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Trend is less sitting in workplace
March 1, 2016


BISMARCK (UTN) – On your feet you slackers! No more sitting-down on the job.

           Researchers have correlated sitting for extended time periods with increased health risks, like obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

           Apparently regular exercise does not entirely compensate for the negative effects of sitting too much. The common physiological factor is inflammation, which can lead to decreased vascular function, suppressed fat burning and fewer calories burned throughout the day.

            Since office jobs aren’t going away anytime soon, the trend is to restructure the workplace environment to spend less time sitting. One approach is to work while standing.

           I stand about half the time I spend in my office now,” says Jan Keller, Extension Nutrition Educator, the first at UTTC to adopt the stand-up method. “My body has adjusted very well. I find I can no longer sit for an extended period of time.”

            Keller and other UTTC staffers are using a product called the Varidesk©. It’s a sturdy, spring-loaded platform that becomes a movable desk top. A simple touch and the unit elevates for sitting or standing, and vice-versa.

           Before trying the Varidesk, Keller says she experienced headaches daily. She tried massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments and ibuprofen to alleviate the symptoms.

           “Once I made the change and got a more suitable chair, I haven’t had a headache. Not even one. It has dramatically improved my work environment,” she says.

           Another employee to take a stand (at her desk) is Sheridan McNeil, director of Career and Technical Education. “I think it’s fantastic,” says McNeil. “I highly recommend it.”

           McNeil used a stand-up desk in the office of her previous position at Sitting Bull College in Fort, Yates, ND, where others stood too.

           “I was physically active and didn’t have any trouble standing at the desk from the start,” she says. “I stand all day, working on my feet and rarely use a chair.”

           The Varidesk has plenty of work space and the quick-release feature is very convenient, she says. “It’s a good-quality piece of equipment.”

           United Tribes has barely a handful of the Varidesks in service but that’s likely to change. The single-desk model is priced in the $350 range and some offerings include free shipping.

            As you might expect, on the company’s website users testify about its effectiveness. Some have even lauded it for alleviating back pain associated with long periods of sitting.

            For more information, start by putting this phrase into your web browser: Stop Sitting at Work.



Jan Keller
A healthy workplace means healthy and happy employees. Extension Nutrition Educator Jan Keller in her office at United Tribes with a Varidesk© in the upright position. She divides her time up and down about 50 percent daily. “Too much of anything is not good,” she says.
DENNIS J. NEUMANN<>United Tribes News
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