Future office workers might look like something from a horror movie.
Meet Emma, a life-sized doll depicting what the average employee in the United Kingdom could look like in the future. Emma is a representation of what future employees get to look forward to permanently hunched backs, varicose veins protruding from our legs, and a rotund stomach, which are just some of the scary visuals Emma possesses due to poor posture and workstation life.
Emma is a creation based on the results of a report called “The Work Colleague of The Future,” which was a survey based on more than 3,000 officer workers’ responses collected from France, Germany, and the UK.
The survey found that workers in the UK spend an average of six hours per day at their desks, with nine in 10 workers saying they suffer from poor health due to their work environment.
Sound familiar? Here’s the breakdown of health problems 1,000 UK office workers deal with today:
- Strained eyes: 50%
- Sore back: 49%
- Headaches: 48%
- Stiff neck: 45%
- Sore wrists: 30%
- Sore butt: 23%
- Stiff legs: 23%
- Sore legs: 18%
- Swollen legs: 15%
- Sore ankle: 13%
How can we change?
Emma is a projection based on what 20 years in a current work environment can do to the human body. That said, if things don’t change, this is the reality office workers can look forward to, according to an expert.
“The report shows that employers and workers really need to act now and address the problem of poor workplace health,” said William Higham, a behavioral expert and author of the study, via The Independent. “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 work station set up, our offices are going to make us very sick.”
The study suggested companies should find a way to integrate more motion into the work officer with exercise through treadmills or ambulant meetings. Workers should also be encouraged to take regular breaks and have stretch sessions, as in general, more places should look to combine office work and physical work.