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Workfit S Adjustment

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 10:06:22 AM America/Chicago

The key to a successful installation of the WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Desk is proper adjustment. If your WorkFit is counterbalanced properly to hold your computer equipment, the system will maintain its height while you work until you are ready to move to a sitting or standing position, which should require just a gentle push or pull to the system to complete. This video demonstrates the adjustment procedure using the Dual model but these instructions are applicable to all versions of the WorkFit-S.

Is a Standing Mat Worth It?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 11:56:42 AM America/Chicago

An anti-fatigue mat is an ergonomic floor mat designed to ease the strain of standing on a hard surface for a long period of time and to reduce the fatigue that is caused. They are often used to decrease foot weariness for workers who stand in one position for long periods of time. A mat will add additional cushion between your feet and the floor. These mats are also known to increase productivity and worker moral. If you will be working at a station for more than 10 minutes at a time then investing in an anti-fatigue mat would be worthwhilStanding-mat-anti-fatiguee.

A standing mat (anti-fatigue mat) is one of the best things you can spend your money on. Standing for long periods at a time will put undue stress on your body (feet, ankles, knees, hips and back), causing pains, aches and fatigue. Leg muscles will become totally static and constricted as they work overtime to keep you in an upright position. Blood flow is greatly reduced causing pain and discomfort. In this situation, the employees’ heart is forced to work harder to pump blood through these constricted areas and their body begins to run out of energy. Standing on hard surfaces with static pressure pressing down on your joints will cause strain and fatigue to the body. The body is designed to move and be dynamic.

Standing Mat Benefits:

  • Reduce stress on the human body and lessen the pain
  • Stimulate blood circulation and prevent cramps
  • Lead to increased productivity
  • Reduce slips and falls
  • Improved ergonomics throughout the body

However, if a peanti-fatigue-standing-matrson is allowed to use a standing mat, their muscles will subtly contract and expand as they adjust to the flexibility of the mat. This muscle movement increases blood-flow and increases the amount of oxygen reaching the heart. Standing mats immediately make any task more comfortable and efficient while reducing fatigue. 

Like all ergonomic equipment, these mats are designed to work with the human body to ease any task that the body will perform. When considering purchasing a standing mat, there are other factors that should be addressed. To get the most benefit out of your mat, you will want to make sure you get the right material, style and size for the type of job setting you’re in. Footwear will also play an important part in your standing mat. You’ll want to make sure your show has adequate arch and heel support while still providing enough cushion. When you combine all these factors together, a standing mat will improve your working conditions!

 

 

                                                    

The Importance of a Standing Desk

Thursday, March 5, 2015 12:19:00 PM America/Chicago

Finally, many people are deciding to switch to a standing desk after seeing one too many studies or infographs about the dangers of sitting all day.  At first, many people found that standing for long periods was a little rocky but soon felt a lot better after a couple of weeks.  Their #1 recommendation was investing in a good floor mat to stand on.  One example of a good floor mat would be one that we currently sell on our website.  After adjusting to the floor mat, many will find no discomfort at all while standing.  It will come to a point where standing will feel more natural than having to sit all day. 

Top Health Benefits of Using a Standing Desk:

  • Standing burns more calories and involves more muscular contraction
  • Working mostly while standing/walking had about a 32% lower risk of early death
  • Able to stay more alert and energetic throughout the day
  • Having a better nights rest

Has reduced the risk of:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cancer
  • Long-Term Mortality Risk   

CSI Ergonomics has many different standing desk options when it comes to choosing one that will fit your work environment.  The new WorkFit-T (pictured to the right) is an ultra-easy standing desk solution, which quickly converts a tabletop into a healthy stand up desk.  Simply place the WorkFit-T on an open surface and you're ready to work!  Ships fully assembled, with no special mounting or tool-adjustments required for installation.  The WorkFit-T also saves on space because it moves straight up and down, always staying within the footprint of your desktop.  We currently have a WorkFit-T in our Showroom and would love to show you how it works! 

I think it's great to see how far along standing desks and ergonomics have come in just a few years.  You are starting to see standing desks being used in the classroom.  When using the stand-up desks, students tend to be more engaged in discussion and more willing to volunteer in the classroom.  Teachers have also seen their student's social behavior be more positive towards other students in the classroom.  It's also great to see when companies go out of their way to improve their employees' health and overall well-being.  Audi improved ergonomics for assembly workings with the "chairless chair."  It always workers to sit without a chair, improves their posture and reduces the strain on their legs.  I can't wait to see where ergonomics and standing desks take us this year!  

Is Sitting Bad for Your Mental Health?

Thursday, December 4, 2014 12:32:26 PM America/Chicago

Most of us have heard about all the negative health risks that come along with sitting disease. There’s spinal compression, back and neck pain, a slowed metabolism, less caloric burn, and decreased blood flow and oxygenation just to name a few. It’s been shown that sitting more than six hours a day is bad for your health, and not even an hour of vigorous exercise can undo the harmful effects a day’s sitting has on the body. But, has anyone ever considered the harmful effects sitting has on the mind?

Data gathered by one psychological scientist suggests that sitting over 6 hours a day has a negative impact on mental health. Data for the study was gathered from 3367 government employees who filled out an assessment for symptoms of anxiety and depression over the last month. Employees who sit more than 6 hours a day reported having more symptoms of moderate anxiety and depression than those who only sat 3 hours a day.

Women who sat long hours during the day had higher levels of psychological distress than men who sat the same amount of time. The study did not account for any stressors outside of the office, so it is hard to say if women were more affected by external elements than men. Interestingly, it was found that exercise after work did not protect people from the harmful effects of sitting. Those who considered themselves physically active after work but sit 6+ hours during the day were more affected by the negative mental health risks of sitting than those who sit less than 3 hours a day.

The exact reason why so much sitting can have negative effects on your mind is unclear. It’s likely that it’s a combination of physical and psychological factors. When you sit down your muscles stop contracting, which can decrease oxygenated blood flow to the brain.  Another physical factor that comes into play is your overall feeling of wellbeing after sitting for long periods. Your body can feel tired, stiff, or sore which will negatively affect your mental state.

An Australian study done on over 9000 women concluded that women who sat for 7+ hours a day were at a 47% higher risk of developing depression than those who sat for 4 or less hours per day. The study also found that women who don’t participate in any type of physical activity had a 99% higher risk of developing depression than those who exercised. The researchers determined that increasing physical activity could alleviate existing depression symptoms and potentially prevent future symptoms.

When most jobs require you to sit all day at a computer and we have apps on our phones that shut off the lights in our houses, it can become work just to find ways to be active. One thing that can be beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing is the use of a sit-to-stand desk at work.  Half of your work day can easily be spent standing up which can cut your sit time down to 3-4 hours. Imagine the benefits for your overall wellbeing. The product featured in the image is an Ergotron Workfit T, which is an economical solution for those who want a rising desk space. There is an option for every body!

Are Treadmill Desks Beneficial?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 12:36:55 PM America/Chicago

Treadmill desks have increased in popularity and have been center stage in the health-conscious working world. It seems like all that walking would be the perfect solution to “Sitting Disease” and the obesity epidemic. And while the health benefits of walking extra hours throughout the day are undeniable, the question of whether or not these desks are beneficial in the workplace still remains.

Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have been known to hold walking meetings to inspire new ideas from their team members. Is there anything behind this idea? A new study completed at Stanford University seems to prove it true. The study found that walking in general increases a person’s capacity for creative thought. They discovered that creativity increased up to 60% while people were walking versus sitting. It did not matter whether the study participant was walking outside or on a treadmill in a small, boring room; the results for the creative increase were brought on by the act of walking itself, not the environment where I t takes place.

While walking had a significant impact on cognitive brainstorming, it did not positively affect the thought process necessary to choose single, correct answers. In the Stanford study, participants were given simple word association problems that are commonly used to measure focused thinking. Those who answered while walking performed mildly worse than those who answered while sitting. It is possible that these findings suggest that treadmill desks are appropriate and beneficial for certain tasks but can be detrimental to others.

An inquiry surrounding the treadmill desks is whether or not they increase workplace productivity.  A study done at the Mayo Clinic found that typing speed and accuracy decreased up to 16% for people who were walking while they worked. It also decreased their fine motor skills and math problem-solving skills by as much as 11%. The treadmills can also be loud and distract the people working around the person walking. They’re also quite large and could be a hindrance for smaller offices.

Another study done in Oakdale, Minnesota was conducted on 36 sedentary employees who were able to switch from sitting to a walking desk at their choosing. The employees were evaluated at 6 and 12 month intervals. All participants showed an increase in daily activity, and some reported an increase in overall health and weight loss. The study reported a decrease in productivity for the first 3-5 months people used the desks, but an increase in productivity for the months thereafter. This suggests that treadmill desks have a “ramp-up” period where the walker learns to master walking and working simultaneously.

There are several personal accounts that treadmill desks increase focus because they eradicate people’s feelings of restlessness and helped them concentrate on the task at hand. One woman reported that her favorite time to walk on her treadmill desk was in the early afternoon after she ate, because it kept her energized and she no longer felt the early afternoon slump that plagues so many desk workers. Many people reported having a good tired feeling after a day of walking, but emphasized that new users should ease into the amount of walking to avoid soreness and pain.

Walking several hours throughout your day, even at 1 mph, has been proven to have substantial health benefits, like increasing your metabolic rate, burning additional calories, and improving blood sugar levels.  However, one CEO who spends about 80% of his time working on his treadmill desk reported that due to an enhanced metabolism his appetite increased drastically, causing him to gain six pounds and making him the joke of his office. There are exceptions to every rule!

So, are treadmill desks truly beneficial? The reports are mixed, and it really depends on the individual, the task, and how often the desk is used. If you’re thinking about investing in a treadmill desk the best thing you can do is know yourself. Try bringing a book to the gym with you and reading it while you walk. Can you focus?

Remember, the point of the treadmill desk is to increase your fitness as well as your focus. If you find yourself being distracted by the movement, another great option is a standing desk. The caloric burn is less than a treadmill desk, but it still engages several muscle groups that are inactive while sitting. The most important thing is to get off your bum and lead a more active, healthier life!

Tablets. Are they causing more pain than they're worth?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:02:41 AM America/Chicago

 

The majority of this pain can be attributed to the amount of time young people spend stooped over their smartphones, tablets, and computers. Tablets in particular are causing concern because they are too heavy to simply hold up like a smartphone but don’t come with a support that holds them in a better viewing position, like a laptop. If you’re working with a tablet in your lap or lying flat on the table, your neck has bend much more to see the screen, causing more strain on your muscles and vertebrae.

For a product that was introduced only three years ago, the tablet has become exceedingly popular, accounting for about 8% of all web traffic. Their popularity of use for web browsing has surpassed that of the smartphone even though they are much less common.  It’s estimated that on average people visit 70% more webpages while browsing on a tablet compared to a smartphone. The tablet has boomed since 2010, and it’s easy to see why: they’re small enough to carry around but have a screen large enough to create a more pleasant browsing experience.

However, with this sudden boom in the popularity of the tablet, there has been a synonymous boom in back and neck pain in the general population.  There has been an alarming amount of 18-24-year-olds who report suffering from back pain, some 84%. This age group now misses more days of work because of back pain than the people of their parents’ generation.

Some advice doctors recommend to alleviate back pain from using a tablet is to use a case, stand, or arm that allows for optimum viewing position and reduces or eliminates strain on your back, neck and shoulders. Attachable keyboards are also recommended so that your tablet can remain at an upright angle while you type. It’s also important to shift your position so as not to remain static for too long.  Taking a break to move around every 15 minutes will help keep your entire body loose. 

Whether you’re working from home or at the office, there is a tablet solution for you! CSI Ergonomics has desk arms and attachments to make your tablet mobile so that you can move it into the optimum viewing position for you. We carry adjustable desk stands, tablet attachments to your sit-to-stand workstations, and just about any other solution you can think of. Check out the link below for CSI's ergonomic tablet options.

CSI Ergonomic Tablet Solutions

Exercise Balls as Desk Chairs: Are they Ergonomic?

Friday, March 7, 2014 10:27:38 AM America/Chicago

Using exercise balls as desk chairs at work has become the new trend, because hey, who wouldn't want to get flat abs while sitting? You may have noticed your hip, health-conscious coworkers swapping out their boring, old office chair to reap the benefits of sitting on a ball at work. Unfortunately, that’s all it is, sitting.

While it’s true that sitting on an unstable exercise ball activates your core muscles more than a static chair, it’s hardly enough to develop a six pack. In fact, the difference in muscle activation is only enough to burn an additional 4 calories per hour. Over an 8 hour work day that’s the difference of only 32 calories. The same calorie burn can be achieved by taking a 5 minute walk around your office.

One benefit that a good ergonomic chair can provide that a ball cannot is proper back support, especially for the lower lumbar region of your spine. Since exercise balls don’t have back support the natural tendency is to slouch forward, which in turn puts more stress on the upper back and shoulders. Exercise balls are only effective when you sit up straight with good posture, and that position can be difficult to maintain for long periods of time without a backrest.

Exercise balls are often suggested as a remedy for people who suffer from daily back pain. Though there are exceptions to every rule, the majority of people who have participated in studies found that their back pain was not reduced by sitting on a ball. In part because sitting on a ball chair involves more contact area between the seating surface and your backside, which causes you to sink into the ball. New adopters of ball chairs often reported increased discomfort in their backsides.

Many credentialed ergonomic and spine experts recommend that people with back problems do not use an exercise ball as their main office chair. Studies have shown that sitting on a ball while typing increases back muscle contraction, causes spinal shrinkage, and puts unnecessary pressure on your bones and soft tissues.

So, the simple answer to the question is no, exercise balls are not good ergonomic seating options. Let’s save them for the gym and opt for a well-fit office chair instead.

If you’re looking for a solution to all-day sitting you should try a standing desk or treadmill desk. Standing engages more muscle groups than sitting on an exercise ball and has more proven health benefits. You can also burn up to twice as many calories at a standing or walking desk than you do when you’re sitting, which definitely beats the 32 additional calories burned from sitting on a ball.