“Susan”, the worker of 2045
With more employees than ever before currently working from home, it is expected that employees may soon start to face health issues due to a lack of exercise and sunlight.
As a result, a model called ‘Susan’ has been created by clinical psychologists and fitness experts to depict what the homeworker of 2045 will look like.
After working from home for the majority of her life, Susan suffers from hunched shoulders, a double chin, obesity and ‘digital eye strain’, which includes dry, bloodshot eyes from staring at a screen all day. Susan outlines the many physical implications of what spending hours glued to a laptop can unknowingly be doing to employees’ physical and mental wellbeing.
Other issues Susan has include poor posture. A lack of exercise and too much time spent at a computer screen can lead to a hyper-extended neck, rounded shoulders and a hunchback that develops over time.
Susan also suffers from repetitive typing strain, ‘tech neck’ (also referred to as cervical kyphosis), which is an abnormal curvature of the cervical spine or neck, hair loss, dark circles, increased stress and pale, dull and wrinkly skin, which can be caused by a lack of vitamin D and B-12 due to reduced sunlight exposure.
What should employees do to prevent becoming Susan?
Maintaining physical levels while working from home is imperative to overall wellbeing and health. Working from home often leads to excessive sitting, which can have many negative effects on health, including increased blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Remaining in the same posture for hours can also have a negative effect on the muscles in the back, hip, neck and calves.
To avoid any negative effects on health, employees are encouraged to schedule a workout diary for the week, do regular desk stretches, walk during lunchtime and take regular breaks throughout the day.