PostureMinder’s Weblog

August 3, 2011

Gamer’s DVT death has wider implications for home and work computer users

As the story of the tragic death of gamer Chris Staniforth, 20, who would play his console for up to 12 hours at a time, starts to circulate, the importance of correct posture and taking regular short breaks to move around is thrown into stark relief.

Deep Vein Thrombosis illustrationChris Staniforth died in May from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) believed to have been brought on by his marathon gaming sessions. The coroner said a clot formed in Chris’ left calf before moving to his lungs. Once there, it caused a fatal blockage, known as a pulmonary embolism.

Whilst most people don’t go in for such high levels of computer game playing, plenty of us spend long periods every day using computers at home or work.

Chris’ father said: “After my research I saw there was no difference to Chris sitting at a desk on his Xbox and someone on a long-haul flight. Sitting still is literally the danger zone. Chris loved to play and would stay up all night. Millions of people worldwide are playing these games for hours, and there is a risk.”

But the exposure to the risk of DVT that ultimately ended Chris’ life is not something that is unusual or unique. With millions of people now working for prolonged periods in front of computers and also continuing their work, social networking or playing games at home, it is easy to see how many people could unknowingly be putting themselves at risk.

In the workplace there are recommendations in place from the HSE about ensuring computer workers take regular short breaks from their computers (which are also proven to improve productivity), but no regulations to enforce this. Even the advice on what constitutes a “regular short break” isn’t clear, although a 5-10 min break from the computer every hour is the most common advice. A break doesn’t have to be a complete break from work – it could be doing some other task, provided it means getting uo from your desk and moving around.

So employees must make sure they protect themselves at work by remembering to take these breaks, regardless of the pressure to be seen to be working hard and for long hours. Good hydration in the office is also essential for concentration and health.

PostureMinder break reminderPeople should also remember to apply the same principles when using a computer or games console at home. PostureMinder is award-winning software that can help by automatically reminding you when you need to take breaks, and also includes a hydration tool and micro-break reminders. It also helps computer users improve their posture to protect against back pain, neck pain, RSI and other computer-related health problems.

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October 11, 2009

Press Release: Back Care Awareness Week 2009 – PostureMinder Ltd supports campaign by offering free back pain treatment and prevention software for 100 employers

Back Care, the UK charity for back pain sufferers, has launched BackCare Awareness Week, beginning on 10th October, to focus on preventing and treating back pain in the workplace.

A study published just two weeks ago highlighted the EUR240 billion estimated annual cost of back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders across the EU. BackCare’s own figures point to a £5 billion per year bill for the UK economy for back pain alone

Back Care Awareness Week aims to persuade employers to recognise the problems around back pain so they can help sufferers and ensure employees can remain productive members of the workforce.

Office back pain expert, Dr Philip Worthington, inventor of award-winning PostureMinder, agrees that such awareness is vital: “We fully support BackCare’s aims in raising these issues with employers. Figures suggest anywhere from 4-7% of office workers take sick leave due to back pain every year, with the average amount of time taken off being somewhere around 18 days. But from our experience, and wider studies, for every person who goes off sick with back pain, some 15 others are suffering in silence. This must affect their morale and productivity at work.”

Dr Worthington added, “We’re particularly pleased to see Back Care Awareness Week focusing on early, proactive interventions by employers. However, we’d like to see it go a stage further – employers should really consider what they can do to prevent back pain as well as treat it.

“That’s where our award-winning PostureMinder software comes in – it actively helps people who work at computers to improve their posture and adopt healthy working habits. Used in conjunction with good quality office furniture it can really help users avoid developing problems in the first place, as well as helping existing sufferers recover from their back pain.

“Because we feel so strongly that prevention is better than cure, we’re supporting Back Care Awareness Week by offering 10 free PostureMinder licences to the first 100 employers who contact us via backaware@postureminder.co.uk. Our offer also extends to schools and colleges that want to encourage students or staff to improve their posture. This way, we can do our bit by helping 1000 computer users protect themselves from back pain and other computer-related ill-health”

For more detailed information please visit the PostureMinder web-site at http://www.postureminder.co.uk

January 29, 2008

Welcome to PostureMinder’s weblog

Hi Everyone,

This is the start of my blog about our award-winning PostureMinder software. Here I’ll be posting musings on office ergonomics, posture, healthy working, back pain etc.

I’ll also be posting news about the adoption of PostureMinder and peoples’ experience of it. If you’ve tried our free trial at www.postureminder.co.uk, we’d love to hear your feedback through your posts.

Stay well (and sit well!)

Phil

Blog at WordPress.com.