The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 40 per cent of Americans have obesity problems. Such individuals are more prone to health issues, including musculoskeletal disorders like back pain and sore knees, diabetes and hypertension. It’s therefore vital that all offices are fit for purpose and designed for employees of a healthy weight and also those who are obese. This is the task of occupational health providers, who want to ensure that US offices suit everybody.
Allowing Employees Space
CBS News has stated that American workers have on average only 151 square feet of room at work. This can lead to depression, anxiety and claustrophobia: the knock-on effect is poor performance at work.
Obese workers may need a bit of extra space to access and move around their desk. Meanwhile, tall workers might need extra leg space. Because of these needs, it’s crucial that an official action plan supporting employees of all shapes and sizes is given to employers, with assessments of every worker’s area being provided.
Physical and mental wellbeing – the goal of every occupational health worker – is central to feeling comfortable at work. Occupational health workers must ensure that all employees’ physical working needs are fulfilled. This means making sure that the office furniture is easily adjustable and suits employees of all sizes and shapes.
Extending desks should be considered for some, while others will find adjusting the desk’s height beneficial. This can free up extra space, benefiting the workplace.
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Vision problems, which include glaucoma, hypertensive retinopathy and sight loss, can be a side-effect of obesity. Occupational health practitioners need to highlight the tools that obese employees need to carry on functioning properly in their job. This means employing screen-reader programs and computer magnifiers for computer users. In fact, eye-related problems affect everyone – computer use leads to eye strain and raises the likelihood of myopia. Occupational health practitioners therefore ought to be flagging up these concerns to employers as well as recommending the introduction of opticians to the workplace so they can carry out regular eye examinations.