Smartphone, tablet and laptop users are at risk of ill health and poor posture, according to a report by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Smartphone, tablet and laptop users are at risk of ill health and poor posture, according to a report by the UK's Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
The survey of 2,010 office workers found that close to two thirds worked on mobile devices outside of office hours, with an average of two hours per day spent working on the devices outside office hours, which the Society claims can negatively affect the health of users.
The problem largely centres on the poor posture of these so-called “screen slaves,” who go from desktop devices at work to mobile devices while commuting and once they get home. Smartphones, tablets and laptop computers all require hunching over the device, compared to the more ergonomic design of desktop computers, leading to neck, shoulder and back problems.
Overworking is another issue, as employees are increasingly bringing their work home with them, thanks to the ease of access to work files, email, and networks via mobile devices. Staff are often attempting to divide their workload up over the day, but this can mean eating into lunch, travel and home time, which ultimately can lead to heightened pressure and resulting stress-related ailments.
“While doing a bit of extra work at home may seem like a good short-term fix, if it becomes a regular part of your evening routine then it can lead to problems such as back and neck pain, as well as stress-related illness,” said Dr. Helena Johnson, chairwoman of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. “This is especially the case if you're using hand-held devices and not thinking about your posture. Talk to your employer if you are feeling under pressure.”
Of course, the issue of stress is more to do with work than mobile devices, but anyone who has used a smartphone, tablet or laptop for a long period will find it hard to deny that it can cause strain. Just like the age-old device for working on any type of computer, taking regular breaks is advised.
Image Credit: Chartered Society of Physiotheraphy