Work colleague of the future?

posted on November 4, 2019

Since September 2011 I’ve been working at a desk job. My first job was working as a PA doing an apprenticeship in Business Admin, which was quite different to the Sport Coaching diploma I’d spent the prior 2 years studying for. Anyway, I share this to set the scene and get you visualising me living in the vortex of emails, Excel spreadsheets, time tracking, data entry, and admin… probably just like you. Fast forward to 2019 and I’ve pretty much been screen-bound for the last 8 years. Being screen-bound can quickly disconnect you from the needs of your body. A recent report by Fellows documented that;

  • – 9/10 British office workers are suffering from poor health due to their work environment.

  • – Office workers are already suffering from strained eyes (50%), sore backs (49%) and headaches (48%) as a direct result of their workspace.

The report is pretty interesting and references some legitimate studies. But on top of this, I can fully vouch for some of the alarming statistics. I now have exercises I do for my right wrist for repetitive strain, I suffer from headaches, and after a stint of lower back pain, my workouts are now focussed around prevention and protection of my back.

So what is the solution here? Well the report is pretty doom and gloom, and even features a prototype called Emma who is supposed to represent what we desk-dwellers will look like in 20 years time. She has a hunched back, varicose veins, swollen joints and bad skin from artificial light. The effects have definitely been exaggerated to fit the worst case scenario, which makes sense as Fellows (who published the report) sell office furniture to prevent long term office related injuries. I mean, will our nostril hair really be that much longer in 20 years due to bad air conditioning? Probably not – but don’t let the comical element discredit the report. Yes it’s exaggerated and certain studies have been selected here on purpose, however, I do agree that something has to be done to change office culture and get us all moving more.

But good news, moving more is probably the one thing which we can address almost immediately. Set a reminder on your phone that goes off at regular intervals throughout the day to remind yourself to move! Even if it’s just walking to the loo and back or going for a walk around the block. It’s important to remember that the only bad posture is the one you spend too much time in, and that a variety of movement throughout the day is key.