Messy desks 'harm health'

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Office workers are being hit by a new affliction: the curse of Irritable Desk Syndrome (IDS). Cluttered desks, poor posture and hours spent in front of a computer are damaging the health of office staff, a report revealed today.

Office workers are being hit by a new affliction: the curse of Irritable Desk Syndrome (IDS). Cluttered desks, poor posture and hours spent in front of a computer are damaging the health of office staff, a report revealed today.

And the situation is getting worse, with 67 per cent of people saying they are more tied to their desks now than they were two years ago. The research, for NEC-Mitsubishi, found that 35 per cent of office workers said they suffered from back or neck pain because of knowingly sitting at their desks in awkward positions. Of the 2,000 people questioned, 40 per cent said they were infuriated by too much clutter and paper but could not be bothered to do anything about it.

Nigel Robertson, the "deskologist" and a senior consultant at Open Ergonomics, said: "The two essentials for less stressful, more productive desk management are don't endure [and] don't wait for someone else to fix it for you."

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