Who knew? Working in an office for eight hours every day isn’t any good for us. In fact, all that air conditioning, laptop stooping and overhead strip lighting is actually destroying our bodies.
Meet ‘Emma’ – pictured above. The waxwork figure might look like someone destined to live in Madame Tussauds, but she’s actually been created to illustrate how the set up of your workstation is causing you lasting damage.
Emma is the practical result of a new report – titled ‘The Work Colleague Of The Future’ – based on the health implications we may get from a whole day spent at a desk.
Showing us the long-term impact on our bodies, the model has been designed with a permanently hunched back from sitting at a desk, varicose veins from poor blood flow, and red eyes from long hours looking at a laptop. Quite a look.
The researchers say 90% of office workers will suffer from these issues and have difficulty doing their job if changes to work environments are not made.
Emma was based on a study of 3,003 participants from France, Germany and the UK – 50% of workers interviewed already suffered from sore eyes, 49% from sore backs and 48% from headaches.
The study also found that vision problems, weight gain, and persistent headaches and migraines were the top health conditions office workers in the UK were worried about.
As a result of these findings, the researchers developed the waxwork figure – as you can see below Emma has a permanently bent back, a rotund stomach, varicose veins, swollen ankles, sore skin, and dry, itchy eyes. We’re not quite sure why she’s a woman, mind you – what would her colleague Eric look like?
Author of the report, William Higham, said: “The report shows that employers and workers really need to act now and address the problem of poor workplace health.
“Unless we make radical changes to our working lives, such as moving more, addressing our posture at our desks, taking regular walking breaks or considering improving our work station set up, our offices are going to make us very sick.”
Better start using that standing desk, if you have one.