A Desk Job For 20 Years Can Seriously Disfigure Your Body

by Madonna Watts D'Souza

A Desk Job For 20 Years Can Seriously Disfigure Your Body

January 2, 2021

Meet Emma, the physical embodiment of someone working hard on a desk job for 20 whole years, highlighting the dangers of working for a long time.

Researchers at Fellowes Brands, a company from the UK, have built the character, Emma, a physical embodiment of someone working hard on a desk job for 20 whole years, to highlight the dangers of working for prolonged periods.

In the far lands of Britain was a very hardworking robot named Emma. Emma is a friendly woman who greets anyone who meets her. But those who do meet her, say that Emma has been through a lot. Her desk job for 20 years has caused her to embody a somewhat disconcerting stature.

Her eerie persona shadows Emma’s friendliness. A permanently disfigured spine, varicose veins, protruding stomach, swollen wrists and ankles, dry and rubbery skin, red upper arms, eczema, hairy ears, and swollen nose- these are the dangers of a computer desk job.

Which Job Fatalities Are Worse- A Desk Job or A Factory Job?

We may hear that a mining or factory job could be dangerous, but a long desk job can be a lethal one too. Low air quality, constant screen staring, artificial and blue lights, and a bad posture all contribute to a human turning into a skinny rake.

Julia Dettler-Bates, European communications manager for Fellowes Brands, expressed via email, “We aimed to start a dialogue about working behaviors, environments, and lifestyles plus potential solutions.” The British firm, is a global manufacturer of products to improve life at work for people having desk jobs.

It’s accelerating not just musculoskeletal disorders, but also conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The outcome was to visualize these physical effects of our modern working behaviors through Emma.

- Julia Dettler-Bates, European communications manager, Fellowes Brands

Globally, an average desk job lasts about 8 hours. Many workers complain of severe back pain and a low working environment as human life turns more comfortable, so the work turns sedentary. Emma has shown how dangerous it can be physically, but what about the internal effects?

There are some easy exercises you can do at your desk, even while you’re sitting down. Whether you’re at work or sitting at your home, take a break to try some of these exercises!

Dangers of a Desk Job and How to Prevent it

While the internal effects are still being researched, it’s essential to know that desk jobs aren’t going anywhere soon, but no one wants to risk looking like Emma. So how do you prevent yourself from looking like an ‘Emma’? Keep yourself moving. That’s all you have to do.

Will Higman, Consumer Futurist, Speaker, Author, and CEO of The Next Big Thing, said, “I grew up thinking the most dangerous workplaces were factories and building sites, but I’m starting to wonder if it might be offices! Like many people, I knew that sitting in the wrong position could curve the spine. But the impact that any Sustained sitting has is much greater than I’d expected.”

Higman further evaluated, “Yes, it can have a long-term impact on the spine, but it can also damage leg muscles, and the heart, and even increase diseases like diabetes and cancer. Simply moving one’s posture every half-hour or so can do wonders. As one expert put it, ‘The best position is your next position.’ “

You can read numerous reports but seeing a representation of what we all could look like has much more effect. When we go around to show Emma to people, I always say It’s too late for Emma, but you’ve got an opportunity to stop it from happening to you.

- Will Higman

Severe Health Consequences

Quick and Easy Tips on How to Stay Healthy at a Desk Job
Start Small
If you work on the fifth floor but get tired climbing the stairs after the first floor, try taking the elevator to the fourth for a week. The following week, take the elevator to the third floor and walk up the stairs. You can also use the bathroom in a different part of your office or on a different floor. These little efforts increase the amount of movement you get each day.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Coffee and soda might be common pick-me-ups at the office, but they can be dehydrating. Many caffeinated drinks are filled with sugar and empty calories. Keep bottled water on hand instead. It keeps you hydrated, and it’s filling so you’ll want to eat less.
Stand and Stretch
If you feel bogged down by work that simply won’t allow you to take a walk, stand at your desk and stretch. Doing some basic stretches can help reduce tension and stress in your muscles. Be sure to watch your posture, too. You may want to switch out your chair for one that provides proper lumbar support.

Sitting for long hours can be even more harmful than sleeping for long hours since your spine is working against gravity for a long time in a bad posture. Having frequent 5-minute breaks after every 20 minutes of spending time on a computer can go a long way in preserving your health.

Keeping your spine upright and working,  ironically isn’t the right solution since your spine is meant to be flexible, so try changing postures or stand up for a while. Try to have conversations with your peers while walking or have a meeting that has workers stand and move around. The more you move, the better for you because that’s what your body loves to do– IT WANTS TO MOVE.

Look 20 feet in a different direction for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of staring at computer screens to prevent eye strain. While Emma highlights the imminent dangers of a sedentary desk job, it can be easily prevented by moving your body and exercising more often. What other hazards are associated with too much screen time and sitting?

Also Read: Scientists Can Be Tricked Into Creating Hazardous DNA & Toxins

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