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Standing Up for Wellness and Workplace Efficiency

Meet Emma Our Work Colleague of the Future

Say hello to Emma, a life-sized representation of how we could look in 20 years’ time if we continue working with poor posture and inadequately set-up workstations.

In 2019, we worked with a Behavioural Futurist and a panel of experts to create a report on how our health could be affected in the future based on our current working habits. From the findings of the report and the accompanying survey* we commissioned, Emma was built to shine a light on how the human body could change, physically and visually, if we don’t begin to take ergonomics seriously and change the way we work.

Like many of us, Emma has been forced to work from home for several months due to the pandemic. This prompted Fellowes to commission another study to understand the impact that enforced home working has had on employees’ health and wellbeing…plus encourage businesses and employees to take action and seek solutions.

Get to know Emma in 2 minutes

The 2019 survey revealed that in UK...

The Home

Standing Up for Wellness and Workplace Efficiency

The Office

Standing Up for Wellness and Workplace Efficiency

• We spend around 6 hours a day sat at our desks

• Nine in ten British office workers are suffering from poor health due to their work environment, and as a result, find their job more difficult

• Office workers are already suffering from strained eyes (50%), sore backs (49%) and headaches (48%) as a direct result of their workspace

• Seven in ten workers are resorting to medication to manage these issues

• Bosses are not doing enough to prevent workplace health issues – more than 25% employees have asked for their workstations to be improved and are still waiting for a resolution

About the Report

We’ve worked with Behavioural Futurist, William Higham, and an expert panel in ergonomics, occupational health and wellbeing at work to write a report looking at how the human body will change physically and visually if steps are not taken to address the way we interact with our workstation, improve our posture and simply move more!

Download the report

Our new 2021 Survey

Recently, Fellowes commissioned another study to understand the impact of enforced home working on employees’ health and wellbeing. This revealed additional detrimental impacts. Find out more.

Like many of us, Emma has also been forced to work from home…

Emma's Ailments

Based on the 2019 report, we commissioned the build of a life-size model called “Emma”. Emma illustrates how inadequate workstation set ups can lead to office workers physically and visually changing, as a result of a poor workstation set up whether at home or in the office. Her ailments are increasingly relevant to those currently working from home. In fact, some of these issues may even have been accelerated.

Emma has:

Back problems

Poor posture, unsuitable seating or an incorrect screen position can cause back pain and neck strain.

Varicose veins

From poor blood flow caused by sitting for long periods.

A rotund stomach

The result of sedentary working.

Eye problems

Spending hours staring at a screen often leads to irritable sore eyes and a deterioration of sight.


A common complaint of added work pressures, working longer hours and poor workstation set-ups.

Swollen wrists and ankles

From repetitive movement.

Sallow skin

From over exposure to artificial light.


Typically associated with stress.

Red forearms and
upper legs

Due to regular contact with laptop heat.

Hairs on her ears and nose and swollen sinuses

Because of poor air quality.

Product Solutions

Whether you work from home or in the office, avoid looking like Emma. Introduce movement and ergonomic accessories to transform your workstation for improved health, productivity and enhanced efficiency.

Standing Up for Wellness and Workplace Efficiency
Standing Up for Wellness and Workplace Efficiency
Standing Up for Wellness and Workplace Efficiency
Standing Up for Wellness and Workplace Efficiency

It’s time to make a positive change

Standing Up for Wellness and Workplace Efficiency

It’s too late for Emma now; but there are many things we can do to take better care of our health at work. We spend hours at work sat at our desks, but by introducing movement with a sit-stand solution, we can combat the health issues caused by sitting for prolonged periods. Ensuring our workstations are properly set up with the right ergonomic accessories will also ensure that our posture is correct at work; thus, helping to reduce the risk of work-related musculoskeletal injuries and other illnesses.

Employers and employees both need to take some responsibility for healthy working. By taking an online healthy workstation assessment, moving around more, and taking regular breaks, we can avoid health problems as bad as those we thought we’d left behind in the Industrial Revolution!

Take the assessment

* An online survey was conducted by Virgo Health among 1,001 UK adults aged 18+. The research fieldwork took place on 28th June – 4 July, 2019. Virgo Health is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.