Community Stories

New Workstations Promote Employee Health

Family Achievement Center (FAC) in Woodbury is a pediatric clinic offering physical, occupation, and speech therapy services to eastern metro residents. Like so many other businesses, FAC’s daily operations changed drastically when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As their services went from in-person to virtual, therapists changed how they used their office space to promote social distancing while offering telehealth services to clients.

A therapist uses children's equipment to offer teletherapy services.
Therapists made teletherapy work by using equipment and furniture sized for children.

Because their clinic caters primarily to children, FAC’s equipment and furniture is sized for that age group. As FAC quickly switched to a telehealth model, they found that there were not enough adult-sized tables and chairs for all FAC staff. The therapists made it work by using pediatric-sized tables and chairs, using buckets and totes as tables, or simply sitting on the floor to do their documentation and telehealth therapy sessions. 

However, as experts in body mechanics, FAC staff knew that their current set up did not promote correct posture and allow staff to “practice what they preach” to clients. Katy Gavin, physical therapy manager, learned of the Living Healthy Washington County partner project funding through the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce. The opportunity seemed exactly what FAC was looking for — sit/stand workstations that would allow for employees to have proper ergonomics while completing work tasks such as documentation and treating clients through telehealth. 

With the funding, FAC purchased 12 mobile standing desks, a standing desk riser that allows for ergonomically correct positioning in both sitting and standing positions, and an ergonomic laptop mount stand that allows for proper posture while using a laptop computer. FAC selected furniture and equipment that would meet their staff needs when providing telehealth services and when providing services in-person at the clinic. The desks and equipment were selected as they were big enough to allow for proper posture, but small enough to fit in the rooms where they treat clients. Additionally, the equipment was portable as some clients need the room to be completely cleared out during therapy for their safety and the safety of the therapist. 

When asked about the impact of this grant, Dr. Gavin shared, “Standing desks and risers allowed for more ergonomic positions during a time when staff was required to be on computers more. They are continuing to be used ongoing for improved ergonomics throughout the day while staff is completing work duties. We are glad we participated in this grant opportunity because we were able to prioritize the health of our FAC team during the pandemic when they have been focused on helping others.”