PostureMinder’s Weblog

May 14, 2008

CBI/Axa sickness absence figures…

Filed under: PostureMinder News,Why is Posture Important? — Dr Phil @ 8:27 am

The annual CBI/Axa sickness absence survey for the UK is just out, and shows a very small reduction in the number of sick days taken by UK workers:

The CBI press release

The Guardian

Probably the key quote from my point of view is: “Long-term absence (20 days or more) also continued to be a serious concern for firms. Although only 5% of absence spells became long-term, they accounted for a massive 40% of all time lost, costing £5.3bn. Long-term absence accounted for half (50%) of all time lost in the public sector, but under a third (31%) in the private sector.”

Long-term absences like this are overwhelmingly due to musculoskeletal disorders and stress. Taking early action to stop aches, pains and short-term absences turning into long-term sick leave has to be a priority, as Dame Carol Black’s recent review also highlights.

Prevention or early intervention with PostureMinder will really help on this front – at the first complaint of back, neck or shoulder pain, RSI or other aches and pains, install our simple software and advise the user to follow its advice closely (more importantly, give them the permission and support to take regular short breaks – don’t scowl at them when they do so!) Set all of PostureMinder’s settings to help them really focus on their health for a few weeks (e.g. fast posture reminders, short times between breaks etc. – the user can back these off later once they’ve felt some initial benefits)

May 13, 2008

Check your policy!

Filed under: Why is Posture Important? — Dr Phil @ 2:42 pm

I just came across the following article about the many “products” that companies try to sell us that we don’t really need:

Top of the list is payment protection insurance – e.g. the stuff that protects your mortgage if you can’t work.

Guess what?  Most of them don’t cover you if you have to go off sick with back, neck or shoulder pain, RSI or other computer-related ill-health, or indeed stress.

Given that it costs a fortune, and that probably a third of the working population in the UK work on computers, that’s not much use to many of us.  No wonder the payout rate is apparently only 20% of claims!

January 31, 2008

Why computer posture is only going to get more important…

Filed under: Why is Posture Important? — Dr Phil @ 1:25 pm

Most people who read blogs, and particularly those of you who stumble upon this one, probably know all about the minor aches and pains that can arise when using computers for long hours.

Most of us also know that those minor aches and pains can, if ignored, sometimes develop into much more serious issues that can cause a lot of pain and potentially threaten our ability to work. OK, so this isn’t a dramatic risk like working on a fishing boat or down a mine, but it can still be career-threatening and life-changing.

These problems are only likely to get more common. Computer use is growing, both in and out of work.

I like to point out the following – when I was growing up, extensive computer use (including gaming) was only for computer geeks like myself. But with the advent of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and, even cool kids are using computers for long periods at a time and from earlier ages than ever before.

This has worrying implications – studies of schoolchildren in Scotland and Scandinavian countries in recent years have shown that they start suffering musculoskeletal pain from an early age. Much of this is down to carrying heavy schoolbags and poor school furniture, but they’ve also shown clear correlation between the amount of time spent using computers and experiencing pain symptoms.

The 2007 ViewSonic survey of 1500 computer workers reported 71% of respondents suffered back pain at their computer. But when they looked at the figures for 16-24 year olds, that jumped to 80%.

Either these young peoples’ problems will settle down in time – or the fact they’ve been using computers from a young age, together with other social trends such as obesity, mean that posture-related problems are going to significantly increase over time.

I know which my money’s on…


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