Thanks to research commissioned by office equipment business, Fellowes, images of Emma, The Office Worker of the Future, have emerged in the press as a warning of what could happen if employers fail to give employees adequate physical wellbeing support.
The gruesome life-sized mannequin represents the way office workers may look in 20 years if there isn’t more done to encourage better workstation setups, posture and getting a good level of exercise. Emma’s permanently bent back, varicose veins, rotund stomach and dry, red eyes serve a stark reminder of the consequences of poor workplace health.
With the return to a more normal working pattern imminent, employers must encourage employees to look after their physical wellbeing. In our Work From Home Survey, UK-based employees scored agreement with the affirmation “I get more exercise at home” 6.9/10, versus 5.7/10 worldwide. As people spend less time at home and more time in the office, there is a real risk of exercise levels declining, which will impact overall health.
What is the solution?
Office work is sedentary by nature, but that doesn’t mean employees should be sat down for eight hours a day. Whether it’s putting on lunchtime yoga, starting a walking group or signposting relevant resources, employers can encourage their workforce to stay healthy and active.
Wrkit’s Move product promotes and supports exercising at home, on the move, in the garden and even in the office. The platform hosts a huge range of activity choices, from quick desk stretches to full body conditioning sessions and there is something to suit those at every level.
The on-demand video classes are led by qualified professionals and are ‘always on’, so employees can move at the times which suit their personal schedule.
As well as supporting physical health, the mental benefits of exercise are well documented. Taking short movement breaks throughout the day, such as two-minute deskercise sessions, will promote healthier work schedules with an adequate amount of breaks, which only 29% of people currently report taking.
To avoid developing a workplace full of Emmas and promote a healthy and happy workforce, employers must do more in encouraging employees to take care of their physical health. Implementing exercise or movement into employee wellbeing and workplace health strategies should be a priority in the return to the office.