New research has found that 81 per cent 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 per cent) of the 1,250 office workers involved in the poll said they sat at their desks for between six and nine hours daily, while 36 per cent claimed they spent four to six hours seated. On top of this, a huge 64 per cent 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 per cent) 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 per cent) said they didn’t think their employer cared about their health and well-being in the workplace.
Stephen Bowden, an ergonomic expert, 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 per cent claimed better ergonomic equipment in the office would improve their well-being. It was also discovered that a quarter (25 per cent) believed that being uncomfortable at work means they ache at the end of the days, whilst roughly the same percentage (26 per cent) 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.
The same research also found that over a quarter (26 per cent) of UK office workers didn’t know that it is a legal requirement for businesses to undertake regular workstation risk assessments.
Speaking at the international society for physical activity and Health Congress in London, Mr Hancock added: “Workplaces can make a difference; encouraging breaks, offering standing desks, having standing meetings – which in my experience tend to finish quicker too – our message should be that movement is medicine.”