Keeping employees satisfied — and comfortable

A job in IT may seem to rank low in danger from workplace hazards. But did you know that sitting for most of the day – as many IT workers do – can lead to a 54 percent increase in risk of heart attack?

As Bill Phillips of Men's Health reported, that was one of the findings in a Pennington Biomedical Research Center (pdf) of 17,000 men and women conducted over 13 years.

One way to address these issues is through adopting office furniture that is ergonomically designed to improve efficiency, comfort, and safety. 

“People have long felt the ill effects and physical ailments associated with working long hours in a sedentary, intensive-computing work environment. But what’s relatively unknown is the harmful, potentially deadly consequences imposed by long periods of sitting,"  said Wendy McCubbin, senior manager of Workspace Wellness at Ergotron Inc.. “But what's relatively unknown is the harmful, potentially deadly consequences imposed by long periods of sitting. Researchers call this sitting disease."

"Research shows, sitting even longer than two hours, negatively impacts metabolism — reducing blood flow, cholesterol, and calorie burn," McCubbin said. "This can significantly contribute to high levels of presenteeism and absenteeism, which are costly to the organization."

Medibank Private’s research bore out this impact on productivity Its findings suggested the healthiest employees were three times more productive than the least healthy employees. Also, employees in poor health had higher levels of presenteeism, (pdf) or lack of productivity while at work.

Another risk for computer-bound workers, carpal tunnel syndrome, results in the second highest median days away from work (pdf) from occupational injury or illness, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Keeping employees healthy, comfortable and safe is a win-win – for them and for your business. Skilled IT workers are the foundation of an efficient enterprise. Competition for those workers is fierce. By showing them you care about their well-being, in addition to their skills, you foster a work environment based on mutual commitment. That leads to greater employee job satisfaction and higher retention. As Customer Loyalty expert, Mary Arendes recently explained on, satisfied employees also make the best brand advocates.

“The amount of time a person spends sitting is its own  health risk factor, independent of how physically active they are before or after work,” McCubbin said.  "So, one of the best investments we can make to influence healthier, more active and more productive employees is to provide them with sit-stand workstations, such as the Ergotron WorkFit  portfolio of products that fit the way their bodies were designed to work – standing, sitting and moving throughout the day.”

Creating a more humane work environment that encourages physical mobility just makes sense. It’s good for your business, good for your brand, and most importantly, good for your greatest asset  –  your employees.

Source: Ergotron  – “Just Stand” website (sponsored by Ergotron, focused on “sitting disease” articles and resources:

About the Author: Kristin Fern Johnson