The health of UK office workers could be suffering as a result of their job, according to a survey by Printerland.co.uk, three quarters believe they have physical issues because of work.
The list of work-related ailments is a long one, with 43% regularly complaining of eye strain and 32% suffering with severe headaches, leading to a quarter of office staff visiting their optician in the past year. It also revealed that 39% of employees in the UK have to battle through back pain while in work, and 31% experience neck strain on a regular basis.
With the average person working 34.5 hours a week, and the maximum number of screen breaks being regularly taken coming in at just three a day, it’s no wonder Brits are experiencing so many work-related grievances. The survey shows that being sat at a desk all day is harmful, as one in six (17%) Brits admit they suffer with Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). However, it could be down to the fact that 70% of staff admit that they don’t have their work stations set up correctly.
Almost a third (29%) stated that they don’t have their screen at eye level, which could be the cause of both eye and neck strain, and 38% don’t have their keyboard level with their arms, possibly explaining the RSI due to over or under reaching for their keyboard throughout the day.
The shocking thing is that despite the injuries from being at a desk all day, Brits are more sedentary than ever, with just 36% stating that they try to get out of their office chair to get steps in. AXA healthcare recently published research which shows that the average UK worker is sat down for nine hours every day.
It seems that it’s not just muscular injuries that affect office workers. We know that small spaces are a hotbed for germs, and 10% of Brits state that colds and flu bugs get passed around their offices at least every three weeks.
Despite the possibility of infecting their co-workers, just 22% of staff said they would take a sick day if they had a contagious illness. The average UK worker is reported to have two sick days every year, with a third taking none at all.
Office cakes and treats are also playing havoc on our health. With all the Friday treats and birthday celebrations, 45% of working Brits admitted they’ve gained weight since working in an office, with 30% piling on more than a stone.
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