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Office workers could be left permanently hunched, report warns

Matt Alexander/PA Wire

By Abbianca Makoni, PA

The office worker of the future could have a permanently hunched back, varicose veins and red eyes if changes to work environments are not made, health experts have said.

A report dubbed The Work Colleague Of The Future revealed that more than 90% of UK office workers suffering from work-related health issues have more difficulty doing their job.

Based on the study, a life-size model named "Emma" was created to illustrate how the set up of a work station can lead to office workers physically and visually changing, to cope with a poor office environment.

The doll developed a permanently bent back caused by sitting for hours in a bad position, varicose veins from poor blood flow, a rotund stomach caused by a sedentary position, dry and red eyes from long hours staring at a computer screen and other health conditions.

William Higham, behavioural futurist and author of the report, said: "The Work Colleague Of The Future report shows that employers and workers really need to act now and address the problem of poor workplace health.

"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, commissioned by office equipment supplier Fellowes, which included 3,003 participants from France (1,001), Germany (1,001) and the United Kingdom (1,001), suggested 50% of UK workers interviewed are already suffering from sore eyes, 49% from sore backs and 48% from headaches as a direct result of their work space.

It also indicated that vision problems (32%), weight gain (30%), and persistent headaches and migraines (26%) were the top conditions those in the UK were worried about.

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