The average office worker could look like this in 20 years’ time, health experts warn
Health experts have warned that office workers of the future could have a permanently hunched back, varicose veins and red eyes - if changes to work environments are not made.
A study of more than 3,000 workers from the UK, Germany, and France, revealed that more than 90% of UK office workers suffering from work-related health issues have more difficulty doing their job.
The experts, commissioned by the office equipment supplier Fellowes, created a visual representation of their findings - a life-size model named "Emma".
Long hours sat at her desk mean Emma has a permanently hunched back. Sitting has also given Emma poor blood flow in her legs, causing varicose veins.
Poor diet and little exercise mean Emma is overweight, and work-related stress has given her eczema.
She has pale skin from long exposure to artificial light, and red, dry eyes from staring at a computer screen.
The study found that 50% of UK workers interviewed are already suffering from sore eyes, 49% from sore backs and 48% from headaches as a direct result of their work space.
It also indicated that vision problems (32%), weight gain (30%), and persistent headaches and migraines (26%) were the top conditions those in the UK were worried about.
Addressing the problem
William Higham, behavioural futurist and author of the report, said: "The Work Colleague Of The Future report shows that employers and workers really need to act now and address the problem of poor workplace health.
He pointed to several ‘radical’ changes that had to be made:
Moving more, and spending less time sitting. Improving people’s posture at their desks. Allowing regular walking breaks. Improving our work station set up.