ST. PAUL, Minn.—Two-thirds (67 percent) of U.S. office workers wish their employers offered them desks that could be adjusted so they could work either seated or standing. Over half (about 60 percent) of employees surveyed were convinced they would be more productive if they had the option to work on their feet.
These are among the findings of a new “Just Stand In The Office Survey” of 1,007 U.S. full-time workers at large companies by Ipsos that was commissioned by Ergotron, the Minnesota-based manufacturer of ergonomic computer mounting and mobility products. The survey coincides with Ergotron’s launch of a global computer safety campaign called “The Uprising: Just Stand” that is designed to challenge millions of office workers to alternate sitting and standing at their computers throughout the day and to redefine the future of workplace wellness.
Among the other findings about office workers from Ergotron’s “Just Stand In The Office” survey:
• Long hours of sitting – Employees spend an average of two-thirds of their working hours (about 28 hours out of the average workweek of 42 hours) trapped in a seated position. Most of that time sitting is spent at their desk (21 hours per week), along with in meetings (three hours per week) and working at home (four hours per week).
• Lots of seated computing time – Employees spend an average of 25 working hours each week (6 hours on a typical day) sitting in front of a computer or mobile device.
• Disdain for sedentary workday – A majority (73 percent) of employees say they do not like spending so much time sitting at work.
• Need to seek medical help for discomfort – A quarter of employees (24%) say they had to seek holistic or professional medical care to alleviate discomfort related to their work environment. Further, the more hours employees say they spend in front of a computer, the more often they report seeking this type of medical attention.
Home base for Ergotron’s “The Uprising: Just Stand” campaign is JustStand.org, a website that offers a library of research about the “sitting disease” and the benefits of standing more during the workday. The site offers a free Ergonomic Payback Calculator, a downloadable 11-page Body Coach eBook and ways for office workers to connect with other advocates of standing at work.
“The Uprising campaign invites office workers to reclaim their right to move and encourages their employers to take a stand for corporate wellness by giving workers the choice of sitting or standing during their day,” says Joel Hazzard, president and CEO for Ergotron. “Our new ‘Just Stand In The Office” survey results suggest that the old model of sitting behind a computer for our entire workday must change.”
Public and scientific opinion agrees with Hazzard – this past July, O Magazine’s Dr. Mehmet Oz warned of a “Sitting Epidemic.” Sitting for prolonged periods of time, Dr. Oz says, causes metabolic slowdown, larger waists, greater body mass indexes and higher levels of blood fats. Last April, BusinessWeek’s article, “Your Office Chair Is Killing You” announced that research in the diverse fields of epidemiology, molecular biology, biomechanics and physiology has converged toward a startling conclusion, “sitting is a public health risk.”
Many studies affirm that today’s employees should be standing up to counter the effects of an increasingly sedentary life:
• A July 2010 American Cancer Society study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology of 120,000 adults suggests that the more people sit, the shorter their average life span. What’s more, the findings were independent of physical activity level such as with people who exercise outside of work.
• A January 2010 British Journal of Sports Medicine article suggests that people who sit for long periods of time have an increased risk of disease, prompting WebMD to suggest: “if you are reading this while sitting down, you might want to stand up for a moment.”
• A January 2010 study of 8,800 adults published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association said that for every 60 minutes you sit watching TV daily, you may increase your risk of early death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. “The human body evolved to move, not sit still for extended periods of time,” says lead author David Dunstan. “What has happened is that a lot of the normal activities of daily living that involved standing up and moving the muscles in the body have been converted to sitting.”
• A 2008 Vanderbilt University study of 6,300 people published in the American Journal of Epidemiology estimated the average American spent 55 percent of their waking time (7.7 hours a day) in sedentary behaviors such as sitting.
To facilitate the campaign’s impact on businesses, Ergotron has introduced its WorkFit line of ergonomic, height-adjustable workstations that enable employees to lift their keyboards and computer screens to any height so they can stand, or sit, as they choose. WorkFit-S ($379 – $399 US) is a surface mount that transforms most desks or tables into a sit-stand work area. WorkFit-C ($899.00 MSRP) is a mobile cart workstation that enables workers to sit or stand while they work to reduce potential neck and back pain. To view Ergotron’s WorkFit models in action visit http://cubelife.ergotron.com.
Ergotron is providing complementary WorkFit products to qualifying corporations for evaluation purposes. In addition, for a limited time, Ergotron is giving away one WorkFit-S sit-stand workstation a week. Residents of the U.S. and Canada may enter the Stand2Win sweepstakes at http://promos.ergotron.com.
Media Note: To interview workplace ergonomics expert Dr. Joseph Sweere, author of Golden Rules for Vibrant Health in Body, Mind, and Spirit and professor at Northwestern Chiropractic College in Minneapolis, MN, please contact: Christina Milanowski, Maccabee Group, 612-337-0087 or [email protected].
About Ergotron’s “Stand In Your Office” Survey: These are some of the findings of a poll conducted August 3-10, 2010 by Ipsos and commissioned by Ergotron. For the survey, a national sample of 1,007 adults aged 18 and older who are currently employed full-time at a company with 1,000 employees or more were interviewed online. For reference, the estimated margin of error for a survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would be of +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
About Ergotron: Founded in 1982 by VESA FDMI standard author and visionary Harry Sweere, Ergotron is a global manufacturer of digital display mounting and mobility products, headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with sales efforts in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, and Singapore. Ergotron’s products have been improving the human interface with digital displays for over 25 years. Our history of innovation and passion for differentiation is evidenced in over 37 patents and our growing portfolio of award winning products for computer monitors, notebooks, and large flat panel displays and T.V.s Ergotron products enhance computing wellness, improve workplace productivity and create business process efficiencies, wherever and whenever they’re used. Incorporating Ergotron’s Constant Force lift and pivot motion technology, wall and desk mount arms, stands, mobile carts, pivots and vertical lifts require less effort to achieve more ergonomic motion, improving the user’s experience when viewing any digital display for work or entertainment.