Whether you’re applying for a job, sitting in an interview or getting ready for your first day, if you have a medical condition like scoliosis, you may be wondering whether you ought to let your employer know about it.
Read on to find out more about what you are – and aren’t – obliged to share with the people you work for. Please note that the information in this article pertains to UK law only – the law may be different where you live.
The Equality Act 2010 was passed to help protect jobseekers from discrimination. It forbids employers from asking questions about your health or sickness record before they offer you a job.
As a result of this legislation, you are not required to disclose any health information at either the application or interview stage. If your potential employer does ask any questions about your health and you are then turned down for the role, you may have grounds for unlawful discrimination.
On the other hand, disclosing information after you’ve received a job offer may be beneficial, as employers have to make reasonable adjustments for people who disclose health issues that are protected under the aforementioned Equality Act.
The application process
When you’re applying for jobs, you do not need to mention any illnesses or disabilities on your CV, even if they were the reason you left a previous role. If your medical conditions have created gaps in your employment history, there are ways that you can fill these in with activities such as periods of study, working on your own projects, or temp work.
However, if medical conditions have contributed to extensive or repeated gaps in your resumé, you may wish to omit employment dates from your CV altogether and replace them with the length of time you worked within each role.
During your interview, you can decide how much you wish to say about your medical condition(s). If you do have any noticeable gaps in your work history, prepare an explanation that doesn’t disclose any health issues. You can use ‘personal reasons’ as justification for leaving a role, but make sure these are framed in a positive way that matches what you’re now applying for.
Focus on why you want the role and how your skills and abilities will enable you to make a meaningful contribution.
FURTHER READING: Can You Work with Scoliosis?
If you feel that your scoliosis is preventing you from following your preferred career path, the Scoliosis SOS Clinic may be able to help. Get in touch to arrange a consultation.
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For many people with scoliosis, back pain and spinal discomfort are a constant nuisance throughout the day, even when sitting down. This can be especially problematic when you’re in work – it’s hard to get things done when you’re struggling to find a comfortable sitting position!
Office chairs for people with scoliosis
Most office-based jobs require you to be sat at your desk for hours at a time, staring at a screen that’s two feet in front of you and typing away at a keyboard – hardly the ideal seating scenario for someone with scoliosis.
In fact, according to workplaceinsight.net, an astounding 81% of us spend 4 to 9 hours a day sitting at our desks. To put that into context, that’s about as much time as most of us spend asleep at night.
Sitting at your desk, locked in the same position hour after hour can lead to stiffness and soreness even if your spine is straight – let alone if you’re already coping with scoliosis. Luckily, there are lots of ergonomic office chairs available for a range of budgets.
What’s the best office chair for someone with scoliosis?
The iconic Aeron chair by Herman Miller is a good place to start.
Known globally as “America’s best-selling office chair”, this classic desk chair has become so well-established since its invention in ’92 that it’s now featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.
Updated to meet the demands of the 21st century worker, the Aeron of today features “stronger and smarter materials, better adjustment capabilities, intuitive controls, enhanced aeration, and a health-positive, more comfortable sit”.
That being said, such ample spinal support doesn’t come cheap – the Aeron typically retails at around the £1,000 mark. Even if you’re buying second-hand, it’s not unusual for this chair to fetch around £500.
For a worthy substitute, the HÅG SoFi range is another great solution to your office woes and clocks in at around £700. With padded lumbar support, arm/foot/head rests and a variety of customisable features, it’s a great alternative to the pricier Aeron.
Affordable scoliosis chairs for the office
For a more economical office solution that won’t empty the rainy day fund, the Murray and Isaac ranges from John Lewis are also effective in terms of ergonomic support.
Retailing within the more reasonable £250 to £300 range, these seats feature form-comforting mesh, adjustable armrests and lumbar support, with the Isaac model also boasting a neck support for additional posture alignment.
However, if this still seems a little out of your price range, there are still plenty of other cost-effective solutions to be found online, while your local furniture shop may also have a variety of options in store to try out.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for your perfect chair:
- Look for high-back chairs with a posture curved seat
- Adjustable arm rests and neck rests are also ideal features that can help increase comfort and relieve spinal stress
- Additional lumbar support can also be provided with a supplemental aid if necessary
Specialist scoliosis chairs
While the ergonomic office chairs listed above may be suitable for those with mild scoliosis, specialist seating products may be the best choice for those with extreme / severe cases of spinal curvature.
From directed positioning of the pelvis to the use of neck and lateral supports, specialist seating can actively contribute to easing the pain of scoliosis.
Designed to reduce slumping, minimise neck flexion and promote a neutral midline from head to pelvis, specialist scoliosis chairs offer a variety of spine-straightening perks that are not found in standard seating products.
Some specialist chairs also feature “tilt-in-space” functionality, providing adjustable seat positioning to alleviate gravitational discomfort. Also known as “power tilt”, this function allows the chair to achieve a recline of up to 60 degrees while keeping your hips and knees at 90-degree angles.
One great example of a specialist office chair for people with scoliosis is the DuoBack from Rohde & Grahl. This product is well worth exploring for any office worker who frequently feels the strain of scoliosis at work.
Here at Scoliosis SOS, we offer ergonomic assessments and postural seating advice to all patients as part of our comprehensive specialist treatment programmes. Call 0207 488 4428 or fill out our online enquiry form to discuss your condition further.
Read More: Coping with Scoliosis When You Work at a Desk
Non-Surgical Scoliosis Treatment from Scoliosis SOS >>
Image courtesy of Pexels
We recently posted the following question on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages:
Have you ever had any problems at work because of your scoliosis?
Here are some of the replies we received from our followers:
As you can see, many people with scoliosis have encountered challenges in their professional lives as a result of the condition and its symptoms.
But this doesn’t mean that scoliosis has to stand in the way of your career ambitions.
“Yes. I work as a vet nurse, so holding / carrying large dogs and being on my feet all day are very painful. I’ve had to reduce to part-time hours as I cannot cope with full-time due to constant muscular pain.”
– Amy, via Facebook
“I’m always in pain and feeling uncomfortable, and people think I’m faking it which is upsetting.”
– Florentina, via Instagram
“It makes things very difficult, I can’t sit or stand for too long.”
– Em, via Facebook
“I can’t do long surgeries”
– Dr Eric, via Instagram
“Yup, had to move desks as the desk was a wave shape and my rib cage kept catching on the desk because the wave didn’t fit with my curve!”
– Debbie, via Twitter
“My supervisors threatened to fire me because I wasn’t lifting heavy bins, etc.”
– Hiba, via Instagram
“I’ve been turned down for many jobs due to scoliosis.”
– Tanya, via Facebook
Could ScolioGold treatment help you to achieve your career goals?
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we’ve helped thousands of scoliosis patients to manage their condition and continue following their dreams. Here are just a few examples…
Anna Russell, Solicitor
“By the end of my time [at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic] I could already feel the benefits. My posture is much better, my shoulders more level, and my spine looks straighter. Even my back doesn’t ache.”
Read Anna’s Story >>
Edie Kirkwood, Nurse
“I have now gone back to work, as a result of the treatment, which for me is such a relief. I am one of the few people who generally love their job, and the thought of being unable to continue my passion was very distressing. My life is now back to normal.”
Read Edie’s Story >>
Carol Davies, Farmer
“I suffered for a long time and now I’m standing up straight, which I certainly wasn’t before…we’re now planting broadleaf trees for conservation, hoping to help with the carbon footprint of the world.”
Read Carol’s Story >>
Craig Piepru, Tattoo Artist
“I was suffering on a daily basis, sometimes to the point where I just had to stop working. The pain really was draining the life out of me.”
Read Craig’s Story >>
Dame Anne Evans, Opera Singer
“I had been suffering from excruciating back problems for some time and had been advised that the only answer was surgery. My condition was aggravated by the physical activity that was an integral part of my career as an opera singer. I cannot explain how grateful I am to Scoliosis SOS. I was given a programme tailored to my particular needs…if I get a twinge of pain, instead of popping anti-inflammatory pills, I just go to the bars for a few exercises and it goes away.”
Read Dame Anne’s Story >>
Josie Stone, Vet
“I am ecstatic to have found these exercises. No words can describe the relief I felt when my pain started to disappear. I have always wanted to work with animals, and the idea of having to put off my dreams and go through major surgery was terrifying. I feel so lucky to have found an answer to my problems.”
Read Josie’s Story >>
And if all of those stories haven’t convinced you, consider this one final response we received to the question we posted on social media: Have you ever had any problems at work because of your scoliosis?
“All the time! Although much less after working with you legends.”
– Faye via Instagram
Use the links below to find out more about the Scoliosis SOS Clinic and how we can help you to overcome the problems some face while working with scoliosis.
About Our Treatment Method Book an Initial Consultation
Further reading: Coping with Scoliosis When You Work at a Desk