Josh Kerst - How To Create a Dynamic Workspace Using Ergonomics 2.0

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Today we’re talking to Focal Upright EVP and certified professional and industrial ergonomist Josh Kerst. Focal Upright is one of the most innovative standing work companies on the planet, specializing in how to transform desk work from something sedentary to something active in order to help people perform better, gain productivity, and get more out of the space we interact in everyday.

Making the Transition To Ergonomics 2.0

Josh has been in the ergonomics industry for decades, and is proud to be a part of the current ergonomics 2.0 movement. He remembers a time in the late 80s and early 90s when simply having adjustable armrests and backs on desk chairs was a revolutionary idea. And while these things have now become the ergonomic standard, the unintended consequence of being comfortable in your desk chair is inactivity, which is bad for both physical and mental health.

That’s why Josh’s company designs office furniture specifically to combat the inactivity that comes with desk bound jobs.

Why is sitting detrimental to people’s health?

We now know that sitting for eight or nine hours a day leads to degenerative issues like spinal stenosis, as well as a host of other secondary health issues related to the sedentary lifestyle. Many people try to combat this trend by working out on a regular basis when they aren’t at the office.

However, you can’t exercise your way out of long daily periods of inactivity. Within as short of a period as 20 minutes, the negative effects of being sedentary begin to set in.

These include a shutting down of what Josh calls our natural “fat vacuum cleaner,” a decrease in good HDL cholesterol, and a decrease in function of the LPP1 gene, which works to decrease the slowing of the blood.

Fortunately, that’s where what scientists call LIPA, or low intensity physical activity, comes in. This type of movement throughout the day allows you to pursue well being even as you work. Focal Upright has created its dynamic seating for exactly this purpose; it allows users to transition seamlessly between standing and leaning as they work, and this type of supported mobility has an almost unconscious ability to create movement.

How To Create the Ideal Office Space

First and foremost, Josh stresses the importance of the “10 and 2 Rule.” Alternate 10 minutes of working with 2 minutes of activity throughout the day.

Keep this mantra in mind: The best posture is always the next one, so you need to continuously change it up.

Beyond that fundamental rule, Josh also makes the following recommendations:

  • Have an area where you can stand and work comfortably, such as a standing desk with a tilting work surface.
  • Pair that desk with a stand assist that allows you to lean and pivot as you work at the desk.
  • Employ full spectrum lighting, and specifically blue-enhanced lighting, which changes over the course of the day.
  • Create different areas in the office for collaboration, such as a standing meeting table with a foot rail that literally allows people to “think on their feet.”

In closing, Josh emphasizes that entrepreneurs should engage every possible performance advantage that they can in order to stay on top of their game, and creating a dynamic and healthy work environment is one of the steps you can take to do just that.

Make sure to check out…

Focal Upright

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