Standing Workstations Get Vital Records Employees Moving

October 29, 2015

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Office of Vital Records has embarked on a journey to improve the health of its staff.

With help from DPH’s Worksite Wellness team, many Vital Records employees are using standing workstations. Currently there are eight standing workstations within their office, five of which are housed in the contact center.

The contact center team faces up to seven or eight hours each day on the phone and in front of their computers. The standing workstations provide a fun and engaging way to shake up their days with more physical activity like using hand weights or sitting on exercise balls rather than traditional desk chairs.

Latisha Heath, lead contact center representative, is excited to have the workstations in the department, and even more thrilled with the health benefits the team is receiving.

“The standing workstations give us the option of performing our work while standing, marching in place or sitting or squatting at our desks at a comfortable and healthy level,” said Heath. “This allows us to have more range of motion and flexibility at our workstations through the day.”

Susanne Koch, MS, ACSM-HFS, PES, Worksite Wellness coordinator at DPH, explains that research validates what they have been observing – chronic sitting is harmful to the body.

“Chronic seated postures tighten hips and weaken gluteal muscles, as well as reduces flexibility and mobility to the back,” she explained.

Along with these disadvantages, Koch listed other harmful health impacts of prolonged sitting such as increased pressure on the spine and reduced productivity due to lack of stimulation of the brain.

The Worksite Wellness team has been expanding their efforts to increase use of the standing workstations and getting employees more active while at work. Beyond Vital Records, many employees at DPH’s 2 Peachtree location are also using the standing workstations and already are reaping the benefits of a more active life.

“Having completed our standing workstation study, we have been able to see that employees that use the workstations significantly reduced their blood pressure as well as reduced fatigue,” said Koch.

If you don’t have a standing workstation, you can still increase your activity levels throughout the day.

Koch recommends simple solutions for employees to get moving while staying on top of their work, such as encouraging fitness center members to take their laptops and use the treadmill as a standing treadmill station.

Vital Records is setting an inspiring example for other DPH employees to live healthy inside and outside of the office.

“We are delighted to have been chosen to pilot this program,” said Beth Nettey, contact center representative. “We recommend standing workstations for all employees who have jobs that require being seated for long periods of time and to those who want to experience a healthy working environment.”

To learn more about the standing workstations pilot project, or get involved in other wellness initiatives at DPH, contact Susanne Koch at Susanne.Kock@dph.ga.gov

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