Injury at work? Three quarters of workers suffer in their job

The majority of UK workers report having suffered an injury or illness at work, a new study reveals.

It seems that office life is taking its toll on Brits, as almost three quarters of UK employees blame injury or pains on their work.

The list of work-related ailments is a long one, with 43 per cent regularly complaining of eye strain, 32 per cent suffering with severe headaches, leading to a quarter of office staff visiting their optician in the past year.

The recent survey, conducted by, also reveals that 39 per cent of employees in the UK have to battle through back pain while in work, and 31 per cent experience neck strain on a regular basis.

With the average person working 34.5 hours a week, and the maximum number of screen breaks being regularly taken coming in at just three a day, it’s no wonder Brits are experiencing so many work-related grievances.

The survey shows that being sat at a desk all day is harmful, as one in six (17 per cent) Brits admit they suffer with Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). However, it could be down to the fact that 70 per cent don’t have their work stations set up correctly.

Almost a third (29 per cent) state that they don’t have their screen at eye level, which could be the cause of both eye and neck strain, and 38 per cent don’t have their keyboard level with their arms, possibly explaining the RSI due to over or under reaching for their keyboard throughout the day.

The shocking thing is that despite the injuries from being at a desk all day, Brits are more sedentary than ever, with just 36 per cent stating that they try to get out of their office chair to get steps in. AXA healthcare recently published research which shows that the average UK worker is sat down for nine hours every day.

It seems that it’s not just muscular injuries that affect office workers. We know that small spaces are a hotbed for germs, and ten per cent of Brits state that colds and flu bugs get passed around their offices at least every three weeks.

Despite the possibility of infecting their co-workers, just 22 per cent of staff said they would take a sick day if they had a contagious illness. The average UK worker is reported to have two sick days every year, with a third taking none at all.

Catherine Bannan, HR manager from, comments, ‘Health and safety procedures, such as fire drills and hazards are well covered by businesses, yet workplace wellness is something we need to give more attention to.

‘You can easily help your employees by undertaking individual desk assessments, ensuring your staff’s computer equipment and monitors are set up properly, and that their chairs are appropriate for sitting on all day.’

Office cakes and treats are also playing havoc on our health. With all the Friday treats and birthday celebrations, 45 per cent of working Brits admit they’ve gained weight since working in an office, with 30 per cent piling on more than a stone.

Further reading on injury

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics