Posted on 3/24/2014 8:17 AM by Rob Stebbings

ergonomic work stationAlmost two thirds of office workers (63%) are currently suffer from health and safety related ailments, according to a new survey conducted by the Post Office Shop.

Back pain is the most common complaint leaving four in 10 desk bound employees in regular discomfort. This, along with other musculoskeletal and eye-related ailments, often leads to absenteeism which can have serious financial implications for employers. 

Of significant concern to facility managers who are often tasked with the provision of all desk-related accessories, only just over a third of employees claim to be sitting comfortably at their workstation.

Ergonomic desk accessories are proven to reduce musculoskeletal and eye-related ailments such as backache, neck pain, wrist ailments, eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and RSI (repetitive strain industry).

Facility managers will be interested to learn that the poll reveals that almost a third of respondents (31%) cited back and lumbar support products as the most sought after solution presumed to improve posture and address musculoskeletal ailments they currently experienced at their workstation.

Other items of interest include:

  • 14% sought foot support as a requirement to improve circulation, posture, and overall workstation comfort;
  • 9% said wrist support would make their workstation more comfortable;
  • And 9% claimed a monitor stand would improve their daily working lives.

It is prudent for employers to provide computer workstation assessments for all new employees and for existing employees where there is a change in their working environment. It is vital that facility managers play a leading role in ensuring people who work with display screen equipment (DSE) are comfortable at their workstation and are provided with ergonomic products to reduce the impact of work related musculoskeletal and eye disorders.

It's also crucial that facility managers play their part in educating and reminding employees of some simple steps they can take to alleviate discomfort which could adversely affect their day to day productivity. These include:

  1. Avoiding a slouching back. Good posture is achieved by sitting back into your chair. A back support and foot support will help you sit correctly.
  2. Preventing neck pain by sitting approximately an arms length away from your screen and at the correct height for comfortable viewing (eye level).

The Google Survey, the results of which can be seen in more detail on the Post Office Shop website, was conducted amongst a sample of 1129 adults across the United Kingdom.

Rob Stebbings is the senior blog content writer at the Post Office Shop.