7 Steps to Laptop More Ergonomically

Laptops for work and personal use are becoming the norm. However, laptop use causes hunched backs, necks that stick out, and pain in the shoulders and arms. Try these steps to make your laptop use more ergonomic, safe, and healthy.

  1. Take frequent breaks from using your laptop. Sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time, especially at odd angles, can be unhealthy. Try to take at least one break an hour.
  2. Adjust your laptop screen angle and height to avoid straining your neck. Normally neck, shoulder, and upper back strain occur because the screen is too low. Mounting your laptop on a desk or wall can help get a better angle or height.
  3. Adjust the lighting and direction of the screen so that glare from other light sources is minimized to help reduce eyestrain.
  4. Find a comfortable chair that allows you to position your laptop and keyboard in the most neutral arm position. Your arms should be close to the body, forearms 1-2” above the lap, and elbows at a 90° angle.
  5. Find a laptop that matches your personal working style. If you travel a lot and need to use your laptop on the plane or in other compromised positions, a smaller screen size between 12-15 inches works best. If you work primarily at a desk or table, laptops with larger screens like 17 inches, will give you more workspace and a larger keyboard. Larger keyboards are easier to use but the overall unit can be less portable.
  6. Find out how heavy your laptop needs to be. Laptops with larger screens and keyboards are heavier, but there are also additional accessories that can add weight. Longer lasting or large batteries, DVD drives, and other add-ons will add weight. If you’re mobile, get a shoulder strap carrying bag, or a mobile laptop roller bag so that you can carry your laptop without causing significant shoulder injury.
  7. Create a desktop with your laptop. Use an external monitor, mouse and keyboard, a docking station accessory, or a laptop stand to create a stationary work station. Remember to make sure your setup is ergonomically optimal for you.

 

 

 

Please contact us for more information or to get advice about how you can use your laptop more ergonomically.

 

2 New Upgrades for your Gaming Chair

16688_WITHhEADREST

In Linus’s previous video he was concerned that the arm’s slider mechanism did not lock. OM5 designers have addressed this issue by adding the MR-65. It has all the great features of the MR-50 (6-way forward-backward, side-to-side and inward-outward pivoting motion along with arm pads that adjust) plus it is lockable (in all 6 positions) and locks vertically from 5″ to 9″ (measuring from top of the seat cushion where you sit to top of the arm pads).

Linus_Image

Arm Pads are lockable at any of the 6 positions. Please note that you can upgrade to any of the arms as long as your Gaming Chair came with arms pre-installed. Arms cannot be added to armless chairs.

However Headrests can be purchased and installed separately.

Order your Headrest today!

Gaming_Chair_HeadrestOM5 Headrest adds a whole new element of comfort by adjusting to three different positions to support your head and neck and allowing you to lean back in an ergonomic position. In short, this feature helps you Pwn opponents by optimizing your Gaming Chair for hours of comfort during your record gaming sessions.

The OM5 Gaming Chair is so advanced that it requires no levers, knobs or manual adjustments. Whatever be your position, the chair automatically adjusts while providing you continuous lumbar support. It offers the back and seat support for maximum comfort while maintaining the body in correct ergonomic posture at all times.

Order your Gaming Chair today!

 

How to choose the right cylinder for your chair?

Your chair is the most important part of your ergonomic working environment. On average, employees spend 5-6 hours daily in a sitting position, so choosing the right chair is key to health and comfort of everyone.

Gaming_Chair_ED-OM5-EX_Office_Master_High_Back_Executive_Chair_lg

If you consult a chair ergonomist for this decision, they would no doubt advise you about all the necessary adjustments that you need to consider when buying a chair. In this blog, we will focus on one adjustment of the chair that determines the height of the seat and ensures that at any given time your leg is supported while sitting in a chair. Finding the right seat height is the most complicated and most crucial part of finding the right chair.

What in the world is a chair cylinder?

The mechanism that moves the seat up and down is managed by a cylinder. Choosing the right cylinder helps you adjust your chair to the height that is ideal for your feet to lie flat on the floor with thighs parallel to the floor and knees bent at 90 degree angle. At no given time, the legs should be dangling or bent while sitting on a chair.

Chair_sitting_90_degrees

We spoke with couple of chair ergonomists, and of course the best way to choose a chair is to try it out. Every body type is unique, and some people have longer legs and some have longer torsos, and as a result there is no set formula for the length of the lower leg in proportion to the overall height of a person. In addition, different type of shoes and the height they add to the human height also affect the ideal seat height. To add more to the equation, the thickness and density of the upholstery, design of the base and size of the casters also affect the seat height of the chair even if cylinder size is the same . So, a 5” cylinder, which is standard for most chairs, will not necessarily provide you with the same seat height across all chairs. Cylinders range from 4″ to 10″ depending upon the type of chair your purchase. Most task chair manufacturers give you the option to choose between 4″, 5″ and 6″ cylinders.

So, let’s say that you have no access to a chair ergonomist and would like to purchase a chair online, how could we provide you with the necessary information to make the best possible decision?

Here are a few guidelines –

  •  Your height – In general (most users), you will need cylinder size that corresponds to your height as listed below -Less than 5’4″ – 4″ cylinder
    Between 5’4″ to 6’2″ – 5 “cylinder
    Above 6’2″ – 6” cylinder
  • To be more exact, you can actually measure the distance from the base of your knee cap to the floor while you are sitting in a chair with feet planted flat against the floor and thighs parallel to the floor.

C;ylinder_blog_Mirin

Once you have the seat height, find out the corresponding cylinder size recommended by the manufacturer of the chair of your choice. And boy, it can vary (even within the same manufacturer)!

Standard Cylinder Corresponding Seat Height Chair
5″ 16″-21″ Humanscale Freedom Chair
5″ 18″-22″ Neutral Posture NPS5600
5″ 19″-24″ Gaming Chair ED-OM5-XT
5″ 16″-21″ Gaming Chair ED-OM5-EX

As mentioned above, the same size cylinder can give you different seat heights based on the thickness, density of the seat cushion and your shoes. We recommend that you always check the seat height range for available cylinder sizes for each chair, published by the manufacturers.

Ergonomics and Work-Related Injuries

Workers_Comp_Cartoon

According to J Paul Lee of the University of California, Davis, work-related injuries cost our economy about $192 billion annually*. There are 23,000 on-the-job injuries in the United States every single day. That’s over 8.5 million injuries annually. This is a huge burden on the economy, employers, individuals and families. And according to a 2000 Senate testimony ◊ of Charles N. Jeffress, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, $1 of every $3 spent on workers’ compensation arises from insufficient ergonomic protection.

The above data shows the deep correlation between ergonomics and workers’ compensation and the ability of ergonomic protection to reduce the cost of work-related injuries borne by our economy.

Workers_Comp

Ergonomic protection comes in variety of workstations and devices including:

And more.

It is important to pay attention to your repetitive movements, and stationery positions. So if you find yourself in the same position for more than an hour at a time, be sure to adjust your environment. Whether sitting for an hour, viewing, or interacting (mouse, keyboard), it is critical to ensure that you continually move and change position. Movement equals life.

Start by considering your day and determine the most repetitive activities combined with the most stationary activities. What do you do the most? For instance if you like video or online games, you may have thousands of clicks and keyboard movements per hour. If you are an office worker, you might sit in the same position almost the entire day. Either way, once you determine your daily behavior, be sure to address the most repetitive and stationery situations first.

If you tend to sit all day, look into ergonomic chairs immediately. Additionally, you should review height adjustable workstations and sit stand desks. These will keep you moving up and down, which is 100% better than sitting in the chair all day.

If you find yourself staring at the same screen hour after hour, be sure that you are changing the lighting around you. Focused task lighting is important as it relieves eye strain resulting out of staring at a computer screen for prolonged period of time. A task light will also allow you to adjust the light to the situation therefore reducing eyestrain.

There are many ways to keep yourself safe while working, gaming or otherwise sitting in repetitive and stationery positions. According to the Wall Street Journal, by sitting three hours a day, you reduce two years off of your life.* In addition, you can reduce back strain, neck issues, wrist and hand issues or other problems that occur from repetitive and stationery activities.

Let’s all live longer and stay healthy.

*http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0009.2011.00648.x/abstract

*http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303343404577516853567934264

◊ https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=TESTIMONIES&p_id=166

 

Elements of Office Ergonomics – V

Part V – Task Lighting

Ergonomics is the science of fitting a task to the user to maximize productivity while reducing the user’s discomfort, fatigue and injury. In the previous posts we discussed that there are 5 elements of Office Ergonomics –

  1. Ergonomic Chair
  2. Standing Desk
  3. Monitor Arm
  4. Keyboard Tray
  5. Task Light

In this post we discuss Task light.

Task_light_Image

Task lighting is a very important part of your ergonomic office environment. When we use the term “Task Lighting”, we are referring to focused lighting used in a particular area for a specific task in order to be more efficient and effective. Think in terms of desk lamps, or such targeted lighting versus ambient light such as a room lamp, or overhead office lights.

When you’re staring at a computer screen most of the day, lighting cannot be ignored. If lighting is suboptimal, it can create a lot of issues including eye strain, blurry vision, headaches and so forth. By focusing light on certain areas, you can reduce eyestrain and visual issues while remaining healthier, more energetic and more productive through your workday.

Task lighting should be set up to create a contrast. Contrast refers to offsetting the interaction between ambient light, other lighting such as a computer screen, and your task lighting. According to the American Optometric Association, contrast is a very important factor in increasing overall performance. Factors such as the positioning of a task light or lamp, the strength of lighting and how it interacts with your other lights will determine whether it is being effective or not. While contrast is important, it should not be too extreme or it will hurt your eyes. Over contrast of light leads to frequent dilation of pupils which can cause eye fatigue and eyestrain.

Lastly, according to the US Department of Energy, 51% of energy used in commercial buildings is consumed by lighting systems. Task lighting is a way to reduce energy usage.

Types of task lights

Task lights can come with just about any strength and/or type of light. We recommend using LED (light emitting diodes) lights because they are more comfortable and safe for our retinas. The key is to make sure that the light is adjustable in order to make sure it is fully ergonomic. This way it can be moved, or turned up or down in order to ensure that the user has flexibility to adjust lighting in a given area.

Check out these options for task lights:

Task lights can come with just about any strength and/or type of light. We recommend using LED (light emitting diodes) lights because they are more comfortable and safe for our retinas. The key is to ensure that the light is adjustable in order to make sure it is fully ergonomic. This way it can be moved, or turned up or down in order to ensure that the user has flexibility to adjust lighting in a given area.

Check out these options for task lights:

Workrite Astra 2 Double Arm Desktop Task Light

Astra_Image

The Workrite Astra 2 Double Arm was designed to provide outstanding reach in a small footprint. With nearly 3 feet of extension from the base and a 360° rotating head, the Astra 2 Double Arm puts illumination exactly where it is needed. Clustered high-output, high CRI LEDs, provide a crisp, white light with no shadowing effect.

The new touch button programmability enables the user to return to the same dimming level that the light was last used, double touch the control to move to maximum brightness instantaneously, or to program the light for auto shut off after 5 or 10 hours of use. Combine the Astra 2 Double Arm with the all new USB Charging Table Base for the ultimate in reach and convenience.

Humanscale Horizon LED Task Light

Horizon_ImageHumanscale Horizon is the ideal LED task light for high design environments. Accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 2011, Horizon uses new Thin Film LED Technology to deliver excellent ergonomic lighting and easy adjustability in a sleek package.

Horizon is the pinnacle of high technology packaged in ergonomic design. Perfect for work and home, Horizon produces a soft, glare-free light that is ideal for both pixels and paper. Its Thin Film LED Technology addresses the common illumination issues of LED task lights by offering brilliant, single-source light and eliminating multiple shadows. Not only do the high-intensity micro LEDs produce clearer light, but a warmer and glare free illumination to help reduce eye strain during extended use.

Please call us at 888-456-ERGO (3746) if you have any questions or checkout our task lighting collection.

Elements of Office Ergonomics – IV

Part IV – Keyboard Trays

So far we have covered 3 elements of Office Ergonomics in our previous posts:

  1. Ergonomic Chairs
  2. Standing Desks
  3. Monitor Arms

This article is the fourth in our series on Office Ergonomics and analyzes a very important aspect of your ergonomic environment, keyboard trays.

  • What is a keyboard tray, and why is it ergonomic?A keyboard tray consists of an adjustable mechanism that holds the keyboard and brings it to the perfect typing location (both height and angle). Most computer users have their keyboard on top of a standard desk (28” to 30” height from floor). This height may not be comfortable unless the height of the person is exactly at the level in which his or her elbow is at the ideal angle of 90 degree to 100 degrees (this position is called “neutral”). Shorter and taller users will end up in an uncomfortable position (not neutral and therefore not Ergonomic) and could be in pain and develop long term problems. Prolonged use of a keyboard at the wrong height and angle might end up in serious wrist, shoulder or back pain.
  • Why do you need a keyboard tray? The whole idea behind the keyboard tray is to allow your keyboard and mouse to become adjustable to your seated or standing work position. The idea is to keep you safe from potential injury which can happen when keyboards and mice are at the wrong position or angle. Many keyboard arms have articulation which means they can be maneuvered to custom fit your position. Many of us spend eight or more hours per day at our keyboards and this can lead to long-term repetitive stress injuries.
  •  Keyboard tray functions. A keyboard tray is designed to ensure that the user is able to operate the keyboard for prolonged periods with minimal chance of injury. Moving the keyboard up, down, left, right and creating tilt allows the user to keep the keyboard in a position of neutrality, therefore avoiding longer-term physical problems. Note: In majority of cases, Negative tilt helps keep wrist in least stressful position.
  • Keyboard trays are generally installed underneath the desktop (using an articulating keyboard arm). Keyboards  can be stowed away when not in use by moving the keyboard tray and arm back and forth under the desktop. banana board moving

When the user is ready to type, the keyboard may be maneuvered into an optimal position.

  • Components of a keyboard tray: Generally, there are 3 components of a keyboard tray system  –

a) Metal Track: a rectangular metal track usually around 6” to 8” wide and 17” to 22” long that installs under the desktop – so the arm mechanism can move in and out

b) Mechanism (Keyboard Arm): It attaches keyboard tray to the track and slides back and forth inside the track.

c) Keyboard Tray – attaches to the tip of the mechanism and holds the keyboard and mouse (mice).

  • Advantages of keyboard tray – the main advantage of a keyboard tray is that it lowers the keyboard just above the lap which is the most convenient, neutral position for typing. Using keyboard tray allows you to keep your shoulders relaxed, and your elbows at 90 to 100 degrees. Under desk keyboard trays create valuable desktop space. When keyboard is not in use it clears desktop space for writing or other uses. Most keyboard trays allow Negative tilt   (the front portion of the keyboard to tilt down towards the ground). Negative tilt also ensures straight wrists. Bending wrists in the long run may cause carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).
  • Are keyboard trays necessary or not? For optimal health if you use keyboard 2-4 hours a day or more, a keyboard tray is a necessity. Note that some believe that if you have a height adjustable desk, you don’t need an under desk keyboard tray. They believe if the work surface is brought down to just above the lap of the user, its good enough to create a neutral posture.Based on our experience, negative tilt and more desktop space are good reasons to add a keyboard tray under any fixed or sit-stand desks.

Other areas of Office Ergonomics that we are planning to tackle in the future are

  • Laptop Ergonomics
  • Task Lights
  • Sound Ergonomics

 

Elements of Office Ergonomics – III

Part III – Monitor Arms

The third part of our series on Office Ergonomics examines monitor arms. As stated in earlier posts,  these are some of the elements of office ergonomics:

  1. Ergonomic Chairs
  2. Standing Desks
  3. Monitor Arms
  4. Keyboard Trays
  5. Task Lights

Monitor Arms are adjustable, mountable on  desks, walls, poles or ceilings, allowing for flexible positioning of the monitor to avoid straining the neck or shoulders. Monitor Arms are an extremely important part of your ergonomic environment as they determine where and how you are going to view your screen for the majority of your day. For example, if the monitor is too far from you, it will force you to extend your neck; if it’s located above your eye level, you will have to raise your neck or if it’s below eye level, you will have to slouch. Any of the above situations could cause pain in the neck and shoulders, and if prolonged, could lead to long-term effects.

Animation_Shoulder_posture  Monitor_above_eye_level

That is why even if you have a standing desk, a monitor arm may also be essential. The standing desk will allow you to sit or stand while working but only an arm will grant the appropriate horizontal depth and vertical lift for the monitor. A monitor arm will help keep the user’s shoulders and neck in a comfortable and relaxed position.

Ergonomic experts state that a monitor should be positioned at an arm’s length from the user, with the top of the monitor slightly below eye level such that it is tilted backward 15-20 degrees. This position is similar to a book-reading position.

While making a choice about a monitor arm, you should consider the following five factors:

1) Number of monitors – The number of monitors you need for your type of work will dictate your choice of arms. Though the presence of a second monitor could increase productivity by 20-30%, availability of space and budget can also weigh into the decision.  Dual monitor arms are at least 40-50% more expensive than single monitor arms but more screen space can make you more efficient by allowing more windows, less switching back and forth therefore saving significant  time and effort.

2) Mounting position of monitors –The monitor arm location will also affect your decision. Monitors can be mounted on a desk, wall, ceiling or a pole. Though it’s not a hard and fast rule, generally desk mounted monitor arms are used in individual offices, while wall mounted arms tend to be found in multi-user public settings like libraries, hospitals or retail stores. Ceiling mounted monitor arms are used a lot in digital signage.

3) Height Adjustment – As stated above, the height of the monitor (eye level) is extremely important for the neck to remain in a neutral and safe position. Many arms offer 20” height adjustments which enables the user to both sit or stand.

4) Reach – Horizontal extension or reach is important so the monitor is at the appropriate distance from the user. This will eliminate the user having to crane their neck or lean into the screen, which can cause shoulder and back aches.

5) Weight of the monitor – Weight capacity of a monitor arm is an important parameter to consider. Be sure to research your monitor’s weight so that you choose the right monitor arm.

Please call us for a free compatibility consultation. We will also recommend the best monitor arm for your setup. Please visit us at www.ergodirect.com to examine our extensive collection of monitor arms.

Elements of Office Ergonomics – II

Part II – Standing Desks

The second part of our series on Office Ergonomics examines the phenomenon of Standing Desks.

Here’s a quick recap of the part 1. Ergonomics is the science of fitting the task to the worker to maximize productivity while reducing discomfort, fatigue and injury. Flexibility and adjustability are the key elements of ergonomics and it is crucial that office equipment and furniture be designed and manufactured in such a way that it can adapt to the unique body type of the user. More often than not it is the other way around where furniture and equipment is purchased and employees are asked to adapt.

There are some of the elements of office ergonomics –

  1. Ergonomic Chair
  2. Standing Desk
  3. Monitor Arm
  4. Keyboard Tray
  5. Task Light

After stating that an ergonomic chair is the building block of a healthy workstation, we move on to standing desks.

Why not Standing Desks?

Some ergonomic experts argue that term “Standing Desk” is not accurate in ergonomics as it does not represent a perfect ergonomic posture. The reason is a study by NASA that advocates frequent changing of positions and postures for lifelong health. Standing most of the time is as bad as sitting most of the time. Based on this study, it is advisable to change from sitting to standing and vice versa every 20 minutes. So these experts prefer the term “Sit-Stand Desk” instead.

Sit-Stand desk is any desk that lets you change your position from sitting to standing while working on your computer. Please note that standing desk is a generic term used for vertically adjustable desks and desk converters. Desk Converters mount on top of traditional desks and convert them to sit-stand desks and are also sometimes called standing workstations.

An ideal sit-stand desk is a desk that provides full adjustability irrespective of the body type of the user. Adjustability means the desktop moves up and down to the prefect height where the user can sit and type comfortably or stand up and type comfortably in a perfect ergonomic posture.

Facts:

  • According to the US Department of Health and Human Services statistics, average male height in US is 5’10” and average female height is 5’4″.
  • Most standard nonadjustable (fixed) desktops have average height of 28”-30”
  • Standard nonadjustable desktops prove to be an ideal height for users who are 5’8”- 5’10” tall.
  • Users who are outside this height range (taller or shorter) will face some sort of discomfort and will eventually develop aches and pains associated with wrists, forearms, shoulders and neck. For example, a 5’4” user will have a hard time keeping 90 or 100 degree elbow position if the keyboard is on top of the desk. This user needs to elevate the chair and add a footrest or to install a keyboard tray under the desktop to lower the keyboard so the elbow has a 90 to 100 degree angle.

It does not matter if your fixed desktop fits your sitting posture perfectly or you have to use foot rest or keyboard tray, it will not allow you to stand up and work. That’s why you need some sort of standing desk or a desk converter to allow you stand up and work.

What are the different types of standing desks available in the market today?

  • Electric desks – An electric motor and a switch raise or lower the desktop to your perfect height by mere press of a button. Generally these tables have ability to move in the range from 22” (from ground) to 48”.

  • Pneumatic desks – Desks that elevate or lower at the push of a lever. They consume no electricity so they are more environmentally friendly. However they might need some sort of physical push to lower the desktop. Most pneumatic desks have a vertical range less than that of electric desks (from 30″ to 50″ from the ground).
  • Crank desks – Crank desks require the turn of a crank to move up or down, generally 5 turns for every inch of vertical adjustment. Though they are not practical as sit-stand, they definitely have use in specific situations. For example – a crank desk can be used in schools or a family for children so that the desk can be adjusted and left for a particular height and then accommodate for the increasing height of kids over the years. However in any situation a sit-stand desk works best.
  • Desk Converters – Converters or workstations convert a traditional desk to a standing desk. Some converters come completely assembled. You open the box and place it on top of the desk. Others need to be installed on a desktop.  

Are you interested in any of these standing desk options? Please send us an email or visit our website.

Elements of Office Ergonomics – I

Part I – Ergonomic Chair

Investing in office ergonomics will help create a healthy, productive, and motivated work environment.

Cartoon_defn_Ergonomics

Q: What is ergonomics?

A: Ergonomics is the science of fitting the task to the worker in order to maximize productivity while reducing discomfort, fatigue and injury. For many years, companies have followed a one-size-fits-all approach for furniture purchases and office design, and then asked their employees to adapt to their current work setup.

According to Vincent Xin Wang, Associate Ergonomist with Humanscale, this process is far from  ergonomic and may have resulted in losses of about $61 billion annually. Vincent visited our office recently to shed some light on better ergonomic office practices.

He explained that there is no one ergonomic solution for the workplace. Instead, workplaces should be adjusted to benefit their users.

Q: How do we adjust our workplaces?

A: Facilities and human resource managers will have to do more than order an ergonomic desk or chair. It is equally important to educate the user on proper equipment use. Follow-up this initial education with check-ins to ensure ergonomic principles are still being followed. This way  employees can build healthy habits.

The following elements of office ergonomics, along with timely education, will enable employees to work at maximum productivity without discomfort, fatigue and injury.

  1. Ergonomic Chair
  2. Standing Desk
  3. Monitor Arm
  4. Keyboard Tray
  5. Task Light

An ergonomic chair is the building block of a healthy workstation. Start with a highly configurable chair so it can adapt to your unique body type. Then build the rest of the workstation around it.

Q: What is a good ergonomic chair?

A: An ergonomic chair should offer several adjustments including seat height and back height adjustment: the seat pan must adjust back and forth for perfect seat depth; a lumbar adjustment supports your lower back and; chair tilt is adjustable in order for you to maintain perfect seat angle in relation to the floor. Some newer chairs naturally contour to your body, making mechanism adjustments unnecessary.

Follow these steps when configuring your ergonomic chair:

  1. Both feet are placed directly and securely on the floor, not dangling on the foot ring.
  2. Thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. Adjust the back seat mechanism to lean back and support the spine.
  4. Open the chest and relax the shoulders while making chair adjustments.

Our next blog about elements of Office Ergonomics will feature Standing Desks!

Please contact us for more information or to learn about setting up a free ergonomic chair consultation!

 

Stand Up Desks for Students

Are you standing while reading this? If you’re like millions of computer users across the world, chances are that you are not standing.

Several studies have verified the hazards of sitting for long periods of time at workplace. Recently the same concerns have been raised about students sitting for long time in the classrooms.

Sit-Stand Classrooms

Various plans are being implemented nationwide to reduce obesity and promote health. The latest solution is to provide “sit-stand desks” for students, which encourage healthy behavior.

Unlike traditional desks that are one-height-fits-all, standing desks can be adjusted to fit the students for different heights. The standing desk could be raised or lowered easily by pressing on a hand lever (requires very little force) attached to the desk. There are two main types of standing desks available for students. The fixed height standing desks are not adjustable. Using these desks requires students to stand up all the time. The other type is height adjustable desks which allow students to change their position from sitting to standing at any time.

Has any school tried standing desks?

Alexandria Day School in Alexandria, Virginia offers standing desks in their middle school classrooms. In California, Vallecito Elementary School in San Rafael has been outfitted with standing desks in a first grade classroom, and in three fourth grade classrooms for the 2015/2016 school year. (Allison DeNisco- District Administration, July 2015.)

24-481-003-inuse1_lg (1)    24-458-200-inune5_lg

Why Standing promotes health/focus?

Standing while working has many health benefits. In 2010, a study published by Mark Benden, an associate professor at Texas A&M, and his colleagues looked at possible health benefits for standing desks. Results show that students who were standing burned 11 more calories per hour, adding up to 300 calories more per week, compared to students that were using traditional style sitting desks. Overweight students using a standing desk burned about 23 more calories per hour, cumulating to about 575 more calories per week.

Benden’s article concludes that “the increase of physical activity in the school day has been related to the reduction of childhood obesity, increased caloric expenditure, and heightened academic success in children of all weight groups. Examination of cost-effective interventions, such as stand-biased desks, is crucial in the war against childhood obesity.” Benden further adds that he expects to see standing desks to become more common as the benefits catch on and more companies enter the market. This study was funded by the CDC, and was published in the American Journal of Public Health.  (Benden, Impact of stand-biased desks).

LearnFit_3

What teachers see

Teachers that have standing desks in their classrooms have reported increased participation from students, as well as students being more focused. Another study by Mark Benden and his collegues states that “The desks are creating an environment where teachers feel they have better classroom management, which means the whole class is learning and staying on task longer” (Benden, Using Stand/Sit Workstations in Classrooms).

This study points to the fact that students who are standing are performing better in the classroom. When students are more focused and pay attention for longer periods, teachers are able to get through more material per day. That extra time teachers gain from increased student focus adds up to a significant amount over the course of school year. The study also found that “In general, continued utilization of the stand-biased desks was largely associated with improved executive function and working memory capabilities” (Benden, Using Stand/Sit Workstations in Classrooms).

LearnFit    LearnFit_10

ErgoDirect offers LearnFit Standing Desks, which come in two versions.   

LearnFit_4

The LearnFit 24-2481-003 comes in shiny silver color and has a vertical lift of 15″. It comes with a hook to hang the backpack, cupholder, tablet slot and a pencil tray. This desk has a small footprint which allows students to quickly organize into groups for activities or roll the desk against the wall to create open floor space.

 

LearnFit_5

The LearnFit 24-458-200 comes in black color and has a higher vertical adjustability of 19.6″. A simple hand lever allows the student to adjust the height of the desk. The casters on both the desks allow quick movement around the room creating a dynamic classroom environment.

Standing desks for classrooms are aimed at creating an active learning enviroment. Have any more questions? Please contact customerservice@ergodirect.com or visit us at www.ergodirect.com.

Benden, M., Blake, J., ” Wendel, M, Huber C., “The impact of stand-biased desks in classrooms on calorie expenditure in children” accepted for publication Nov 2010 AJPH.

Blake, J., Benden, M., Wendel, M., “Using Stand/Sit Workstations in Classrooms: Lessons Learned from a Pilot Study in Texas” accepted for publication Dec 2010 in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.