Hunchback model with bloodshot eyes depicts the average office worker in the future

Meet Emma, the life-size sculpture constructed by researchers who hope her appearance will shock office employees and owners everywhere.

Emma is the product of a report by William Higham — ‘The Work Colleague of the Future’ — which anticipates the devastating health failures that result from years spent sitting at a desk and working on a computer.

Emma is supposedly an accurate representation of what the average office worker will look like in 20 years.

With her visible eye strain, varicose veins, weak leg muscles, spots of stress-induced eczema, wisps of overgrown nose hairs and a protruding stomach, it’s a bleak future. Arguably the most jarring visual is Emma’s hunchback — a product of years of huddling over a laptop or looking down at her phone.

According to HuffPost, researchers found that the majority of office employees will suffer from these ailments and will eventually struggle to complete their day-to-day responsibilities if changes to the work environment are not made soon.

15 PHOTOS2019 best place to work, according to GlassdoorSee Gallery2019 best place to work, according to Glassdoor15. Power Home Remodeling14. Slalom13. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital12. Intuitive Surgical

11. Salesforce 

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10. Southwest Airlines 

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9. Lululemon 

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8. Google

7. Facebook

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6. Linkedin

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5. Boston Consulting Group

4. Procore Technologies


3. In-N-Out  Burger

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2. Zoom Video Communications

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1. Brain & Company


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The study interviewed participants from France, Germany and the U.K., and found that half of those interviewed already reported having strained eyes and 49 percent said they dealt with regular headaches.

Spending eight days, seven days a week sitting in a cubicle with artificial lighting and poor air quality while staring at a screen will have irreversible effects. 

The conclusion of Higham’s research is that both employees and businesses need to prioritize the health concerns of workers. Whether that’s through commissioning better office equipment or encouraging people to make more of an effort to get up and walk around throughout the workday, steps need to be made before Emma becomes reality.

To get up close and personal with what Emma looks like, watch New York Post’s video, above.

11 PHOTOS11 easy ways to be healthy at the officeSee Gallery11 easy ways to be healthy at the office

#1: Stock your desk with healthy, low-calorie snacks

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#2: Don’t keep snacks at your desk at all

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#3: Stand up or walk around once every hour

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#4: Take the stairs instead of the elevator

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#5: Bring workout clothes to the office 

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#6: Pack your own lunch instead of buying

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#7: Fill your water bottle or get a glass of water first thing in the morning

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#8: Get sunlight (work by a window or take a quick walk outside)

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#9: Limit your caffeine intake to once a day

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#10: Stay conscious of your posture

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#11: Keep your desk streamlined and organized

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