Investing in better home office furniture can help the NHS too

You and your boss aren’t the only ones to benefit

The benefits of you having the right furniture for your home office set up are obvious.

You’ll be more comfortable and considerably less likely to develop aches and pains as time goes on.

There’s something in that for your employer too – a fit and healthy staff members is preferable to one nursing back problems.

But there’s another less obvious beneficiary – the NHS.

Tens of thousands of appointments

You might be able to put up with a sore back or aching neck for a few weeks, but sooner or later you’re going to seek assistance from the NHS.

We know this from the most recently published statistics, which reveal between October and December 2020 – when the home-working revolution was well underway – there were more than 66,000 referrals to musculoskeletal specialists in Scotland.

That includes more than 20,000 in and around Glasgow, and further 12,000 in the Lothian area.

Not all of these will be people who haven’t been sitting correctly at home in the previous months.

But it shows the level of pressure on a service which cannot afford to take on more avoidable cases.

You’ll wait a while too

And given the sheer pressure on our health service, the solutions won’t necessarily be quick.

The same statistics show that, as of December, more than 4,000 patients had been waiting for more than 24 weeks for treatment.

Do you really want to spend half a year in painful limbo because you’d developed bad posture habits at home?

Act now to avoid being a statistic

Of course it’s easy to slouch on the sofa and tap away on a laptop, or perch awkwardly at the kitchen table so you can work and have your lunch at the same time.

But doing this repeatedly will risk causing significant damage to your bones and muscles.

There’s a reason that major offices invest heavily in spacious desks and robust chairs. They know the issues that can be caused by a poor posture.

We all admire the sacrifices the wonderful NHS workforce have made for us over the last year to ensure we are kept as safe as possible through unprecedented times.

A small gesture in return would be to look after ourselves so we don’t add to that pressure.

By taking precautions in the course of our own work, we’ll be doing them a favour while they go about theirs.

Statistics

Referrals to musculoskeletal specialists in the quarter ending December 2020.

Source: ISD Scotland

NHS Ayrshire and Arran – 3507

NHS Borders – 978

NHS Dumfries and Galloway – 1840

NHS Fife – 3723

NHS Forth Valley – 3264

NHS Grampian – 5934

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – 20,369

NHS Highland – 3338

NHS Lanarkshire – 6571

NHS Lothian – 12,068

NHS Orkney – 329

NHS Shetland – 428

NHS Tayside – 3740

NHS Western Isles – 446

Scotland total – 66,535

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