MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its mission to foster a "culture of health" with employees, Twin Cities-based HealthPartners has implemented an innovative wellness program designed to interject movement, through the adoption of Ergotron WorkFit Sit-Stand Workstations, into the workday routine of employees with computer-intensive positions.
A component of the company's ongoing efforts to improve employees' overall well-being, the sit-stand program enables employees to effortlessly alternate, as desired, between sitting and standing multiple times throughout the day. The program was initially offered in corporate departments such as member services and finance where employees are tethered to their desks throughout the day, and will be gradually expanded to other HealthPartners' departments and function areas.
"Because of the nature of our business, we know that the real long-term value of the program will come from the movement and behavior change that comes from having the sit-stand option," said Calvin Allen, senior vice president of Strategic Planning and Human Resources at HealthPartners. "By offering access to sit-stand computing options, we're creating a culture that promotes optimal wellness and an active work style."
While not at the point yet to calculate return on investment (ROI) from the sit-stand program, HealthPartners anticipates improved employee health will result in a reduction in health claims – in particular lower back pain.
"The main focus of the program is on improving employee well-being," said Allen. "However, through the analysis of claims over a five year period, we identified several health conditions – in particular lower back problems – that represent a substantial cost area that could be addressed through solutions such as the Ergotron WorkFit sit-stand workstations."
Recognized as an independent risk factor for a variety of health issues, prolonged sitting is a contributor to back pain, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Research, including a HealthPartners' JourneyWell® Uprising study, has shown that alternating between sitting and standing during the day improves individual's physical and mental well-being. This ability to sit and stand repeatedly throughout the day is referred as postural transition and is a focus of ongoing research projects.
"We take a broad approach to well-being that extends to all aspects of an employee's life," said Allen. "The ability to work while alternating between sitting and standing positions allows employees to feel more comfortable, energized, focused and productive. They become more active and feel better while doing it. Translated into the workplace, this change can make a significant difference."
The company's efforts to promote employee well-being recently earned HealthPartners silver accreditation status from HealthLead, by US Healthiest, a nonprofit that recognizes employers for meeting recognized standards to promote health and well-being among their employees. Locally, HealthPartners earned the distinction as the "Most Awesome Healthiest Employer" by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal magazine.
Ergotron, Inc. is a global manufacturer of leading digital display mounting, furniture, and mobility products that have been improving the human interface with digital displays for over 30 years. Its growing portfolio of award winning brands—OmniMount, StyleView, WorkFit and Neo-Flex—for computer monitors, notebooks, tablets, flat panel displays and TVs, incorporates patented CF lift and pivot motion technology to achieve less effort and more ergonomic motion for a healthier and more interactive user experience. Ergotron devices are not intended to cure, treat, mitigate or prevent any disease. To learn more about Ergotron and its entire line of solutions, visit www.ergotron.com or call 1-800-888-8458.
Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners (www.healthpartners.com) family of health care companies serves more than 1.4 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. It is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community. HealthPartners is the top-ranked commercial health plan in Minnesota and is also ranked among the top 25 plans in the nation according to NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011-12 – private.
 In 2011, JourneyWell by HealthPartners completed a seven-week study of what access to sit-to-stand desk units would mean to employee mood, health and work performance. Conducted in partnership with Ergotron, the project was a practice-based evaluation of a sit-to-stand device on prolonged sitting time, related health-related factors, mood states, and other indices of work performance and behavior. Each study participant that received an Ergotron WorkFit Sit-Stand Workstation indicated that they felt better as a result of standing for a part of the day.
SOURCE Ergotron, Inc.