HR Sit Stand Desk Reimbursements

Recommendations: That sit/stand workstations and other ergonomic initiatives (non-standard ergonomic office chairs, other ad-hoc ergonomic considerations) be funded through one of the following options:
1) Fully funded by the employee’s department, only with medical recommendation from a physician or other health professional.
Process:

  • The employee connects with Employee Wellness and provides appropriate documentation from Physician or other Health Professional.
  • Employee Wellness schedules an ergonomic assessment.
  • The employee completes a trial period for use of sit/stand workstation arranged by Employee Wellness, on first come, first serve basis.
  • If appropriate, Employee Wellness advises the Department Supervisor of the necessity of the purchase.
  • The department purchases the equipment and arranges for installation, with the assistance of Employee Wellness.
  • Should the employee subsequently leave, the equipment remains as a University asset.

2) Fully funded from the employee’s Professional Supplement.
Process:

  • The employee connects with Employee Wellness.
  • Employee Wellness schedules an ergonomic assessment.
  • If appropriate, Employee Wellness arranges for a trial period of a sit/stand workstation, on first-come, first-serve basis.
  • If appropriate, Employee Wellness recommends purchase.
  • The employee purchases the equipment through Materials Management and expenses receipts through Professional Supplement. The Professional Supplement policy applies: Professional Supplement.
  • The department arranges for installation, with the assistance of Employee Wellness.
  • Should the employee subsequently leave, the equipment remains as a University asset.

3) Partially funded through WCB surplus distribution funds (50%), AND
a) Partially funded by professional supplement (50%), OR
b) Partially funded by the employee (50%) - typically applies to AUPE as no professional supplement available. Note: efforts are being made to allow this portion of the expense to be funded by the individual’s wellness spending account.
Process:

  • The employee connects with Employee Wellness.
  • Employee Wellness schedules an ergonomic assessment.
  • If appropriate, Employee Wellness arranges for a trial period of a sit/stand workstation, on first-come, first-serve basis.
  • If appropriate, Employee Wellness recommends purchase.
  • The employee purchases the equipment through Materials Management and expenses receipts through Employee Wellness for the WCB portion.
  • The department arranges for installation, with the assistance of Employee Wellness.
  • Should the employee subsequently leave, the employee may take the equipment with them or the equipment will remain as a University asset.

Criteria/Considerations in the Ergonomic Assessment:
-Individual’s desk and area are assessed to ensure a sit/stand station is suitable. If sit/stand station is not appropriate for work space, other solutions may be explored.
-Employee spends between 4 – 8 hours per day sitting at their desk.
- Trial period of 4 weeks has occurred and individual declares that the sit/stand station works well for them.
- The capacities of the individual compared with the physical demands of the job.
- The work tasks the individual performs (if someone is rarely in an office but sits in meetings all day).
- Current furniture layout – standing at a computer station may not be conducive in an open work environment, where the person will tower over the employee beside them and have access to confidential information.
- Individual’s medical health.

Appendix:
Research is showing that sitting for long periods of time can be hazardous to our health. The use of sit/stand stations and other ergonomic equipment may prevent more serious injury later.
More and more employees are expressing interest in sit/stand workstations. Wellness & Recognition has discussed standardization of these for all employees with Facilities for future planning. At this time, it would be cost prohibitive and not necessary or practical for all employees to have a sit/stand workstation; however, the use of WCB surplus funds appears to be a good interim solution for those who would like to become more ‘active’ at work and do not have access to Professional Supplement.

Types of sit/stand stations: There are two main types of sit/stand workstations that are being utilized at the University of Lethbridge:
1) Ergotron Desk Mounts and Desktop Workstations Ergotron (and occasionally a full desk or table) supplied by Staples, AND
2) Varidesks http://www.fitter1.com/, supplied by Fitterfirst.

Feb 2016 Cost:

Approximately $600.00. Desk mounts or a desktop cost approximately the same, depending on size and whether or not special attachments are needed (due to computer requirements).

Other Considerations/Equipment:
1) Facilities delivery and installation – (the desk mount station requires more time and effort as these are actually attached to the person’s desk.) Estimated time frames per instalment have been requested through Facilities.
2) Possible IT involvement for installation of cords, monitors and mouse. Estimated IT cost in time and equipment are being requested through IT.

References:
1. Anderson, Shona (2015) Sit/Stand Desks: The Answer to “Sitting Disease”? http://www.anderson-ergo.ca/blog/?p=87
2. http://www.uleth.ca/unews/article/copeland-always-move-good-reason#.VnCX...