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Hi-tech way to cut down on absenteeism

A new company claims to have hit on an innovative way to help businesses cut the enormous costs of back pain, repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and other musculoskeletal disorders amongst staff who use computers.

Manchester firm PostureMinder has come up with a software package that uses a webcam to continually check the user’s posture. If they sit in a consistently bad posture for more than two minutes, they receive an on-screen reminder.

Health and Safety Executive figures suggest that musculoskeletal problems cost UK businesses £5.7 billion a year. That works out at an average of over £260 per employee.

By promoting good posture, PostureMinder also claims to have knock-on effects on other parts of the body. For example, if users lean forward, they are more likely to tuck their legs under their chair, which reduces circulation. Their eyes are likely to get tired through peering too closely at the screen, and they’re more likely to be typing with their wrists bent back, which carries increased risks of developing RSI.

PostureMinder also provides reminders to encourage regular breaks, a comprehensive training package which covers the UK regulations, suggestions for discreet at-desk stretch exercises, and a hydration tracker to promote healthy drinking habits at work.