For your workforce to be truly effective, you need to ensure that they are looked after. An ill, injured, or just downright tired workforce is known to lessen productivity, so why is it then that so many offices seem to be failing to provide their staff with a comfortable working environment? At least this is the impression given by a shocking new survey conducted by Printerland.co.uk, which reveals that almost three quarters of UK office staff suffer from work-related injuries, aches, or pains, which are sure to negatively impact their performance.

Img: Miranda Mylne
The most common complaint amongst office workers is eye strain, which affects an estimated 43% of UK office workers.  Coming in a close second are headaches, which 32% of UK office workers regularly endure. These two ailments alone have led to around a quarter of office staff visiting an optician in the past year, so they are clearly creating some genuine concern.

Other common health complaints include back pain and neck strain, which each affect around one-third of UK office staff.

Printerland cite the likely primary cause of the aforementioned issues as a lack of breaks from the computer screen; workers reportedly take breaks only 3 times per day across a 34.5 hour working week, on average. However it would seem that an improperly thought out desk setup is further adding to the problem for many.

29% of respondents admitted that they don’t have their computer screens situated at eye level, which will make eye strain, neck strain, and headaches far more likely. On top of that around two-fifths failed to place their keyboard level with their arms, which may go some way towards explaining the one-in-six office workers suffering from repetitive strain injury (RSI).

The survey also highlighted the issue of weight gain amongst office staff, likely due to the sedentary nature of a desk job. Just under half of UK office workers state that they have gained weight since starting their office job, with around a third gaining at least a stone in that time. As unpopular as the following assertion may be, Printerland make the point that the influx of treats brought into many offices on a weekly basis is likely not helping with regards to weight gain.

In an effort to improve and maintain the health of your workforce, and by extension boost their productivity, Printerland advise carrying out regular assessments of individual desk and workspaces in order to ensure that improperly set up equipment isn’t going to cause issues for staff members. They also recommend limiting the number treats you allow yourself during work in order to counteract the issue of weight gain.

Catherine Bannan, HR Manager for Printerland.co.uk, said of the survey’s results, “Health and safety procedures, such as fire drills and hazards are well covered by businesses, yet workplace wellness is something we need to give more attention to.

“You can easily help your employees by undertaking individual desk assessments, ensuring your staff’s computer equipment and monitors are set up properly, and that their chairs are appropriate for sitting on all day.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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