Meet Emma; a life-sized model that shows what you might look like as an average office worker in 20 years' time. Designed in the UK with the intention of demonstrating how much working in an office could impact physical health, Emma suffers a bent back and poor health after spending so much time in a modern working workspace.
The Message Is Clear: We Have To Change Our Bad Working Habits
This is especially with regard to posture. Apparently, office work is doing a lot of harm to our physical appearance and our health, and things are getting worse as time goes by.
The research was done by UK Fellows. This is a company that makes advanced types of office furniture.
Behavioral Futurists and a panel of experts in ergonomics were also involved in the study.
Their discovery was simple–office workspaces are not very conducive to good posture. The way people bend over means that in two decades, they could have permanently damaged backs.
As if bent backs are not bad enough, office work could also cause varicose veins due to the number of hours sitting that comes with working in an office.
Office work can also affect the face, skin, and eyes after all those hours of sitting still and staring at a computer screen.
The stress of a workplace environment can also result from bad air quality, which could lead to conditions like eczema.
Employers Should Take Note
Employers should know about this problem, although that might not help as they have regularly ignored such issues.
In the UK, over 25% of requests for more ergonomic workspaces are ignored, and 20% of the workers claimed that their bosses did not take their requests for more ergonomic workspaces seriously.
There's a possibility that Emma is a bit of an exaggeration of what the average office worker might look like after 20 years. However, what this model shows is to be taken seriously.
The truth is that there is some truth to the suggestions made about the impact bad posture and poor working conditions might have on office workers.
The good thing is that things can change if small adjustments are made in time.
So, the problem can be completely avoided if employers are keen on making adjustments to their employees' work environments.
Radical Changes Necessary To Avert A Dangerous Situation
According to William Highman, "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 workstation setup, our offices are going to make us very sick. As a result, workers in the future could suffer health problems as bad as those we thought we'd left behind in the Industrial Revolution."
So yes. Things could get pretty bad if nothing is done to remedy the problem that is already emerging within modern workspaces.
That means that unless something is done and done fast, the average office worker might have a broken back in the future, just like Emma.