World Arthritis Day
At Paramount, we believe that office design can make all the difference to workplace wellbeing.
Careful consideration when it comes to layout, furniture, lighting and temperature can help to improve both physical and mental health in the workplace.
Employers are starting to recognise and act upon the longterm effects that working in an office environment can have on the health of their staff.
Since World Arthritis Day falls in October, we thought we'd explore how employers can minimise the risk of arthritis and accommodate any staff members that already suffer from this or similar joint, neck and back pain.
Prevention is better than cure
Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint. The two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The condition affects approximately 10 million people in the UK, and, contrary to popular belief, it can affect people of all ages.
While you can't guarantee that you'll never suffer from it, there are certain things employers can do to minimise the effects of arthritis.
Investing in good quality ergonomic office furniture and ensuring that you're compliant with health and safety laws is a great start.
This will also encourage good posture, which is vital since poor posture and inactivity are two of the biggest causes of back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders.
The way that we sit at our desks is hugely important, which is why, back in 2015, Steelcase conducted a global survey to find the perfect posture.
They found that the advancement and availability of new technologies had let to people moving and working in different ways.
This led to them discovering nine new postures.
Since in many offices' existing office furniture didn't reflect these changes in technology, the risks of them causing pain and discomfort in the future was a lot higher.
As a result, Steelcase created the Gesture chair, which was designed to adapt to each of the nine new postures.
Accommodating arthritis at work
Aside from providing ergonomic furniture, in some instances, employers can modify job roles to accommodate an employee's needs.
Anyone who suffers badly with rheumatoid arthritis is legally entitled to ask for any small and reasonable changes to help them do their job more comfortably and effectively.
Businesses might consider allowing staff to telecommute or work from home on days when their condition is particularly bad.
There's also the question of a flexible dress code so that people can wear comfortable shoes if necessary.
To combat arthritis, you need to ensure that you're regularly moving the damaged joint.
Any exercise that strengthens the core muscles is great for preventing back and joint pain.
While most businesses don't have the space for a workplace gym, employers can still make small changes to encourage staff to be fitter around the office.
Whether it's getting up and moving about a bit more or encouraging desk-based exercises, every little helps.
If you'd like to make your workplace a more comfortable place for your employees, get in touch with our team today.
Posted by Helen Bartlett on
12 October 2017 at 12:00 AM
Office DesignOffice Furniture