Millions of workers have poor 'desk health'

Millions of office workers are suffering the effects of chronic poor "desk health".

Millions of office workers are suffering the effects of chronic poor "desk health".

A survey of 1,500 UK office workers by market research firm, on behalf of ergonomic monitor firm ViewSonic, shows a link between poor ergonomics knowledge and ailments such as headaches, eye fatigue and backache.

The study reveals that 46% of office workers spend six or more hours in front of their computer screens each day, and 51% of these are not scheduling appropriate breaks according to ergonomic guidelines.

Around three-quarters of respondents said they suffered from headaches (67%), eye fatigue (77%) and backache (71%).

The incidence of physical symptoms increases markedly in line with lack of ergo-awareness. Work-induced stress and anxiety was also an issue for 78% of office workers.

Although most respondents said ergonomic issues were important to them (75%), only a fifth had complained to their manager and asked for a better desk, chair, phone or screen, despite the high incidence of health issues.

A third admitted to not knowing where to start in improving their desktop environment. The lack of knowledge is compounded by low levels of personal initiative, with only 15% having tried to investigate best desktop policy with colleagues or friends or having sought professional help.

Employers have a duty of care to make sure their employees work in the best possible environment. But almost half of respondents (47%) said they had been offered no advice on the best desktop layout or ergonomics best practice in the last 12 months.

More than two-thirds (69%) said they would consider future legal action if they developed a long-term illness or disability induced by their office environment.

More on the survey findings >>

Take a break from your mouse: IT workers warned of RSI risks >> 

ViewSonic’s educational resource >> 

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