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Failure to switch off ‘a danger to office workers’

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Office workers in the capital are risking their mental and physical health by working nearly three hours extra each night on their commute and at home, it has been claimed.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) found that three-quarters of London office workers are continuing to work on smartphones and other devices after they leave for the night.

These stints come on top of an average of six hours 54 minutes in front of a screen in the office during their regular working day.

Some 52 per cent of office workers said their out of hours working had increased in the past two years.

And of these, just 12 per cent said their boss was trying to do anything about it.

The main reasons cited for doing extra work were to ‘ease the pressure of the working day’ (34 per cent) and ‘too much work to do’ (35 per cent).

Some 31 per cent of people surveyed said additional work at home helped reduce their overall stress levels.

But a worrying 29 per cent want their boss to offer counselling services for stress.

Dr Helena Johnson, chair of the CSP, said the results of the survey “are a huge concern to physiotherapists”, who see the consequences of poor posture and bad working practices each day.

“While doing a bit of extra work at home may seem like a good short-term fix, if it becomes a regular part of your evening routine then it can lead to problems such as back and neck problems, as well as stress-related illness,” she claimed.

“This is especially the case if you’re using handheld devices and not thinking about your posture.”

She urged London office workers to talk with their employer if they are feeling under pressure.