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University of Nebraska Medical Center

Up and at ‘em: a reflection and review

Sick of sitting? Two years ago, I was. Literally. Too much sitting can make you sick and I was feeling it – back pain, fatigue, poor circulation, weight gain, just to name a few symptoms. My job, though, requires me to spend about 90% of my time in front of a computer, so I looked into some options and floated an idea to the dean, my boss at the time. He was completely supportive and looked forward to a report of my findings, since he, too, was looking for a way to get out of the chair.

Wellness springs eternal, and the internet introduced me to Ergotron and an awesome workstation at which I can either sit or stand! That’s right, now I have a choice (and I choose to stand most of the time). With no effort, I can raise or lower my keyboard, monitor, and workspace to suit my needs and comfort, increasing my productivity and my well-being. Sometimes, I even walk in place, stretch, or dance while I work.  Yes…dance.

gif photo of Fran at the ergotron

Fran Higgins rockin’ the workstation.

Word soon got around and folks from all over campus started popping in to my office to check out my setup. Their envious “oos” and “ahs” gave way to thoughtful glances and pondering “hmms,” as they pictured themselves standing at their own desks. It took a little while, but I know of at least seven others in the School of Allied Health Professions (SAHP), now, who have risen from sedentary tedium. Most went the Ergotron way and love it. The dean opted for two separate work areas, one standing and one sitting. One individual in PT has always just placed her monitor and keyboard on boxes when she feels like standing. Hey, it’s old school, but it works!

Beyond simple uprightness, as part of our SAHP wellness plan, we also have a walking workstation (a slow treadmill with a large workspace and networked computer) available to faculty and staff. We can sign up for a time slot to walk while we sort/clean email, type memos, enter data, plan curricula, or just walk for that 10-minute break to rejuvenate. If you haven’t tried it, you should.

Lastly, UNMC promotes wellness in many ways, and I’m grateful to work somewhere that encourages healthy activities. On that note, if you haven’t done so, it’s not too late to sign up for the decathlon, which offers lots of great ideas to get you moving. And if you’re ever in the neighborhood of BTH 3013M, stop by to see my nifty workstation…and dance!

Just a side note about good customer service from Ergotron: When my workstation arrived, I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to have someone come and install it, so I followed the directions and assembled it myself (a pretty easy process). Halfway through, though, I was devastated to find that one of the screws was stripped, defective. I checked with facilities and local hardware stores, but nobody had the right size, so I called the customer service folks at Ergotron. They were super nice and mailed me two screws (one as a backup, just in case), which arrived within a couple of days.


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