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Is "Ergonomics" the New Green?

Protecting our Environment

Over the past 20 years we have become critically aware of the importance of protecting our environment for future generations. “Green design” has become, if not the expected norm, certainly the goal to strive toward. Now, the looming health issues caused by our sedentary lifestyle has altered our focus. We now realize that “ergonomics is the new green”.

“Better buildings are our legacy.” - USCGSB

Since its beginnings in 1993, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its affiliates in Canada and other parts of the world, through its education and LEED® accreditation programs, has taught us to view the buildings we work and live in, and space around us differently.

“We believe in better buildings; places that complement our environment and enhance our communities. Places that give people better, brighter, healthier spaces to live, work and play.” - USCGSB

Protecting our Personal Well-being

With over 390 LEED® accredited professionals on staff, JE Dunn Construction (one of the largest and most respected construction companies in America) seems to be pretty serious about protecting our environment for future generations. But when JE Dunn recently built their new offices in historic downtown Savannah, “ergonomics” was also a key plank in their own design/build criteria.

“It is important to plan any office design with an eye toward ergonomics. The most frequent focus of ergonomic design are computers, computer desks and chairs. If those are poorly designed or adjusted, they can cause unnecessary fatigue, stress or injury.

We’ve recently incorporated height-adjustable desks, which allow our employees to sit or stand while working. Not only is ergonomics good for your business, you want to create a healthy environment for your people. It has been proven that standing is much healthier than sitting.” (bold fonts mine)

- Ryan Price, Vice President and Division Manager at JE Dunn Construction

Protecting our personal well-being is equally critical so that we may live long enough and be healthy enough to witness and enjoy future generations. Our work environment has become toxic – and it has nothing to do with the air we breathe. It’s become a breading place for the dreaded “sitting disease”. The more research that is done the more we realize how dreadful it truly is.

Ergonomics is the New Green

Like the awareness that we have developed over the last two decades regarding the environment around us, we’ll take seriously the need to preserve our personal well-being. Just like understanding the meaning of “green design” we will become informed and educated about the serious long term perils of sitting for long periods.

We’ll also learn that buying a sit stand desk will not solve our problem. However, the good news is that actually using a sit stand desk by changing our position from sitting to standing and back again, every 30 to 60 minutes, is a great antidote for that dreaded “sitting disease”. Now is a good time to start.


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