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Welsh employees' health at risk through 'overwork'

The survey showed Welsh workers spend almost three hours on average working at home on top of their office hours Photo: ITV News Wales

Workers in Wales are putting their health at risk by working more than two hours extra at home each night, according to new figures.

A survey by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy shows that nearly two-thirds of office workers polled in Wales said they continued working on smartphones and other devices after they left the office.

The survey revealed that workers in Wales spent an average of two hours and 42 minutes working at home in the evening, on top of an average six hours and 27 minutes in the office on a regular working day.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said it's concerned that 'over-working' can lead to physical and mental health problems in the future. The survey showed that 66 per cent of workers reported suffering job-related ill health, such as headaches and back pain.

A happy, healthy workforce is a productive one and it is very important that employers ensure they do what they can to look after the wellbeing of their staff. Sickness absence can be devastating for the individual, and very expensive for employers and society at large, so encouraging better working habits is in everyone's interest.

– Philippa Ford, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy policy officer for Wales

The survey of office workers in Wales also revealed:

  • 53 per cent of office workers said their out-of-hours working had increased in the past two years, but of these just 13 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' (32 per cent), 'wanting to keep up-to-date 24/7' (32 per cent), and having 'too much work to do' (33 per cent)
  • 37 per cent of people surveyed said doing additional work at home helped reduce their overall stress levels
  • 26 per cent want their boss to offer counselling services for stress

The results are being released to coincide with the CSP's 'Workout at Work Day' today, when physiotherapy staff across the UK will go into workplaces across Wales to encourage people to be more physically active in order to avoid muscular disorders and to combat stress.