More than three quarters of UK employees say using work mobile devices is making them ill and are affected by ‘HOLS’ – Hunched Over Laptop Syndrome.
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 major new survey by 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 are forced to take medication to manage their condition and a staggering one in 20 has been forced to give up their job altogether.
And the health issues worsen with one in 10 complaining of being in constant pain and 17 per cent suffering some pain each day.
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.”
Worryingly, younger adults 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.