Friday, April 27, 2007

Employers are failing to correct poor ‘desk health’

Lack of ergonomics knowledge leads to poor desk setup ...

"Employers are failing to do anything about the millions of British office workers who are suffering chronic poor ‘desk health’, a new report has said.

The ViewSonic Work@Risk Report shows a clear link between poor ergonomics knowledge and an increase in symptoms 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 a day and the majority (51%) of these are not scheduling appropriate breaks according to ergonomic guidelines. Around three quarters of workers report suffering 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 is also an issue for 78% of office workers.

Although most office workers say that ergonomic issues are important to them (75%), only a fifth have ever complained to their manager and asked for a better desk, chair, phone or screen, despite the high incidence of health issues. Indeed, a third admit not knowing where to start improving their desktop environment. The lack of knowledge is compounded by low levels of personal initiative; only 15% have tried to investigate best desktop policy or sought professional help, or spoken to friends or colleagues for ergonomic advice.

Mel Taylor, Vice President, Director of European Marketing, ViewSonic says:

"The research shows that not only are we a workforce plagued by chronic ill-health, but that we lack the will to change at both an individual and corporate level. Employers could eliminate these issues instantly for many staff by promoting better desktop ergonomics. Sadly, the issue is not on the board’s agenda, despite the potential for huge productivity gains."    (Continued via Workplace Law Network)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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