Meet Emma, a life-sized doll designed to illustrate what our sedentary desk life might lead to in the future. If you work at a desk for the better part of a week, then you may want to pay attention.
The model shows a hunched back, protruding stomach, varicose veins and reddened eyes as a way to illustrate how our body physically changes to cope with the common desk job work environment. The doll is a look into our future in 20 years’ time if workers don’t change their work environments.
Emma has a permanently bent back caused by sitting for hours at a desk in a bad position. She also shows how inactively sitting for long hours will lead to a round tummy, and how staring at a computer screen for too long with result in dry, red eyes.
The report that formed part of the Emma study revealed that over 90 percent of office workers who suffer work-related illnesses will find their job increasingly difficult to complete.
A behavioural expert and author of the study The Work Colleague of the Future, William Higham, expressed a concern to act quickly so that workplace health can improve.
“The report shows that employers and workers really need to act now and address the problem of poor workplace health,” Higham said.
“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.”
Higham’s study suggests that over 50 percent of UK workers already suffer from eye issues, while 49 percent have back complaints and 48 percent suffer from ongoing headaches because of their work environment.
Weight gain, vision problems, and migraines were also indicated as the more persistent and common conditions that workers worry about.
Commissioned by Fellowes, an office equipment supplier, the study included 3,003 participants from France, 1,001 participants from the United Kingdom and 1,001 from Germany.