Research carried out by ergonomics experts Fellowes has found that most UK workers have admitted to a range of different unhealthy workplace habits. Their habits are well-known to be bad for them but workers still claim they continue the activities which could lead to long-term health problems. Whilst workers admitting to bad habits is one thing, it is still an issue for employers who are obliged to provide their workers with a safe and comfortable environment in which to work.
According to Fellowes’ research 88% of office workers are of the belief that they are simply ‘creatures of habit’ when it comes to their workplace behaviours. 94% of all respondents admitted to sitting still for long periods of time without moving whilst a further 85% admitted they come into work they were unwell. The respondents admitted to both these habits, despite 91% of them agreeing that comfort of work is a factor in overall quality of life and wellbeing.
Sitting for long periods of time can cause damage to the posture and from a health perspective a fully sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous for your general health and wellbeing.
86% of those surveyed in the study also said that they forget to give their eyes a break from their computer screens. Eye strain can result in headaches, the need for glasses down the line and it can be permanently damaging for the eyes.
78% of those surveyed also said that they slouch at their desk and this too can be damaging for the posture and cause neck strain, back strain and more severe problems over time. 25% of those questions even admitted to needing to take time off work due to health problems associated with sitting at their desks and working with a computer and 45% admitted to have needed to take medication for the same reasons.
Comfortable and Safe in the Workplace
58% of employees surveyed said they would rather keep their health and wellbeing concerns to themselves than raise issues with their employer or manager. However, in some instances the reasons for their ill health or injury could be down to an unsatisfactory office layout, inappropriate desks or tables and therefore it is an issue which the employer simply has to sort out.
Speaking on behalf of Fellowes their UK & Ireland Sales and Marketing Director, Darryl Brunt, commented: “Companies must do more to educate and improve conditions for their staff, as not only do they have a responsibility for their wellbeing, but ultimately it benefits the business; a good working environment is proven to increase employee productivity and performance, making a happier organisation all round.”
Employers have an obligation to provide workplaces which are comfortable and do not have any risks in place which could lead to employees falling ill or being injured due to their workplace. This involves the need for ensuring all office equipment is fit for purpose and that workers are reminded of the need to take breaks, take time away from their computer screen and ensure they are only in work if they feel well enough to be there.