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Dr. Lauren Gant, PhD, CPE, WELL AP

Education: University of Iowa

Dr. Lauren Gant heads the Ergonomics Group at HNI. Lauren’s background in biomedical engineering allows her to apply human factors and ergonomics principles to office furniture design. Lauren has taught university engineering and ergonomics courses and has conducted extensive ergonomics research. She is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and is an Associate Ergonomics Professional, granted by the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics.

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Q. How has movement in the workplace improved ergonomics?

A. Moving around makes people healthier and happier in their environment. For many office workers, there are few physical demands on them, and the majority of work can be done from the comfort of an office chair. This prolonged sitting isn’t good for the body, so mixing in lounge seating and standing height work surfaces is a healthier approach. We like to say that the next posture is the best posture.
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Q. Do you have tips for companies exploring a workplace wellness strategy?

A. The first step is always to make sure you’re adhering to safety compliance regulations. From there, you want to evaluate the culture from the ground up to discover opportunities for enhancing wellness. This could be as simple as removing the barriers to exercise, by allowing employees to work out on site or creating flexible schedules that allow people to work out when it’s most convenient. From a mental health standpoint, companies should have initiatives in place to support mental health. This means everything from being able to make a phone call in private to seeking professional therapy.
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