As the freezing cold aircon numbs my fingers tip, the cold makes me more aware of my surroundings. I am hunched over my laptop about 10 cms aware from screen and I am starting to scratch my eczema prone skin…

Oh Shit… I am turning into EMMA! I yell in the empty meeting room…

Emma, is a representation of a woman who didn’t change her workplace habits… With bloodshot eyes, pale skin and hair coming out from her nose as well as ears. To add, she is also permanently hunched over, her arms are cover in eczema red patches and swollen ankles and feet. This could be you in 20 years!

Image result for emma workplace dummy

It is said Emma is the way she is because of the amount of time she has spent inside, staring at a screen and is just bloody stressed! Although perhaps this is more of a ‘marketing’ type ploy aimed to provide a little bit of wake up call to office workers, it really got the nation talking.

It is not just down to the individual to change their habits but for employers to make a safe, clean environment for their workers. By introducing agile working policies, allowing employees to take holidays and encouraging their staff to take the stairs as well as a lunch break – is a good start.

There was a report I recently read that mentioned that more than 90 per cent of U.K. workers who suffer work-related health issues admit that their aches and pains — the most common of which are sore backs, strained eyes and headaches — make their job more difficult. More than 25 per cent of workers have asked for their workstations to be improved, due to fears of developing a hunchback but have yet to see a solution implemented by employers.

All in all, poor office environments costs the U.K. economy I suspect billions a year all due to work-related sick days. 

Image result for clean office space

As an individual, it is also about making the right choices and listening to your body. Make sure you take breaks! Away from the screen and get outside and the days you work from home, get up and get out (don’t slump on the sofa with laptop on knees, I see you…). Also taking up an exercise routine can be stimulation for the body and brain.

As I watched the army of commuters curl into their phones, I see the hunch forming and their eyes turning red. I on the other hand, bolt up straight and look forward. The truth is, Emma is Emma because she didn’t make the changes to her routine and her lifestyle.

What’s your choice? …

Now, pass me my trainers, I am taking a walk around the block this lunchtime…

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