BYOD Is Giving Us Headaches And Hunched Backs Says Top Doc

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Hunched-over-Laptop Syndrome seeks cure from resellers – well, someone needs therapy

Mobile devices are creating health problems but luckily the IT channel could provide the solution. Four people in five suffer from the debilitating effects of contorting their bodies around a tiny gadget, GP and health broadcaster Dr Sarah Jarvis has claimed.

Jarvis diagnosed “Hunched-over-Laptop syndrome” (HOLS) as the problem of the modern mobile age. It is curable, said the GP, who prescribed a course of supporting systems and ergonomic equipment – which could create a massive new upsell opportunity for the channel.

Laptop to hunchback

There is a powerful sales argument for specialist equipment, according to Jarvis (pictured), a health and medical reporter for BBC’s The One Show. The lack of ergonomic equipment is causing a rise in work-related back and joint problems, she argued, adding that the resulting sick days are undermining productivity gains created by mobile working and could hurt Britain’s economy.

Dr Sarah JarvisThe claims were based on a survey commissioned by office experts Fellowes and conducted by Dynamic Markets among 1,000 UK adults. The report said tablets, handhelds and laptops cause posture problems which lead to headaches, painful joints, and spinal conditions.  Two thirds (65%) of mobile users are forced to take medication and one in 20 are forced to stop work. One in ten workers are in constant pain and 17 percent suffer every day, said the survey.

Young adults (aged 18 – 24) are most seriously affected, said the research. The problems being caused by a lack of health and safety awareness and the absence of any ergonomic equipment. Industry is crying out for consultancy and equipment from specialist IT resellers, Jarvis maintained.

Ergo Sum Game

“Mobile devices are meant to make consumers’ lives easier, but we aren’t being warned about is the health dangers associated with working on the move,” said Jarvis. HOL syndrome is brought on by lack of ergonomic equipment as job illnesses and ailments associated with poor posture are rising significantly. “I am seeing more in my practice year on year,” said Jarvis.

“Employers should act responsibly to reduce the risks associated with working on the move,” said Jarvis.

We shouldn’t sacrifice our health to the gods of mobile driven productivity, argued Louise Shipley, a spokesperson for Fellowes. “We need to be more aware of how we and where we are using these devices.

“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,” said Fellowes.


Author: Nick Booth
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