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Studies Show Home Workers Suffer Higher Rates of Back Pain

Studies Show Home Workers Suffer Higher Rates of Back Pain
23 January 2023

An independent study of over a thousand workers shows that the rate of chronic sufferers of back pain is highest among those working from home full-time.

Conducted by Fop for startup PERCKO, the self-reporting questionnaire was sent to 1004 people representative of the working French population in December 2022.


Home Working Equipment Insufficient


60 per cent of respondents who work from home said that their company's contribution to the purchase of ergonomic equipment was insufficient. Three-quarters of employees (73 per cent) want their employers to finance quality seats for those working from home.

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive recommends that all home workers should have risk assessments to make sure that they have a comfortable environment to work in and that employees maintain good posture when using display screen equipment.

In terms of providing extra equipment, the guidance states:

“They may not necessarily need office-type furniture or equipment at home to achieve a good posture. Equally, a worker’s own furniture or equipment may not be suitable or sufficient. Use your DSE assessments to help you decide what is needed for your own workers’ situations and circumstances.

“Where your DSE workstation assessment indicates you need to take some action, for example providing a piece of DSE equipment, your workers cannot be charged for this.”

Alexis UCKO, Co-Founder of PERCKO said “The results of this study confirm what we observe on a daily basis in the field in our dealings with companies (e.g. French rail operator SNCF) that we equip with prevention and back protection clothing. Amongst the 2,000 companies PERCKO works with, the prevention of Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) has become an issue with a sizeable economic impact, in terms of productivity and absenteeism, but also and above all a social impact, with a strong impact on the morale and well-being of teams."

MSDs are the most common occupational illnesses. In 2019-20 the Labour Force Survey found that 8.9 million working days were lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders, with 480,000 workers suffering from injuries in the UK.

Editor's note: “An Ifop study for PERCKO, conducted via an online self-reporting questionnaire between 6 and 8 December 2022 on a sample of 1004 people, representative of the working French population.”

Picture: a graphic showing a person standing up next to a desk where a laptop sits. The person is bending forward with one hand on their back, as if in pain. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 23 January 2023


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