The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

June 16, 2013

Stand up and GET TO WORK

More employees stand up for their workplace health


Le Riche herself gravitated to a standing desk in the summer of 2012 after first trying to work while sitting on an exercise ball.

“What works for me is about half and half, standing and sitting,” Le Riche said. “But on the days I stand more, I feel like I have more energy at the end of the day.”

That’s a message that Matt Condon wants to spread. As chief executive of the Athletic and Rehabilitation Center or ARC, which has locations in Kansas and Missouri, Condon pays close attention to health and the costs of dealing with injury and disease.

“We’ve become such a sedentary population,” Condon said. “Changing has to be a cultural thing, and it has to start from the top. If you want to change an organization, start in the CEO’s office.”

If the boss can’t afford a treadmill desk at a cost of several thousand dollars, start with an exercise ball as an occasional option, he suggested. It sets the tone for the staff to do something.

“People who do that are more likely to think about their own health and practice wellness,” Condon said. “It becomes ingrained.”

Sharon Keck, director of risk and records at Polsinelli, agrees. She sits on an exercise ball at her desk and has found that she pays more attention to posture when she sits in a regular chair.

“It helps my back. I don’t slouch. I like how it’s made me think,” Keck said.

Another Kansas City lawyer, Paul Seyferth, also splits time between a standing desk and a regular-height conference table in his office.

“For me, it’s more of a psychological benefit than a physical benefit,” Seyferth said. “I made the change after I’d looked at some science that said you actually think better when you’re standing up. I don’t know if it’s made me more creative, but it got me off my duff.”

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