According to Griffiths, with long computer-based work here to stay, the key to preventing musculoskeletal pain among office workers lies in changing workstation design and how we do our jobs so that we are obliged to stand and walk more often during work hours.
Activity-based workplaces, in which computer and non-computer work tasks can be completed at a variety of seated and standing workstations, are an example of an encouraging movement towards more mindful office design.
Other ways of reducing the risk of musculoskeletal symptoms at work could include discouraging internal emails on the same floor to encourage employees to walk to their colleagues instead, ‘kitchen table’ type meetings that encourage people to stand and walk, or work systems that require frequent standing breaks, such as placement of telephones on a standing bench.
“Offices need to be designed to stimulate physical activity among employees. We need to start including standing workstations and encourage more standing and walking within offices as a matter of course for everyone who uses a computer for most of their day,” Griffiths said.
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