red inflamed arthritic hand holding a computer mouse

How to Cope with Rheumatoid Arthritis at Work


Managing rheumatoid arthritis at work is a very important topic for the 400,000 patients suffering from RA in the UK. As a collective of scientists at iüLabs, where the art of precise science meets the nuance of individual care, we're keenly aware of the impact that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can have on your professional life. As members of the UK's bustling workforce ourselves, we understand that your career isn't just about earning a living; it's a part of your identity, and when RA challenges that identity, it's not just your joints that feel the strain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Challenge Beyond the Joints

Let's delve into the heart of RA, which isn't just a joint issue—it's systemic, affecting your body in ways that can turn even a simple task at work into a Herculean effort. The persistent inflammation characteristic of RA can lead to fatigue that's often overlooked when we consider its impact on our working lives.

It's critical, then, to recognize that while the physical symptoms are the most evident, RA's subtler tolls—like on your energy levels and concentration—are equally significant. Think about it: how can one focus on a spreadsheet when their own immune system is creating a cacophony of discomfort?

Ergnomic mouse pad symbolizing rheumatoid arthritis at work

The Rights and Adjustments at Work

In the UK, the workplace must be a realm of equality, a standard upheld by the Equality Act 2010. This act is a bastion of hope, ensuring that conditions like RA are accommodated, allowing you the adjustments you need. It's your right to work in an environment that doesn't exacerbate your condition but rather supports your wellbeing.

Engaging in a candid conversation with your employer about your RA isn't just about your comfort—it's a discussion about optimizing productivity. Whether it's flexible working hours to accommodate morning stiffness or specialized ergonomic equipment to ease joint strain, these adjustments are an investment in your professional efficacy.

Practical Advice for Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis at Work

As much as we adore the beauty of complex biochemical pathways in our research, we're equally passionate about translating that into practical advice. Managing your condition is a multifaceted approach that intertwines personal management with professional adaptability.


Pacing is your friend. It might seem counterintuitive in a fast-paced work environment, but regular breaks for rest and medication can sustain your energy throughout the day. A mindful approach to your workload, recognizing when to push through and when to pause, will help maintain not just your productivity but also your health.

Support at work

Consider your workspace as an extension of your support system. An ergonomic setup isn't a luxury; it's a necessity. An adjustable chair or desk, a keyboard designed to minimize strain, and even the position of your monitor can all have a profound effect on your comfort and, consequently, your work.

Woman with rheumatoid artritis at work using an ergonomic desk


The idea of exercise might be daunting when you're experiencing a flare-up, but gentle, regular movement is crucial. It can be as simple as stretching at your desk or taking a short walk. Remember, it's not about intensity; it's about consistency.

Nutrition and Lifestyle: Your Daily Allies

When it comes to managing rheumatoid arthritis at work, what you put on your plate is as significant as the medication you take. An anti-inflammatory diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytonutrients isn't merely a cornerstone of wellness—it's a cornerstone of RA management. Imagine your diet as part of your professional toolkit, one that can help keep the fires of inflammation at bay.

Hydration, too, plays a pivotal role. It's about more than quenching thirst; it's about maintaining the fluidity of your joints and facilitating the efficacy of your body's natural detoxification processes. So, keep that water bottle filled and within arm's reach as you work—it's a simple yet powerful tool.

Anecdotal Reflection: The Personal Touch

To illustrate the reality behind the science, let me share a brief anecdote. A colleague of mine, a fellow scientist with a keen mind for biochemistry, faced RA head-on when his mother was diagnosed. It was his understanding of RA's mechanisms, paired with the adjustments she made in her workspace, that kept her passion for her career as an architect alive. Witnessing her navigate her condition with such grace and determination has been a profound reminder of the power of personal agency.

Woman with rheumatoid arthritis at work, rubbing her shoulder

The Role of Supportive Supplements

As we round out our discussion, let me touch upon the supportive role of supplements. At iüLabs, we're proud of our contribution to this field with iüMove. Formulated with ingredients like curcumin and Boswellia Serrata, it embodies our ethos: science in the service of wellbeing. These ingredients are not random choices; they are the product of rigorous research, selected for their potential to support anti-inflammatory processes within the body.

In closing, managing rheumatoid arthritis at work is an endeavor that calls for a confluence of strategies—legal knowledge, personal adjustments, nutritional wisdom, and supportive supplements. It's about creating a work environment and lifestyle that acknowledges and accommodates the realities of RA
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