Nowadays it is almost impossible to carry out a work task without a computer. With the use of mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and watches it’s now possible to work anywhere and at any time. But what effect does this development have on the health and wellbeing of employees?
The digital working world
The advancing digital working world (as well as numerous innovations such as robotics and artificial intelligence), is driving companies to restructure and evolve in order to remain competitive. There are also frequent change in the organisation of workspace, with many employees choosing to work remotely. This is a flexible work arrangement in which an employee works most or all of the time from a different geographic location to the main office. This type of work arrangement is becoming increasingly common. Remote work can help organisations recruit new employees with hard-to-find skill sets, or retain current employees who relocate due to personal circumstances.
The general principle is that the same regulations that apply in a “normal” workplace should also apply in a home setting, and the employer is bound to act in accordance with them. This means wherever you work, the Occupational Health and Safety Act should be observed.
Ergonomic health risks of mobile working
Tablets, smartphones and laptops tend to be placed much lower than a standard monitor, leading to poor posture and placing greater strain on the head and neck area.
Eye complaints are also more common as text on smartphones is much smaller and takes more effort to read.
Hands and arms are also subjected to greater strain when typing text and holding a deviceas wrists are often bent and rotated outwards.
In addition, lighting conditions often do not comply with legal guidelines. Working in a home office with insufficient lighting at your desk or sunlight striking work equipment could result in you adopting an uncomfortable posture to either see your work accurately or shield light reflections.
When working remotely the classic ergonomic rules should be considered, i.e. seating position, climate and monitor location. Plus, you should only use a tablet for short periods of time and take regular breaks.
Useful tips for working with mobile devices
- Short-term use only
- Use devices with low-reflection display (avoiding glare)
- Relieve the strain on the arms and back: e.g., use tray holders
- If the tablet is to be used for long periods of time, use a mouse and keyboard
- Take regular breaks
- Use mobile views to get an optimal display
- Use lightweight technical devices
- Ideal distance between screen and eyes is a minimum of 500mm and recommend 700mm
If you need further information on this topic, please contact us or visit our website: https://adapt-global.com/ergo-squad/