As I sit posting this story on my lunch break at work, this prediction of what office workers will look like in next two decades seems uncomfortably accurate.
Office equipment manufacturer Fellowes supported the research conducted by William Higham, a 'Behavioural Futurist', and a team of experts on ergonomics, occupational health and professional well-being who examined the effects an office lifestyle is having on employee's health.
They came up with Emma – a larger-than-life, grotesque dummy with a hunched back, swollen ankles, skin disease and varicose veins (must be all that social media and lack of sunlight).
Experts warn that as an office worker, you could end up just like her.
"The Work Colleague of the Future report shows that employers and workers really need to act now and address the problem of poor workplace health.
Unless we make radical changes to our working lives, such as moving more, addressing our posture at our desks, taking regular walking breaks or considering improving our workstation setup, our offices are going to make us very sick. As a result, workers in the future could suffer health problems as bad as those we thought we’d left behind in the Industrial Revolution."
Emma’s suffering is the aftereffect of the modern office workplace: she has a hunchback from being at a desk all day, she’s got varicose veins due to poor circulation from being sat down for hours (which also causes deep-vein thrombosis), a bloated stomach from lack of movement, and dry red eyes from endlessly staring at screens.
More than 90% of those surveyed said they were concerned about spending too much time at their desk, with 98% saying they felt it would lead to health problems.