73% experience musculoskeletal problems

Almost three-quarters (73%) of employee respondents have experienced musculoskeletal problems, such as back, neck and shoulder pain, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare.

Its survey of 2,007 UK adults also found that 46% of respondents spend between four and six hours a day sitting down at work, and 25% of respondents sit between seven and eight hours a day at work.

The research also found:

  • More than a third (36%) of respondents try to combat sedentary working situations by getting out of their seats to frequently move around.
  • Just over half (51%) of respondents are ‘ok’ with the amount of time they spend sitting at work, and 33% of respondents are ‘happy’ with the amount of time they spend sitting at work.
  • 29% of respondents spend up to 30 minutes sitting down as part of their daily commute to and from work, 27% sit for between 30 to 60 minutes when commuting, and 17% are seated for between one and two hours when travelling to and from work.

Jan Vickery (pictured), head of musculoskeletal services at Axa PPP Healthcare, said: “We cannot escape from the fact that many of us do much of our day-to-day business on our bottoms. To help bring this home, this nine hour sit time is tantamount to a UK flight to the Caribbean and, while it’s encouraging that some people are taking steps to lower the risks associated with prolonged sitting, it’s a concern that, for others, this seems to be a low priority. To make matters worse, sedentary home and leisure patterns may further increase our susceptibility to chronic health problems.

“For the sake of our health we need to break the sedentary cycle. Employees, and their employers, should be aware that adopting and developing better habits can make a big difference.”