Mobile Misery…Why the Laptop on Your Knee is Making You Ill
More than three quarters of UK employees – 79 per cent – say using work mobile devices is making them ill and are affected by ‘HOLS’ – Hunched Over Laptop Syndrome – according to a major new survey in the UK.
The lack of specialist ergonomic equipment when on the move is the prime cause for the rise in work-related back and joint injuries brought on by devices that promise to make our lives easier, according to the survey by leading office experts, Fellowes.
One in four report their posture worsens when working nomadically and one in 10 now say this type of working has caused long-term posture problems when using handhelds, tablets and computers.
More than two thirds of those (65%) are forced to take medication to manage their condition and a staggering one in 20 has been forced to give up their job altogether.
One in 10 in constant pain
And the health issues worsen with one in 10 complaining of being in constant pain and 17 per cent suffering some pain each day.
Worryingly, younger adults (those aged 18 – 24) are those most seriously affected as the research reveals that two thirds of young workers claim to have a problem caused by mobile working.
Similarly two thirds of those quizzed admitted that not having a permanent desk space meant they were less health and safety aware – with 65 per cent not using any kind of supportive or ergonomic equipment when using devices at home or on the move.
Nomadic style of working
General practitioner and health broadcaster, Dr Sarah Jarvis explains: “Permanent desk spaces are the thing of the past with many of us working in a nomadic style. Mobile devices are meant to make consumers’ lives easier, but what we aren’t being warned about is the health dangers associated with working on the move.
“In many cases this so called ‘HOL’ syndrome is brought on by lack of ergonomic equipment. Job illnesses and ailments associated with poor posture are rising significantly and I am seeing more in my practice year on year.
“Both employees and employers should act responsibly to reduce the risks associated with working on the move, or at workspaces that perhaps employees don’t normally work at.”
Louise Shipley, a spokesperson for Fellowes, explains: “There are clearly huge advantages to mobile working but at the same time we need to be more aware of how we and where we are using these devices.
Lasting health problems
“Working without a desk, or from your chair or knee, can lead to lasting health problems and for young people especially, the first generation of digital nomads, this is an area for real concern.”
To find out more about the potential workspace risks and the health risks associated whilst working on the move, wherever that may be, take the Fellowes’ simple workstation risk assessment at http://www.ergo.fellowes.com/en-gb/workingwellassessment
Do you suffer from back problems as a result of using your laptop on the go? Let us hear if yo do.
Remember to always consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before embarking on any treatment, it’s your health and it’s IMPORTANT. Disclaimer
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