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Birth of the “Chool” (CHair Backrest on Saddle StOOL)…or, how a client helped us find a new Seating Design

Not too long ago, we were contacted by a dental hygienist interested in all of the benefits of our Björn Saddle Stool (ideal in a tight workspace, positioning her nearer to the patient in order to work with arms closer to the torso, automatically seating her in a correct posture, etc) but concerned that the lack of a back rest on our standard Björn saddle stools might aggravate her pre-existing back and shoulder injury. As an experiment, we agreed to custom fit a high-quality backrest from our Bruno Ergonomic Chair to her Björn Saddle stool and a new offering was born: The Björn Series 700 SUPREME Saddle Stool with Backrest.

In this client’s interesting hybrid product, the seat and backrest are mounted on a heavy duty mechanism with individual pneumatic or “gas spring” cylinders for independent control. The mechanism’s unique design allows her a range of movement while the backrest maintains constant contact and support of her back. With the control lever in the free-float position, the seat and backrest follow her movements. Just one lever controls all the adjustments of her stool – seat height, seat and backrest angle, and the free-float feature. She can avoid lumbar discs being strained or damaged over time from sitting in a traditional chair by sitting equestrian-style in the saddle stool, alleviating fatigue and avoiding possible injury while performing long procedures, all while enjoying the added comfort of her backrest. In a follow-up with this customer, she reported total satisfaction with her Björn Series 700 SUPREME, even going as far as saying she “could not live without it”!

We are always happy to listen to our customers and to advise them on what seating solutions we think would make the most sense for them based on their unique needs.

We invite you to call our team at any time, Toll Free at 1-888-245-1367.

“Green”/Ecological advantages of new Ultraleather® seating cover options

Like most of our clients, we at Scandex are concerned not only with quality and comfort, but also with the environment that we live in. In July, we announced our decision to make Ultraleather® “the vinyl style seating cover of choice” for our saddlestools and chairs.

For over 20 years, Ultrafabrics, LLC (the manufacturers of the Ultraleather® product) has offered environmentally conscious products concerned with the long-term impact on the environment. With the breathable, PVC free, and low VOC performance attributes of Ultrafabrics’ products, coupled with efficient manufacturing processes that are based on conservation of raw materials, toxic-free solutions, and minimal dependency on natural resources, we feel proud to offer these exceptional products to our discerning customers, and confident with their quality.

Durability is Sustainability. The less to replace, the less there is to waste!

Check out Ultrabrics, LLC’s Eco-Scorecard and LEED credits that contribute towards USGBC projects by going to the following page on their website: http://ultrafabricsllc.com/site/environment

Ultraleather® now the vinyl style seating cover of choice for Scandex

Scandex is announcing our decision to make Ultraleather® by Ultrafabrics, LLC the standard vinyl style material for our Bjorn Saddle Stools and Bruno Ergonomic Office Chairs. We have offered this product option for the past few years, but have now decided to make it the standard vinyl style seat covering because of it superior durability, exceptional comfort, and Ultrafabrics, LLC’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

 

Our clients in the dental, medical and veterinary professions find that Ultraleather™ is an excellent choice for ease of care, cleaning and disinfecting.

 

To learn more about Ultraleather™ you can visit the following page on the Ultrafabrics, LLC website: http://ultrafabricsllc.com/site/subCollection/1

 

We of course still recommend our leather and fabric upholstery for the positive qualities that they have to offer.

 

For any questions that you might have about the benefits of this upholstery choice or its suitability for your use, please contact us at info@scandex.us or give us a call at 888-245-1367.

Sitting smart – and “Standing up for yourself” as well!

The article below appeared in the Boston Globe this week. While our neighbor, Mr. Carlo Rotello (director of American studies at Boston College here in Newton, MA), correctly points out that it is good to take breaks from sitting as well as to try to do more activities while standing, there is also a happy “middle ground” option – might we suggest the Bjorn Saddle Stool? Sitting on the Björn Ergonomic Saddle Stool with your legs at approximately a 45-degree angle automatically positions the body in a posture-perfect manner (holding the spine in its natural S-curve), even without a back support. It is ideal for many home, office, dental/medical and other uses and has many size, color and arm support options. Read more about the health benefits of the Bjorn here.

See Mr. Rotella’s article, below:

Standing up for yourself
By Carlo Rotella
May 11, 2011 – The Boston Globe

“So all we could do was to Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit. And we did not like it. Not one little bit.’’ — Dr. Seuss, “The Cat in the Hat’’

I’M WRITING this column while standing, which may seem like a trivial change from the norm, but it makes a world of difference.

Once you become aware of just how much you sit, just how completely the design of our environment enforces the expectation that you will sit, it’s hard not to see our culture as a chair manufacturers’ conspiracy. In school, at the office, in cars, when we eat or use computers or watch TV, we sit, sit, sit, sit.

Sometimes you have no choice. You can’t do anything else in a car; if you get up and walk around at the wrong time in school, you’ll end up in the principal’s office; and if you do it on an airplane you’ll get sent to Homeland Security’s equivalent. But even when we do have a choice, we usually do what’s expected of us and take a seat. When was the last time you stood up to watch TV alone at home?

I don’t commute by car, and I’m a little weird in choosing to stand on the T, in airports, and in waiting rooms (which leads to receptionists asking repeatedly if they can help me), but, still, like a lot of people who work in an office or at home, on a typical work day I nail myself to a desk chair first thing in the morning, move to a different chair for lunch, then nail myself to the desk chair again for the rest of the day. I may take a break for a run at some point, and I leave the chair for a few hours in the evening to hang out with my kids, but I return to it for one more extended session before bed.

I know there are studies that show exactly how bad so much sitting is for me — and that they show that even regular strenuous exercise won’t cancel the effects of too much sitting, and that the consequences extend deep into debates about health care costs and obesity. But I don’t really need the scientific support to be persuaded that all this sitting is killing me. It feels as if my spine’s going soft and toxins are pooling in the middle of my body and gradually poisoning me.

Self-defense is in order. Steps at the margins are relatively easy to take. I started walking the kids to school instead of putting them on the bus, and I walk to and from work if I have time. I look for excuses to get up during the day — for instance, instead of Googling the quotation from Dr. Seuss that serves as my epigraph, I went upstairs and found the book. And I just found out about the fad for “walking meetings,’’ which strikes me as a great idea, especially if it leads to fewer and shorter meetings.

But that still leaves the bulk of the day, which I spend writing or reading on a laptop. The remedy is to either lie down or stand for significant periods. Lying down has at least one major drawback: unplanned napping. So that leaves a standing work station as the obvious option. I just started using one a couple of days ago, alternating between it and a regular desk as I get used to the increase in standing time.

Despite the ache in my feet (temporary, I hope), it feels so good not to sit while I work that I fear I’m about to turn into the worst kind of zealot convert. I realize that the mediascape is awash in preachment from such types, and I don’t want to be yet another columnist telling everybody how to be as healthy and ergonomically well-adjusted as the columnist is. So let’s leave it at this: I was dying a slow death from sitting, and standing up is making me feel a lot better.

Carlo Rotella is director of American studies at Boston College. His column appears regularly in the Globe.

Is Your Office Chair Killing You?

We found this excellent article in Men’s Health Magazine and wanted to share it with you. We’re certainly not trying to say that you shouldn’t sit…(we would never sell our ergonomic office chairs or saddle stools then, would we!). But if you have to sit a lot in your line of work, you owe it to yourself to have the best seating available that can be customized to your physical needs and aesthetic choices! We can help you with that…but read on, for now…

Is Your Office Chair Killing You?
Regardless of how often or how hard you work out, there’s still a good chance that you’re sitting your life away
By Maria Masters, Posted Date: October 27, 2010

Do you lead an active lifestyle or a sedentary one? The question is simple, but the answer may not be as obvious as you think. Let’s say, for example, you’re a busy guy who works 60 hours a week at a desk job but who still manages to find time for five 45-minute bouts of exercise. Most experts would label you as active. But Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., has another name for you: couch potato.

Perhaps “exercising couch potato” would be more accurate, but Hamilton, a physiologist and professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, would still classify you as sedentary. “People tend to view physical activity on a single continuum,” he says. “On the far side, you have a person who exercises a lot; on the other, a person who doesn’t exercise at all. However, they’re not necessarily polar opposites.”

Hamilton’s take, which is supported by a growing body of research, is that the amount of time you exercise and the amount of time you spend on your butt are completely separate factors for heart-disease risk. New evidence suggests, in fact, that the more hours a day you sit, the greater your likelihood of dying an earlier death regardless of how much you exercise or how lean you are. That’s right: Even a sculpted six-pack can’t protect you from your chair.

But it’s not just your heart that’s at risk from too much sitting; your hips, spine, and shoulders could also suffer. In fact, it’s not a leap to say that a chair-potato lifestyle can ruin you from head to toe.

Statistically speaking, we’re working out as much as we were 30 years ago. It’s just that we’re leading more sedentary lives overall. A 2006 University of Minnesota study found that from 1980 to 2000, the percentage of people who reported exercising regularly remained the same—but the amount of time people spent sitting rose by 8 percent.

Now consider how much we sit today compared with, say, 160 years ago. In a clever study, Dutch researchers created a sort of historical theme park and recruited actors to play 1850s Australian settlers for a week. The men did everything from chop wood to forage for food, and the scientists compared their activity levels with those of modern office workers. The result: The actors did the equivalent of walking 3 to 8 miles more a day than the deskbound men. That kind of activity is perhaps even more needed in today’s fast-food nation than it was in the 1800s, but not just because it boosts calorie burn.

A 2010 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that when healthy men limited their number of footsteps by 85 percent for 2 weeks, they experienced a 17 percent decrease in insulin sensitivity, raising their diabetes risk. “We’ve done a lot to keep people alive longer, but that doesn’t mean we’re healthier,” says Hamilton.

Today’s death rate is about 43 percent lower than it was in 1960, but back then, less than 1 percent of Americans had diabetes and only 13 percent were obese. Compare that with now, when 6 percent are diagnosed with diabetes and 35 percent are obese.

Make no mistake: “Regularly exercising is not the same as being active,” says Peter Katzmarzyk, Ph.D., Hamilton’s colleague at Pennington, the nation’s leading obesity research center. Katzmarzyk is referring to the difference between official exercise activity, such as running, biking, or lifting weights, and so-called nonexercise activity, like walking to your car, mowing the lawn, or simply standing. “A person may hit the gym every day, but if he’s sitting a good deal of the rest of the time, he’s probably not leading an overall active life,” says Katzmarzyk.

You might dismiss this as scientific semantics, but energy expenditure statistics support Katzmarzyk’s notion. In a 2007 report, University of Missouri scientists said that people with the highest levels of nonexercise activity (but little to no actual “exercise”) burned significantly more calories a week than those who ran 35 miles a week but accumulated only a moderate amount of nonexercise activity. “It can be as simple as standing more,” Katzmarzyk says.

For instance, a “standing” worker—say, a sales clerk at a Banana Republic store—burns about 1,500 calories while on the job; a person behind a desk might expend roughly 1,000 calories. That goes a long way in explaining why people gain 16 pounds, on average, within 8 months of starting sedentary office work, according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

But calories aren’t the only problem. In 2009, Katzmarzyk studied the lifestyle habits of more than 17,000 men and women and found that the people who sat for almost the entire day were 54 percent more likely to end up clutching their chests than those who sat for almost none of the time. That’s no surprise, of course, except that it didn’t matter how much the sitters weighed or how often they exercised. “The evidence that sitting is associated with heart disease is very strong,” says Katzmarzyk. “We see it in people who smoke and people who don’t. We see it in people who are regular exercisers and those who aren’t. Sitting is an independent risk factor.”

This isn’t actually a new discovery. In a British study published in 1953, scientists examined two groups of workers: bus drivers and trolley conductors. At first glance, the two occupations appeared to be pretty similar. But while the bus drivers were more likely to sit down for their entire day, the trolley conductors were running up and down the stairs and aisles of the double-decker trolleys. As it turned out, the bus drivers were nearly twice as likely to die of heart disease as the conductors were.

A more recent interpretation of that study, published in 2004, found that none of the participants ever exercised. But the two groups did sit for different amounts of time. The analysis revealed that even after the scientists accounted for differences in waist size—an indicator of belly fat—the bus drivers were still more likely to die before the conductors did. So the bus drivers were at higher risk not simply because their sedentary jobs made them resemble Ralph Kramden, but also because all that sitting truly was making them unhealthy.

Hamilton came to call this area of science “inactivity physiology” while he was conducting studies to determine how exercise affects an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Found in humans as well as mice, LPL’s main responsibility is to break down fat in the bloodstream to use as energy. If a mouse (or a man) doesn’t have this enzyme, or if the enzyme doesn’t work in their leg muscles, the fat is stored instead of burned as fuel.

Hamilton discovered that when the rodents were forced to lie down for most of their waking hours, LPL activity in their leg muscles plummeted. But when they simply stood around most of the time, the gene was 10 times more active. That’s when he added an exercise session to the lab-rat routine and found that exercise had no effect on LPL. He believes the finding also applies to people.

“Humans sit too much, so you have to treat the problem specifically,” says Hamilton. “The cure for too much sitting isn’t more exercise. Exercise is good, of course, but the average person could never do enough to counteract the effect of hours and hours of chair time.

“We know there’s a gene in the body that causes heart disease, but it doesn’t respond to exercise no matter how often or how hard you work out,” he says. “And yet the activity of the gene becomes worse from sitting—or rather, the complete and utter lack of contractile activity in your muscles. So the more nonexercise activity you do, the more total time you spend on your feet and out of your chair. That’s the real cure.”

“Your body adapts to what you do most often,” says Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S., a Men’s Health advisor and physical therapist in Indianapolis, Indiana. “So if you sit in a chair all day, you’ll essentially become better adapted to sitting in a chair.” The trouble is, that makes you less adept at standing, walking, running, and jumping, all of which a truly healthy human should be able to do with proficiency. “Older folks have a harder time moving around than younger people do,” says Hartman. “That’s not simply because of age; it’s because what you do consistently from day to day manifests itself over time, for both good and bad.”

Do you sit all day at a desk? You’re courting muscle stiffness, poor balance and mobility, and lower-back, neck, and hip pain. But to understand why, you’ll need a quick primer on fascia, a tough connective tissue that covers all your muscles. While fascia is pliable, it tends to “set” in the position your muscles are in most often. So if you sit most of the time, your fascia adapts to that specific position.

Now think about where your hips and thighs are in relation to your torso while you’re sitting. They’re bent, which causes the muscles on the front of your thighs, known as hip flexors, to contract slightly, or shorten. The more you sit, the more the fascia will keep your hip flexors shortened. “If you’ve ever seen a guy walk with a forward lean, it’s often because of shortened hip flexors,” says Hartman. “The muscles don’t stretch as they naturally should. As a result, he’s not walking tall and straight because his fascia has adapted more to sitting than standing.”

This same effect can be seen in other areas of your body. For instance, if you spend a lot of time with your shoulders and upper back slumped over a keyboard, this eventually becomes your normal posture. “That’s not just an issue in terms of how you look; it frequently leads to chronic neck and shoulder pain,” says Hartman. Also, people who frequently cross their legs a certain way can experience hip imbalances. “This makes your entire lower body less stable, which decreases your agility and athletic performance and increases your risk for injuries,” Hartman says. Add all this up, and a person who sits a lot is less efficient not only at exercising, but also at simply moving from, say, the couch to the refrigerator.

There’s yet another problem with all that sitting. “If you spend too much time in a chair, your glute muscles will actually ‘forget’ how to fire,” says Hartman. This phenomenon is aptly nicknamed “gluteal amnesia.” A basic-anatomy reminder: Your glutes, or butt muscles, are your body’s largest muscle group. So if they aren’t functioning properly, you won’t be able to squat or deadlift as much weight, and you won’t burn as much fat. After all, muscles burn calories. And that makes your glutes a powerful furnace for fat—a furnace that’s probably been switched off if you spend most of the day on your duff.

It gets worse. Weak glutes as well as tight hip flexors cause your pelvis to tilt forward. This puts stress on your lumbar spine, resulting in lower-back pain. It also pushes your belly out, which gives you a protruding gut even if you don’t have an ounce of fat. “The changes to your muscles and posture from sitting are so small that you won’t notice them at first. But as you reach your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond, they’ll gradually become worse,” says Hartman, “and a lot harder to fix.”

So what’s a desk jockey to do? Hamilton’s advice: Think in terms of two spectrums of activity. One represents the activities you do that are considered regular exercise. But another denotes the amount of time you spend sitting versus the time you spend on your feet. “Then every day, make the small choices that will help move you in the right direction on that sitting-versus-standing spectrum,” says Hamilton. “Stand while you’re talking on the phone. It all adds up, and it all matters.”

Of course, there’s a problem with all of this: It kills all our lame excuses for not exercising (no time for the gym, fungus on the shower-room floor, a rerun of The Office you haven’t seen). Now we have to redefine “workout” to include every waking moment of our days. But there’s a big payoff: more of those days to enjoy in the future. So get up off your chair and start nonexercising.

Scandex Announces New Veterinary Division

Scandex is the top of the mind choice for veterinarians the world over. Vet practitioners who require superb back/lumbar support to help minimize lower back problems and reduce the potential for musculoskeletal disorders turn to Scandex. Veterinary professionals will be “sitting pretty” in Scandex Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools, which are designed for correct seating so the lumbar area is supported and the spine maintains the proper “S” position.

The most popular office staff seating is the Bruno Ergonomic Office Chair Series 300. The Björn Ergonomic Saddle Stool Series 400/600 helps to alleviate fatigue from standing for long periods at the examining/treatment table, thanks to positioning a veterinarian or technician closer to an animal which reduces overall strain on the back, shoulders and neck muscles. This type of upright, seated support is particularly helpful during surgical procedures.

The Björn Ergonomic Saddle Stool may be adjusted to proper height and tilt. Sitting on the Björn Swedish Ergonomic Saddle Stool with the angle between the torso and the legs (thigh portion) at 135 degrees (a 45-degree angle to the floor) automatically positions the body in a posture-perfect manner, even without a back support.

“Prolonged static, awkward positions are the most critical risk factor for causing debilitating back, shoulder and neck pain,” explained Sven Emilsson, Director of Sales at Scandex.

He continued, “Veterinarians and their staff understand this very well and the demand for our Swedish ergonomic seating has increased significantly so much so that we have developed a new division to cater to their specific needs.”

Veterinarians Can “Build” their own Ergonomic Chair

Scandex recently launched the second generation of their website, www.scandex.us which provides veterinary practitioners with a Selection Guide that provides guidelines for utilization of Scandex’s Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools in various settings. Scandex sales representatives are happy to help to “build a chair or stool to preference. Veterinarians may also take advantage of Scandex’ special “Rent-A-Chair” option.

To speak with a Veterinary Division sales representative contact 1-888-245-1367 or visit www.scandex.us.

Scandex – A Uniquely Different Way of Sitting

Scandex, LLC is one of the nation’s largest providers of Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools. Renowned for their Bruno Swedish Ergonomic Office Chair and Björn Swedish Ergonomic Saddle Stool, the company provides equestrian style seating that is designed to eliminate positions of poor posture. For more than a decade, Scandex has been improving the seated posture of dentists, assistants, hygienists, doctors, podiatrists, veterinary professionals, business professionals, seniors and others.

Scandex is headquartered in Newton, MA. For more information, contact 1-888-245-1367 or visit their website at www.scandex.us.

Scandex Announces New Generation of Ergonomic Seating Specifically for Men

Designed to help minimize lower back problems and reduce the potential for musculoskeletal disorders, Scandex Series 600 Björn Swedish Ergonomic Saddle Stool has been adapted specifically for the male user to remove pressure on the prostate.

There many health benefits that result from sitting and working with the proper posture, and essentially holding the spine in its natural S-curve. Sitting on the Björn Swedish Ergonomic Saddle Stool with the angle between the torso and the legs (thigh portion) at 135 degrees (a 45-degree angle to the floor) automatically positions the body in a posture-perfect manner, even without a back support. The benefits for men of using the Series 600 Björn Swedish Ergonomic Saddle Stool over a regular chair or stool include:

  • Reduced tension and pain in the back, neck and shoulders,due to sitting with the spine in its natural neutral S-curve.
  • Better circulation to legs and feet
  • No pressure on the prostate
  • Improvement in respiration as the seated posture on a Björn Swedish Ergonomic Saddle Stool allows for deeper, easier breathing.

“Good posture relieves tension in the back, shoulders, neck – really the whole body overall – which in turn aids breathing, digestion and circulation,” explained Sven Emilsson, Director of Sales at Scandex.  He continued, “In the way that men’s and women’s bicycle seats differ, the new version of our equestrian style saddle stool is designed with men’s comfort and health in mind.”

“Build Your Own Chair” at Scandex

Scandex recently launched the second generation of their website, www.scandex.us which provides a comprehensive Selection Guide with guidelines for utilization of Scandex’s Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools in various settings. Individual sections on the website for types of arm supports, upholstery, cleaning and care allow consumers to “build” their own chair to preference.

Scandex – A Uniquely Different Way of Sitting

Scandex, LLC is one of the nation’s largest providers of Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools. Renowned for their Bruno Swedish Ergonomic Office Chair and Björn Swedish Ergonomic Saddle Stool, the company provides equestrian style seating that is designed to eliminate positions of poor posture. For more than a decade, Scandex has been improving the seated posture of dentists, assistants, hygienists, doctors, podiatrists, veterinary professionals, business professionals, seniors and others.

Scandex is headquartered in Newton, MA. For more information, contact 1-888-245-1367 or visit their website at www.scandex.us.

Scandex Announces New Podiatry Division

Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools in the U.S. and Canada, has recently launched a new Podiatry Division to cater to the unique seating requirements of podiatrists and their office staff.

Scandex is the top of the mind choice for podiatrists the world over, Podiatrists who require a chair (for themselves as well as their staff) with superb back/lumbar support to help minimize lower back problems and reduce the potential for musculoskeletal disorders turn to Scandex.

Scandex Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools are designed for proper seating so the lumbar area is supported and the spine maintains the proper “S” position. The most popular seating for podiatrists are the Bruno Ergonomic Office Chair, Series 300 and the Björn Ergonomic Saddle Stool, Series 400/600. Both automatically seat a podiatrist in a correct posture. The Bjorn Saddle Stool also positions a podiatrist nearer to the patient which reduces overall strain on the back, shoulders and neck muscles. The Björn Ergonomic Saddle Stool, Series 400/600 is recommended if space is tight. Arm supports are available options of each of these models.

“A poor body position is largely responsible for the ill effects of prolonged sitting. Poor body positions can also originate from job design that requires employees to sit uninterrupted for longer than one hour. The duration of sitting, along with the shape of the body in a sitting position is the most critical risk factor,” explained Sven Emilsson, Director of Sales at Scandex.

He continued, “Podiatrists understand this very well and the demand for our Swedish ergonomic seating has increased significantly so much so that we have developed a new division to cater to their specific needs.”

Podiatrists Can “Build” their own Ergonomic Chair

Scandex recently launched the second generation of their website, www.scandex.us, which provides podiatrists and their office staff with a Selection Guide that provides guidelines for utilization of Scandex Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools in various settings. Individual sections on the website for types of arm supports, upholstery, cleaning and care allow podiatrist to “build” their own chair to preference. Podiatrists may also take advantage of Scandex special “Rent-A-Chair” option.

To speak with a Podiatry Division sales representative contact 1-888-245-1367.

Scandex – A Uniquely Different Way of Sitting

Scandex, LLC is one of the nation’s largest providers of Swedish ergonomic chairs and stools. Renowned for their Bruno Swedish Ergonomic Office Chair and Björn Swedish Ergonomic Saddle Stool, the company provides equestrian style seating that is designed to eliminate positions of poor posture. For more than a decade, Scandex has been improving the seated posture of dentists, assistants, hygienists, doctors, podiatrists, veterinary professionals, business professionals, seniors and others.

Scandex is headquartered in Newton, MA. For more information, contact 1-888-245-1367 or visit their website at www.scandex.us.