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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.
• 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
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!
Recently, Fellowes commissioned another study to understand the impact of enforced home working on
employees’ health and wellbeing. This revealed additional detrimental impacts. Find
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.
Poor posture, unsuitable seating or an incorrect screen position can cause back pain
and neck strain.
From poor blood flow caused by sitting for long periods.
The result of sedentary working.
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
From repetitive movement.
From over exposure to artificial light.
Typically associated with stress.
Due to regular contact with laptop heat.
Because of poor air quality.
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.
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!
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