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.

 

ErgotronHome Review: Dan’s Sit-Stand Success Story

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ErgotronHome Workspace™ Lift35 Customer Review – “My back pain and fatigue is long gone!”

This is the first in a series of ErgotronHome product reviews for our new brand of ergonomic solutions for everyday computing in your home.

Who: Dan Halaburda, Sr. Director of Business Development at Petra Industries, a leading wholesale distributor of consumer electronics.

What: After two years of working at a home office sit-only desk, Dan was experiencing nagging pain in his back and knees, and suffering from physical fatigue, as well, which hampered his ability to work comfortably for extended periods. “Sitting all day was getting challenging, even with a fancy executive chair,” he explains.

Where: Home office in Arizona (cropped out of these pics are Dan’s bare feet – “that’s just how we roll in Arizona,” he explains) while corporate offices are in Oklahoma. Weekly, Dan works in both offices or anywhere else he can fire up a laptop while on the road in points between and all over the United States.

When & Why: Fast approaching his 60th birthday, Dan realized he couldn’t put off addressing his aches and pains any longer. Was it just age catching up with him? But then again he’s heard the same complaints from sedentary workers in their 30’s and 40’s.

Dan remembered how much he enjoyed using the Ergotron sit-stand desk and monitor arms that was part of his workstation at a previous job. (Executives were treated to their choice of Ergotron ergonomic products as a wellness benefit that had shown significant ROI.)

How: After visiting the Ergotron website, Dan found out they had a new brand of sit-stand products with a sleek, stylish look and feel for the home office. He ordered a Lift35 as his home office ergonomic solution. The Lift35 converts any surface into a flexible sit-stand desk, giving you the proven health benefits of movement.

Wow!: The products came quickly and required no assembly or complicated set-up. “What I love about it is that I could literally pull it out of the box and go. No screwing it in. No bolting it down,” says Dan.

“It’s super easy to move up and down – instantly, just like my old Ergotron sit-stand desk. But my new Lift 35 with a black matte finish looks appropriate to my home office. I spend one hour standing while answering emails in the morning, then the same amount of time standing after lunch. When I stand up, everything comes up – my computer, monitors, keyboard as well as my stapler and calendar – so I’ve got a lot of desk space to work with. It’s a very attractive piece of furniture so people who come to my office are curious and very complimentary. I’m happy to recommend it to anyone – young or old.”

In fact, Dan was so impressed with his own Lift35 that he purchased another for a friend who has had two knee surgeries and who’s doctor recommended he use a sit-stand desk at work. “I’m becoming your #1 evangelist!,” Dan noted on his order.

Stand @ Work Study results a must read

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© 2013 National Heart Foundation of Australia

The National Heart Foundation of Australia, in collaboration with the Prevention Research Collaboration (PRC) of the University of Sydney, conducted a study, titled Stand@Work, to determine whether providing sit-stand workstations changes sitting time in desk-based office workers. Here are the results of the study (PDF).

HeartPosterThe study acknowledges the growing body of evidence that indicates high levels of sedentary behavior, and sitting in particular, are emerging risk factors for chronic disease.

Employees who were in the trial reduced sitting time by almost 20% during work hours and increased standing time by about an hour through use of Ergotron’s WorkFit® Sit-stand workstations.

This document captures the study outcomes and is a valuable resource for managers or businesses seeking ways to protect and foster employee health and well-being. It also provides great ideas for reducing sitting time in the workplace outside of using sit-stand workstations.

The Heart Foundation has added standing to their outreach effort. It makes us proud to see that their “Be an Up-Standing Citizen” poster features the outline of the WorkFit-S!

Taking a stand for heart health is a global message we can all support.

 

 

Ergotron Tips for HIMSS16 in Vegas

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Less than three weeks from today marks the start of HIMSS Conference & Exhibition – the health IT conference – in Las Vegas, Nevada. From February 29 to March 4, 2016, this annual event will bring together more than 40,000 healthcare professionals, all ready to discover the innovative technology set to transform health through IT in 2016. Here are some tips and techniques you should know before you land in sunny Vegas:

  • Don’t bring a lot of stuff. Sounds commonsensical, but it’s easy to do. You won’t want to awkwardly lug a heavy briefcase or large purse around all day, especially while you’re visiting with people and trying to maneuver in crowded areas. Stick with the essentials; now is a great time to milk your mobile or tablet device for all it’s worth.
  • Weather will be warm, and most likely, delightful. At this time of year in Vegas, the average high is 67 degrees, and like they say, it’s a dry heat. Plan your wardrobe accordingly.  And if you forget a water bottle, no worries, someone is sure to be giving one away free in the Exhibit Hall.
  • Pack a swimsuit. Your hotel will have a pool, and taking a dip in the cold water will be exactly what you need after a long day at the conference. Also pack multiple pairs of comfortable shoes; switching pairs may help sore feet recover each day.
  • The conference takes place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, a massive space and one of the few large enough to contain HIMSS. There are more than 300 educational programs and over 1,300 exhibitors, so plan out what you want to do (and where it is) beforehand. Use these maps to guide you. If you’re attending with several colleagues, agree on a meeting point in case anyone gets lost. There might be spotty cell service. Don’t forget to add our booth #5432 to the top of your list!
  • Get out and explore the city! Vegas is famous as the Entertainment Capital of the World. You’ll have a tough time deciding which activities and adventures to pursue, if you don’t settle in at the casinos, that is! Our best sightseeing tip: get a Las Vegas Power Pass — it gives you FREE entry to 25+ of the town’s top attractions and tours. The view from the “Eiffel Tower” or the Stratosphere is amazing, as is the art exhibit at the Bellagio, FYI.
  • Participate in the conversation surrounding #HIMSS via social media. If you don’t feel real social savvy, now is the time to learn in the supportive HIMSS environment. This year’s HIMSS official Social Media Ambassador team is stellar (follow Ambassadors on Twitter) and we’re glad to help at @ergotron. Want to talk carts and add-on power? COWS, WOWs and workflows? Tweet your thoughts with the hashtag #HIMSS and follow @himss for tradeshow updates and happenings.
  • Last but not least:  We’re unveiling our 2016 healthcare roadmap, sharing some new routes you will want to take! From our most innovative StyleView carts to some brand new solutions, get the first look by visiting us at booth #5432. We’re giving you the glimpse from the whole hospital perspective. We’re advancing the art of charging, bringing healthier movement into administration, and exploring tablet usage in the ever changing workflow. You won’t want to miss it!