Active Working

Did you know, 70% of your Sedentary Behaviour takes place at the Office?

Over the past five years, a large amount of evidence has been published on the links between Sedentary Living (including time at work), and the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. In 2015, this evidence encouraged The Public Health England and Active Working CIC to publish a Consensus Expert Statement providing guidance for those working in Office Environments.

Optimising Active Working can make your Company a highly desirable place, producing results such as the below:

1. Improved Well-Being to Employees
2. Productivity Benefits
3. Increased Engagement
4. Absenteeism Reductions
5. Cost Saving

The Cost

Partaking in excessive Sedentary Behaviour makes you more susceptible to developing ill health, making a negative contribution to the bottom line of a Business.

Anyone fancy another Cup of Tea!?

Cost of Absenteeism

  • An average firm of 250 Employees loses £4,800 per week due to sickness absence.
  • Employee absence incurs a £15-billion cost to the economy.
  • 8.2 million workdays are lost due to Mental Health problems and 270,00 Employees take time off work for stress related disorders.
  • British businesses lose 4.9 million days to Employee absenteeism through work related back pain however, this could fall by as much as 42% via a Wellness Program.

Cost of Presenteeism

  • As a result of ill health, Employees will perform at lower productivity rates with The Centre for Mental Health calculating presenteeism for mental ill health costs the UK economy 15.1 billion.
  • Employees possessing sit/stand workstations unanimously claim to be more alert, task-driven and more positive. Adapting this way of working also encourages a change of posture and reduces the risk of back pain.
  • Research shows a direct link between healthy Employees and improved performance – in particular, with efficient meeting times.

When looking at adapting certain practices, it’s always best to check existing regulations. After all, they are designed to help people, particularly those who use computers as a significant part of their job. Most of these regulations can be found in the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (1992) and in the 1993 Implementation of European Directive (90/270/EEC).

Employers Obligations:

Provide –

No two people are the same, especially in shape and size. Chairs, Desks and Monitors need to be adjustable so that the user can alter its height and angle, reducing the risk of common aches and pains.

Regular Breaks –

  • Make Sure Computer users Take Regular Breaks. Working at a computer for long periods can make users very tired, contributing to headaches, back and neck ache or, longer-term issues such as RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).
  • Provide REGULAR Eyesight Tests.

Computers can increase the risk of eye strain, so users need to have regular sight tests to keep their eyes healthy.

  • Provide Information on Health & Safety.
  • Most people do not know what the Health and Safety Regulations say; an Employer must provide this information for their Employees.
  • Assess the Risks of Using a Workstation.
  • Not all computer systems meet the Regulations. Some have monitors that cannot be adjusted and some are used in hazardous areas in factories. It’s imperative that all computer equipment is risk assessed making it as safe as possible for the user.

Active Working Activities:

1. Stand during Telephone Calls
2. Use the Stairs
3. Eat your Lunch Elsewhere
4. Use a Sit/Stand Workstation
As with any adaptations, a clear evaluation is required to understand the best ways to achieve success. At Workspace Health however, we recommend changes are made through workstation designs and technologies or, monitoring how and when people can take breaks from sitting through movement like taking a lunchtime stroll with your favourite Colleague. (Mine is the Dog)!

Useful Links:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/
https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/
http://www.hse.gov.uk/legislation/