recommendation is 60 minutes. In the effort to improve academic achievement many schools have sacrificed physical education classes and recess. At the same time, statistics predict that obese adolescents stand a significant chance of becoming obese adults. The health risks associated with a growing population of overweight and obese citizens include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and early death¹.

Building on observations made during the pilot project at Nay Ah Shing, researchers are now studying students using Ergotron LearnFit™ Adjustable Standing Desks at Belle Terre Elementary in Palm Coast, Florida and Fountain Hills Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona. The theory is that once kids get moving, standing, and walking around in the classroom during their learning time not only will it impact their health and risk for disease in the future but also it will increase their learning, processing and academic test scores. As at Nay Ah Shing, Belle Terre and Fountain Hills, students are tracking student activity and educators have been instructed how to teach in an active mode.

The US government encourages manufacturers like Ergotron to collaborate with scientists and research institutions on projects like Nay Ah Shing with the goal of improving the course of the lives of children. Students that may have otherwise left school will have more incentive to stay the course and, ultimately, become high performing adults. In addition, any funding that helps with the adoption of more active learning environments can tackle the issue of overweight students and play a part in preventing the onset of related (and extremely costly) diseases².

We will be blogging more about this important topic in the months ahead.

1. Jeffrey Levi, Chrissie Juliano, & Laura M. Segal, 2006
2. G. F. Dunton1, 2009

 

Safety First – A Super Bowl Reminder

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Last night, the wall of melty cheese greeted me as I walked into my local Walmart. Must be the Super Bowl, right? With the big day fast approaching, people all over the country are getting their supplies together.

In the spirit of game day, here’s our list of the top three things to do to help ensure that the party is a safe day for everyone invited:

  • Try standing for part of the game. Sure, you might pop up for the occasional high-five when an outstanding play occurs, but most of time you’ll probably be sinking back into the couch, snarfing down the carbs. Standing, even for a short time every twenty or thirty minutes, will keep your metabolism moving, and give you more energy for the after the game play-by-play rehashes.
  • Encourage your guests to stand too. It’s never too late to help spread the message about reducing sedentary time. Make a game out of it for the whole family, like musical chairs after every commercial. Or try tracking how many Fritos® you just burned by standing with our Caloric Burn Calculator. Be the role model for your kids and help them learn healthy behaviors early in life. This way, maybe future Super Bowl parties can be healthy ones too.
  • Assess the needs of your home theater, and in particular, your TV mount. TVs in a room full of moving people can vulnerable to upset if not properly mounted. Check out OmniMount’s blog on TV safety and take time to remind the kids that TVs can tip.

Of course, I might even add, watch the sodium intake, but what am I, your mother? Maybe I am just trying to remind myself. Have other tips to share? Let us know!

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications @ Ergotron

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[Video] Always Active, Always Engaged – Spotlight on Education

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Montera Middle School in Oakland, California, is joining Belle Terre Elementary (Florida), and Deer Creek Middle School (Colorado), in a unique approach to learning. They’ve furnished a complete classroom with Ergotron’s LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desks. Hear about the experience from teachers and students alike. Unscripted, direct and honest reactions…just the way you want them.

Nortek Acquires Anthro Corporation, Technology Furniture®

Nortek, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTK) today announced the acquisition of Anthro Corporation, the Oregon-based designer and manufacturer of technology furniture to join Nortek’s Ergotron and OmniMount brands (see the release).anthro-logo-notag_Red_2

“We share similar cultures and our employees put customers first in everything they do,” said Pete Segar, Ergotron President and CEO. “This shared passion and energy will drive new innovations that not only support our mission of delivering the kinds of solutions that promote healthier and more productive environments, but also strategically prepare us for future trends.”

By uniting the strengths and resources of Ergotron and Anthro, our combined organization is positioned to better serve the growing global demand for high-quality and affordable digital life and workstyle products. We are excited to welcome Anthro employees aboard today!

One Cart To Rule Them All? We Think So

Ergotron Zip40 Carts and Zip12 Desktop Cabinet

Meet our newest charging systems family! Ergotron’s Zip40 Charging Cart, Zip40 Charging and Management Cart, and Zip12 Charging Desktop Cabinet all share a universal desire to keep your tablet, Chromebook™, Ultrabook™, MacBook® and laptop devices−individually or in any combination−secure, protected and charged.

Adjustable dividers gives you flexibility in which devices you charge together. You can move or remove dividers as needed to create your own custom-size spaces:

  • For Carts: 40-unit capacity with 1.1ʺ-wide (28 mm) slots and partial shelf for extra storage—ideal for tablets, Chromebooks and Ultrabooks; 30-unit capacity with 1.4ʺ-wide (35 mm) slots—great for full-size laptops or other devices with large cases
  • For Desktop: 12-unit capacity with 1.1ʺ-wide (28 mm) slots and partial shelf for extra storage—ideal for tablets, Chromebooks and Ultrabooks; 8-unit capacity with 1.4ʺ-wide (35 mm) slots—great for full-size laptops or other devices with large cases of these needed

Central to both carts is Ergotron’s reliable and patented PowerShuttle® power management system which charges up to 30% faster than a standard round-robin charging system so devices are ready you need them, and the system never waste time charging empty slots.

From the classroom to your backroom retail management of devices, this cart has something for everyone. But hey, that’s us. Take a look for yourself!

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To choose the right charging system for you visit Charging.ergotron.com.

[Video] DIY Network: I Want That

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© MMIX

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

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Today’s Offices Need to Take a Stand – Literally

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Today, an expert statement was released on the status and impact of prolonged sitting in the office, commissioned by Public Health England and Active Working C.I.C (who launched the Get Britain Standing campaign in 2014). Presented today at Get Britain Standing’s Active Working Summit, the expert statement recommends further breaking up sedentary activity in the workplace, by increasing intermittent periods of standing and light activity (i.e. light walking) from two to four hours daily. Additionally, it offers “Core Recommendations” for predominantly desk-based workers.

The statement’s collaboration with researchers and supporting studies, written from a group of international experts from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia, also features, we are proud to say, a number of studies in which Ergotron products were used to further understanding of sedentary behavior and its antidotes.

Core Recommendations

  1. Initially progress towards accumulating at least two-hours per day of standing and light activity (light walking), eventually progressing to a total accumulation of four hours per day (pro-rated for part-time hours).
  2. Seated-based work should be regularly broken up with standing-based work and vice versa and thus sit-stand adjustable desk stations are highly recommended.
  3. Similar to the risks of prolonged static seated positions, so too should prolonged static standing postures be avoided; movement does need to be checked and corrected on a regular basis especially in the presence of any musculoskeletal sensations. Occupational standing and walking have however not shown to be causally linked to low back and neck pain and can provide relief.
  4. Those individuals new to adopting more standing-based work could expect some musculoskeletal sensations and some fatigue as part of the positive adaptive process. If such sensations cannot be relieved either by an altered posture or walking for a few minutes, then the worker should rest, including sitting, with a posture that relieves the sensations. If discomfort does persist, then seeking appropriate medical advice is recommended.
  5. Along with other health promotion goals (improved nutrition, reducing alcohol, smoking and stress), companies should also promote to their staff that prolonged sitting, aggregated from work and leisure time, may significantly increase one’s risk of cardio-metabolic diseases and premature mortality.

This is good news for office workers previously tasked with long hours sitting at the computer. In the 2013 JustStand® Index, 67% of the workers surveyed reported they hated sitting, corresponding to a 2010 poll where two thirds (67%) reported they wished their employer offered workstations or desks that could be adjusted so that they could work either seated or standing.

With affordable sit-stand workstations available right now, the release of this expert statement is timely for global companies looking to create an environment that supports health and well-being for their staff, The growing list of findings related to reducing sedentary behavior in office workers is now a proof point for human resources, risk management, and health & safety teams concerned with getting workers moving more often without reducing productivity. Combining the benefits of ergonomic equipment in adjustable office furniture gives businesses a viable solution for activating their workforce in the place where they spend the most time—at their workstation.

To see some of the Active Working Summit speakers talk about their research you can visit Juststand.org/summit. In 2011, we recognized the need to engage key influencers involved in research and thus launched the first JustStand® Wellness Summit, formally introducing the notion that affordable sit-stand solutions exist to change the sedentary behavior that researchers were observing. We couldn’t be more pleased that similar campaigns like Get Britain Standing’s Active Working summit are helping spread the message and hoping to influence a healthier change in how a person lives and works. By uniting communities – both here in the US and abroad – we can spread awareness and impact global change for a new way of working, providing easily adaptable solutions and supports to help reduce sedentary behaviors.

 

[Video] Ergotron WorkFit-A: Healthier at the end of the day

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Making it to the big time often means long stints at the computer. Meet Nick, a director and editor living in Los Angeles, working on anything from commercials and music videos to film and television. He admits post-production can do a number on the body. With the WorkFit-A workstations, he sits or stands throughout the day as his body demands. He can tell the difference, feeling less stiff, less tired and overall healthier at the end of the day. Can we all say the same? We should. See Nick’s story.

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Spiff Up Your Home-Tech For The Holidays

OmniMOunt Look Book 2014

Santa may have lots of tech in store for you…here’s hoping. Finding ways to store, charge and mount that tech is your job. Thankfully, whether you are bringing new tech home for the holidays, or trying to add new dazzle to your existing TVs, Ergotron’s OmniMount brand has a little something for every room in the house. Scan the Look Book, or match up your brand to the right product in the mount finder. Tech that good deserves to be viewed from any angle. Just saying.

Cheers to our Stand-Up Pioneers

October was National Ergonomics month. People came from far and wide to jump, or more accurately, stand up to our Stand-Up Pioneers Facebook photo contest. Okay, well not really, but you get the idea. Our Stand-Up Pioneers were very excited about the opportunity to create and submit their DIY innovations to us. Stand-Up Pioneers are using laptops and desktops on everything from boxes to upside down garbage cans, to stacking their laptops on back of their seats.

Our two lucky winners are: Nikki and Kevin, both from Auburn, ME.

Kevin thinks outside the box, or in this case, on top of a bucket.

KM entry

Kevin had this to say about his Stand-Up Pioneers experience:

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“I am absolutely loving my new Ergotron WorkFit-D, Sit-Stand Desk. Having the option to sit and stand has been absolutely amazing. The quality of this product is top notch and I would highly recommend Ergotron products to anyone.

Thank you Ergotron for being such a leader in the ergonomic field and for allowing those who work at a computer station to have the flexibility they need. I am very impressed.”

Kevin is now one happy pioneer!

You may have seen Nikki’s pic before from a previous blog post. Nikki claims to have stumbled on our Stand-Up Pioneers FB photo contest “by fate.” She previously worked beside a standup desk at her old job. Nikki emphasizes, “I couldn’t imagine going back to sitting all day.”

Nikki, Auburn ME

Nikki decided to steal a box from one of the offices new ergo chairs to make her stand up desk. She said that EVERYONE in the office got a good laugh at her “new” desk.

 

 

 

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Now, Nikki says, “I’m slowly converting my company to become Stand-Up Pioneers one person at a time, AND my co-workers are going to be so jealous.” Well Nikki, I’m sure no one’s laughing at you now.

Are you a Stand-Up Pioneer? Watch for other promotions from Ergotron brands in the New Year and find out more helpful tips about “stand up” in our causal website juststand.org.

Justin Frost, Global Social Media Manager @ Ergotron

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