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Take a break

Robin McGee

11 June 2010

How often do you work through your lunch? According to a survey from theĀ Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) about a quarter of UK workers regularly do not take a break during the day. Additionally, more than half reported going to work when they were either stressed or physically unwell. A recent Work Foundation report highlighted the role sickness presence plays in employees' health and found that employees who came to work unwell had higher levels of absence, lower levels of psychological wellbeing and lower performance. While work is typically good for health, working when unwell, overworking or bad work practices can negatively affect workers' health.

Musculoskeletal disorders, along with mental health conditions, are the most common reasons for long-term sickness absence. Our Fit for Work project has highlighted the impact musculoskeletal disorders have on the working age population and has provided recommendations for a number of stakeholders. Line managers play an important role in supporting good work practices. These include providing employees with some control and flexibility over their work. Furthermore, coordination between employers and occupational health professionals can help create healthy work environments. A first start at practising good work and creating a healthy work environment should at least be taking a break!

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