Hunched back, swollen limbs, eczema and bloodshot eyes, the model of what us ‘office workers’ would look in 20 years is no different from the distorted people in ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ except they are from a concrete, corporate surrounding. Creating a model of how people confined in concrete buildings would look like in 20 years, 'Emma' the sickly work colleague of the future is a cautionary vision designed by researchers after interviewing more than 3,000 employees about their health issues and concerns.
William Higham, behavioural futurist and author of the report, said: "The Work Colleague Of The Future report shows that employers and workers really need to act now and address the problem of poor workplace health.
"Unless we make radical changes to our working lives, such as moving more, addressing our posture at our desks, taking regular walking breaks or considering improving our work station set up, our offices are going to make us very sick."
From their findings, the study - which was commissioned by office equipment supplier Fellowes - suggested that 50 percent of UK workers interviewed are already suffering from sore eyes, 49 percent from sore backs and 48 percent from headaches as a direct result of their work space.
Emma which was built with the help of specialists Helix 3D Ltd has a permanently hunched posture sitting for hours every day over her desk, dry red eyes from prolonged exposure to a computer screen and sallow skin for spending years trapped under the glare of artificial light.
'As a result, workers in the future could suffer health problems as bad as those we thought we’d left behind in the Industrial Revolution.'
The model was build was a result of various health problems such as vison problems, weight gain, persistent headaches and migraines which has been linked with prolonged sitting in the office.
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In the UK alone, the team found that 90 per cent of office workers reported experiencing health issues that reduced their productivity and almost half suffer from eye strain, sore backs and headaches caused by their workspace.
Furthermore, studies also showed that office workers spend a minimum of six hours a day at the desk meaning the model of the future could no sooner or less become a reality.