Chair can put you in the driving seat
WHEN you mention 'healthy workplace' images of toned individuals eating salads and nipping out for a lunchtime jog tend to spring to mind.
But according to Vince Brooks, director of Engage Workplace, we can all have a healthy workplace without having to resort to Lycra and lima beans.
He said: "Your health and wellbeing is massively affected by your office environment.
"Your chair, your desk, the lighting and the air around you.
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"Most people don't realise the impact a good chair or task lamp can have on productivity and health of your workforce."
While minor illness such as coughs and colds are the most common cause of short term sickness absence, more than a quarter of total sickness absences (34.4 million days) were as a result of musculoskeletal problems.
Typically, these types of problems affect the back, neck, shoulders and upper limb and health problems can range from discomfort, minor aches and pains, to more serious medical conditions.
Vince added: "Figures like these show it is important to raise awareness of the link between an individual's health and their office environment.
"By designing task work spaces, display screens, lighting, and equipment to fit the employee´s physical capabilities and limitations these types of problems can be avoided.
"So it's a win/win for employees and employers. If your chair and workstation supports you, and is comfortable, your brain will work more effectively and you will happier and more productive."
Dr Craig Knight, Chartered occupational psychologist based at Exeter University agrees: "Office management and its use of design to affect staff is arguably the most misunderstood and overhyped aspect of business literature.
"Yet the scientific evidence is unequivocal; most modern workspaces are massively deleterious in terms of people's productivity, satisfaction and well-being.
"Research strongly suggests that it takes the correct psychological application of design to maximise healthy and profitable outcomes."
Sue McAdie, from Plymouth Community Healthcare's Business Health Network said: "The health and wellbeing of people of a working age is of fundamental importance to our future and we are committed to bringing about a real and sustained improvement in this area.
"Our focus is on improving the health and wellbeing of people of working age in Plymouth.
"By promoting healthy workplaces and improving the support available for those with developing health problems, we can help to prevent illness at work and promote swifter rehabilitation for those out of work through ill-health."