Health and productivity of 76% workforce suffers from Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs): Godrej Interio study

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Bangalore, October 28 2022: Godrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej Group, announced that its business Godrej Interio, India’s leading furniture solutions brand, in home and institutional segments, has published the findings of an exclusive study titled Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Employees’ (WMSDs). To understand the employee expectations and concerns in the hybrid work model, the Workspace & Ergonomics Research Cell at Godrej Interio conducted a nation-wide study that uncovers different aspects such as employees’ concerns related to body pain while working, incorrect work tool integration, and views on long work hours and static muscle load in office. A total of 500 office-going employees participated in the research in the age group 21–40 years, most of them, working for MNCs and Indian corporates.

According to the study, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are becoming a growing concern due to their impact on employee productivity and well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs.” However, WMSDs are conditions in which the work environment and the tasks performed at work significantly worsen the condition, especially if it persists for an extended period of time. 

91% of workers are not fully aware of the workplace factors that can endanger their health and cause the onset of WMSDs (Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders) while 82% of employees reported concerns related to body pain while working from home. The study revealed that sedentary postures, a lack of ergonomic remote workspaces, lack of postural breaks, improper work-tool interaction, inappropriate furniture, and long workdays all contribute to the aggravation of WMSDs. 

An overarching worry uncovered in the study was that 64% of employees spend more than 9 hours a day seated and 50% of employees use laptops for a minimum of 6-7 hours causing physical health risks such as eye strain, finger pain, backache, neck pain, and sleep disturbances. Despite all these concerns, 95% of the employees are unaware of the ill effects of maintaining a static posture. 

Sameer Joshi, Associate Vice President, Marketing (B2B), Godrej Interio said: The hybrid work model has brought about fundamental shifts – mental health has been prioritized, physical workspaces have been optimised and technology has become even more pervasive. However, the incorrect use of work tools – technology or otherwise – has resulted in prolonged working hours for employees, giving rise to Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs), a predominant deterrent to employee health and productivity.

Through this study, Godrej Interio has suggested a systematic and structured approach to ergonomics training that could reduce the risk of WMSDs among office goers. In order to counter and reduce their prevalence, organisations must critically assess parameters like employee behaviour, and work tool interaction prior to opting for a training program. In addition, they should consider environmental parameters like illumination, and thermal and acoustic comfort, which equally affect employee health. At Godrej Interio, we are seeing demand for ergonomic furniture in the office furniture sector and are looking to grow the segment by 25% in this financial year.”

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