Standout Product Keeps Employees from Sitting Too Much
You’ve probably heard in the news lately how unhealthy sitting can be. According to WebMD, sitting for long hours has been linked to mental health problems, obesity, death from heart disease and cancer, and other conditions. Frequent standing, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce fatigue, minimize injury, and improve long-term health—all benefits for the average American employee who spends about 95% of the workday sitting down. As I write this post, I’m thinking I should get up and walk around!
The most interesting thing about all the research is that even people who exercise may not be immune to the adverse affects of sitting. WebMD declares that experts “say we may need to think about sitting and exercise as two separate behaviors, each contributing on its own to our health. So while that 1-hour jog is great for you, it may not undo the 8 hours sitting at your desk.”
Office furniture designer Humanscale has found a niche market in adjustable desks that allow employees to easily shift from sitting to standing. And now the company has added a software component to its furniture. In partnership with Tome, Inc., the company has developed a product called OfficeIQ.
The goal of the connected device, a weight-sensitive caster that can be affixed to any standard office chair, is to help employees balance standing and sitting for better health. Not only does the device alert you when you’ve been sitting too much, it aggregates data that companies can use to gauge the general health of their employees and gamify wellness programs for opt-in users.
Fox 5 New York quotes Humanscale founder and CEO Robert King as saying, “OfficeIQ … can generate cost savings and help employers see real returns on their investments in developing healthier and happier places to work.”
The partnership has been one of several recent successes for Tome, whose tagline is “Innovation for the Internet of Things”. The 2014 startup became profitable in less than a year, according to Crain’s Detroit Business Tome CEO Jake Sigal and his co-founder, company President Massimo Baldini, started Tome after selling Livio Radio (a company Sigal started with a $10,000 loan from his parents) to Ford Motor Co. for nearly $10 million in 2013.