Managers at HealthPartners in Minneapolis are encouraging desk-bound employees to stand up and type. The workstations of employees with computer-intensive jobs have been redesigned with desks that allow the user to easily raise or lower the keyboard and monitor so it’s possible to type while seated or while standing.
The desks—Ergotron’s WorkFit Sit-Stand Workstation—are intended to keep employees more comfortable and healthier by reducing lower back pain associated with prolonged sitting.
Staff in nonprofit health maintenance organization’s member services and finance departments got the height-adjustable desks first. Other sections will follow, says Calvin Allen, senior VP of strategic planning and HR. “The main focus of the program is on improving employee well-being,” says Allen, who notes that he hopes the sit-stand furniture will ease employees’ lower back problems and other health conditions that represent what he calls “a substantial cost area” for the company.
Allen says it’s too early to calculate a return on investment from the sit-stand program.
Prolonged sitting, he notes, contributes not only to back pain, but to metabolic syndrome, hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Contact: Daneen Kiger of Ergotron, (651) 681-7682.