New research, released today, has found that 81% of UK office workers spend between four and nine hours each day sitting at their desks, equating to an average of 67 sedentary days per person each year.
Fellowes, who conducted the study, discovered that nearly half (45%) of the 1,250 office workers involved in the poll said they sat at their desks for between six and nine hours daily. Whilst 36% claimed they spent four to six hours seated. On top of this, a huge 64% claimed their office environment also had a negative impact on their health.
Despite British workers spending a large proportion of time sitting at work, the research found that almost half (45%) said their employers didn’t offer the necessary tools and equipment to make them feel comfortable at their desks. More shockingly, the same percentage of people (45%) said they didn’t think their employer cared about their health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Ergonomic expert, Stephen Bowden, said:
“These findings are extremely concerning. British businesses have an obligation to look out for their employees’ health and wellbeing, failure to do so can result in injury, illness, as well as poor productivity output. One simple way to do this is by ensuring workers have access to the necessary ergonomic equipment, including sit-stand desks, foot, wrists and back supports, to prevent aches and pains and mental distress.”
The research also showed that a staggering 85% claimed better ergonomic equipment in the office would improve their wellbeing. It was also discovered that a quarter (25%) believed that being uncomfortable at work means they ache at the end of the days, whilst roughly the same percentage (26%) agreed that it stops them being productive.
A recent survey published by the British Medical Journal and experts from the University of Leicester studied 146 NHS staff and found that sit-stand desks helped to reduce sitting time and improved productivity.
Office equipment specialists Fellowes’ own research with three groups of sedentary office workers supports these findings, with all respondents commenting that they felt more productive after using ergonomic equipment, including sit-stand desks, after just four weeks. Half of the respondents also commented that they had noticed positive changes in their general wellbeing, noting they felt more comfortable at their desks and more energetic throughout the day
The same research also found that over a quarter (26%) of UK office workers didn’t know that it is a legal requirement for businesses to undertake regular workstation risk assessments.