Pausit was founded in 2006 by Niklas Palmér, kinesiologist and osteopath. Niklas ran a clinic and had many companies and staff groups as customers. He noticed rather quickly that many clients returned time and time again with the same problems, injuries due to the ergonomics of the workplace.
Niklas gave his clients tips and advice regarding exercises and drew simple stick figures to explain the movements. Over time, the idea grew that he should develop a better tool to help the clients and prevent these injuries, and the idea of Pausit began to take shape.
Niklas took his idea to Inkubera, a business incubator, and received help with analyzing the market and building the program. Among other things, a survey was conducted where companies described what was important to them and their employees. It was revealed that the most important thing was the ability to adapt the exercises to the individual, as well as a good reminder feature.
Pausit was constructed based on the companies’ preferences and the first version was launched in May 2008. Our first customers included Norrköping Municipality and Statistics Sweden. Both of these customers were very happy with the program and are still satisfied users of Pausit.
The interest in Pausit grew steadily in both large and small organizations, and in 2010 Mikael Wahman joined the company as a partner and collaborator, with a focus on sales and customer contact. Pausit also became popular abroad, and in response to the increase in demand, the programme was launched in an English and Norwegian version in 2012. The programme was also made available in a version for Mac users in 2015.
In early 2016, Dan Gustafsson was hired as CEO of the company with the mission to support the growing demand and continue developing Pausit for further expansion. With this in mind, 2017 got off to a flying start when we formed partnerships with two retailers, Ergoff Miljö AB for the Swedish market and another retailer for the Norwegian market.
ERGONOMICS IN THE WORKPLACE
Modern society entails that we spend much of our waking hours in a sedentary position, for example, in front of the TV, in the car and at a desk. But humans are made to be physically active, and both a lack of physical activity and especially long periods of sitting still are associated with several health risks (Healy et al., 2008a, Dunstan et al., 2012). More than half of all people of working age work in a sedentary position in front of a screen for a large part of the day, many of whom experience problems with areas such as their neck, shoulders and arms. In the long run, a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to other health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and increased sensitivity to stress.
Problems associated with the neck, shoulders and back are one of the most common reasons for sick leave in Sweden. Together with sick leave due to mental ill health, these issues account for over 60% of all registered cases of sick leave, which means high costs for companies and organizations (Försäkringskassan 2015).
The body thrives under strain, but the stress cannot be too great, unbalanced or be exerted for too long. In the case of monotonous and repetitive work such as engaging with a screen, the muscles are exposed to light but prolonged stress. Prolonged static muscle contraction reduces blood circulation and fatigues the muscle with pain and cramps as a result. A long period of work requires a long period of rest. To give the muscles natural breaks and prevent static stress, you can arrange your work so that it allows for variation in work position and mobility. Taking regular breaks also contributes to greater efficiency. Research on the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle suggests that a sedentary position should be interrupted by stretching your legs every 30 minutes (Owen 2011). It has also revealed that it is important to take many short breaks, not just sitting still for a shorter time in total (Healy et al 2008b, 2011).
- Dunstan, D. W., Howard, B., Healy, G. N., & Owen, N. (2012). Too much sitting – A health hazard. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 97(3), 368-376. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2012.05.020
- Försäkringskassan 2015. Pågående sjukfall per diagnos 2014-12-31.
- Healy, G. N., Wijndaele, K., Dunstan, D. W., Shaw, J. E., Salmon, J., Zimmet, P. Z., & Owen, N. (2008a). Objectively measured sedentary time, physical activity, and metabolic risk: The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Diabetes Care, 31(2), 369-371. doi: 10.2337/dc07-1795
- Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Salmon J, Cerin E, Shaw JE, Zimmet PZ, et al. Breaks in sedentary time: beneficial associations with metabolic risk. Diabetes Care. 2008b;31(4):661–6.
- Healy GN, Matthews CE, Dunstan DW, et al. Sedentary time and cardio-metabolic biomarkers in US adults: NHANES 2003–06. Eur Heart J. 2011;32:590-7.
- Owen N, Sugiyama T, Eakin EE, Gardiner PA, Tremblay MS, Sallis JF. Adults’ sedentary behavior determinants and interventions. Am J Prev Med. 2011;41:189-96