BRAND FOCUS: ERGODRIVEN
Remember when we started to realize sitting for eight hours hunched over a desk was actually hurting us? I remember because suddenly the option to have a blow up ball in place of a desk chair as an adult became a viable possibility in my future inside my young brain. I may or may not still think about this.
With the rise in standing desk it’s become easier to accommodate the workplace to our physical needs. But it’s not as simple as just switching to a standing desk and counting yourself safe, is it? Standing gets uncomfortable after a while too! Now think about all the other tasks you do standing: laundry, dishes, cooking, painting. Movement, or lack thereof, is an important facet of physical health throughout our days regardless of if we find ourselves at a desk.
That physical discomfort isn’t sustainable.
Ergodriven, a leading brand in workplace wellness, offers an incredible easy and accessible solution. They’ve designed standing mats to mimic the varying topography of nature and prevent the discomfort and damage from standing on flat ground.
After our last WITMA LA event in April, I interviewed the founders to get a better idea on how to their standing mats, why standing right is important for us, and how to stay healthy at work.
Let’s talk about standing vs sitting! What are some of the biggest benefits to standing for those with desk work and why should they start investing in it now?
Sedentary lifestyles are slowly killing you:
Sitting increases all-cause mortality (death)
Sitting may be as big a risk factor for heart disease as smoking
Sitting causes muscular atrophy
Sitting decreases bone density
Sitting reduces circulation
Sitting reduces metabolic flexibility
Standing is better because it allows increased movement!
But, standing is only helpful when done right! You know that sitting is bad - it causes lower metabolism, blood pooling, and increased all-cause mortality. But if you use a standing desk regularly, you know that long sessions on flat ground get uncomfortable. Makes sense - do you think humans are designed to stand still on flat ground all day? Of course not. We've all felt it. And the science confirms the issue with flat: Blood pooling in calves causes swelling, poor circulation, and increased risk of deep vein thrombosis.[1,2] Movement is the body's antidote. Specifically engaging the anti-gravity skeletal muscle pump. But conventional flat anti-fatigue mats do not generate enough movement to address this. Topo beats flat - the calculated terrain drives you to move more and stand healthier.[6,7]
Tell us a bit about how Ergodriven came to be, what sparked the idea to create this product around better ergonomics?
Topo was born miles from any office, on a late-summer camping trip in beautiful Los Padres National Forest. Long days of hiking, swimming holes, and cliff-jumping created a few blisters and an important realization: nature isn't flat. Shocking, I know. But feeling our joints articulate and stabilizing muscles activate as we traversed varied terrain really hammered home just how not flat nature is - and how we as humans are designed to experience that.
When we teamed up with specialists well-versed in biomechanics and dug into the research, it was clear that "flat" is just too little stimulation for healthy living. So we decided to start our journey of making things less flat with the spaces most of us occupy most of the time - the ground right in front of our desks.
During a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, over 1,000 fantastic backers pre-ordered to make Topo a reality in less than a month. Now we're producing units as fast as we can to catch up to the growing demand for Topo.
Who would you say would benefit most from Ergodriven mats? Do you recommend them for at home use as well?
Topo is made specifically for standing desks. Topo is fantastic for anyone who works at a desk or who works in a standing position for hours at a time (think artists, chefs, etc) Topo is also awesome for meal prepping, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc!
How can your customers get the most out of their standing mats during the work day?
Topo creates subconscious movement. You won’t have to think when you get on Topo - just stand and your feet will do the work. We also have a start up guide that will help you start out if you need some guidance.
Do you have any plans for the future for new products or collaborations? What can we look forward to in the future of Ergodriven?
Yes, we have an exciting new product in the works that will launch in the near future. But for now, we can’t share any more than that!
What advice would you give to readers to help improve productivity, energy, and health while at work?
Remember to MOVE EARLY and MOVE OFTEN. Movement has shown to improve in response accuracy, decision making, and better academic performance.
Given your experience developing a cutting edge product, do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
Start soon with tight iterative loops. Get the simplest test of your idea (normally a cheap prototype) in front of potential customers right away, and use their feedback to refine. Then do it over and over again until you have a great product.