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Frequent standing eases back pain for desk-bound

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in HR Management,Human Resources

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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gabby November 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Unfortunately, standing workstations can be an expensive investment for companies, and there is little research that proves the investment is worth it, from both financial and health standpoints.

I recently purchased a micro-break software for my employees, which pops up onto their screen once an hour and guides them through a 2-minute series of simple stretch breaks they can do right from their computer. I have found that they are more productive throughout the day after taking the short break, and have even had a number of employees tell me they no longer have neck/back pain.

I suggest that before making the pricey switch, download a program such as The Movement (, which can benefit employees just as much as a standing desk (if not more) for only a fraction of the cost.


Steve November 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Height adjustable workstations are becoming very popular. Right Angle also makes a great height adjustable desk.


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