Nowadays it is almost impossible to carry out a work task without a computer. Mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and watches make it possible to work anywhere, anytime. But what effect does this development have on the health and wellbeing of employees?
The digital working world
The advancing digital working world drives companies to evolve in order to remain competitive. Remote work helps companies recruit new employees with hard-to-find skill sets or retain current employees who relocate due to personal circumstances. Progressive work environments have proven added value and competitive advantage. This has unleashed a flux of changes in workspace design and desk accessories, especially mobile and tablet device ergonomics for work-at-home employees and remote workforce management.
Ergonomic health risks of mobile working
A general principle is that the regulations that apply in a “normal” workplace should also apply in a home setting, and employers act in accordance with them. Wherever you work, the Occupational Health and Safety Act should be observed.
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. Researchers at Harvard’s School of Public Health believe tablet users risk neck and shoulder pain. Physical impacts from digital device and tablet misuse and overuse are known by non-medical and medical labels like Text Neck, Text Claw, iPad Shoulder, Cell Phone Elbow, and Cubital and Radial Tunnel Syndrome.
Eye and headache complaints are now more common as the much smaller text on smartphones takes more effort to read. People also scrunch forward and hunch closer to screens.
Hands and arms are also subjected to greater strain when typing text and holding a device; wrists are often bent and rotated outwards.
Poor Lighting and Discomfort
Home office lighting conditions vary widely. Insufficient lighting at a desk or sunlight striking work equipment causes an employee to adopt uncomfortable postures to either see accurately or shield light reflections.
Useful tips for working with mobile devices
Consider classic and more recent digital and remote ergonomic rules, i.e. seating position, climate and monitor location, screen time, and device position.
1. Short-term use
2. Use devices with low-reflection display
3. Relieve the strain on the arms and back: e.g., use tray holders, tablet arms
4. If using the tablet for long periods of time, use a mouse and keyboard
5. Take regular breaks
6. Use mobile views to get an optimal display
7. Use lightweight technical devices
8. Maintain an ideal distance between screen and eyes, between 500mm and 700mm
Useful tools for working with mobile devices
Consider remote and mobile ergonomic workspace solutions and desk accessories offered by office equipment and furniture manufacturers.
1. Height-adjustable tablet arms, device platforms and stands
2. Keyboard platforms, trays, scissor lifts, corner desk bridges
3. LED Lighting – lampstands, desktop mounted lamps
4. Portable laptop holders
5. Smartphone and cord handlers
Workplace ergonomics and wellness
Today employers can proactively address workplace ergonomics and wellness by conducting employee ergonomic assessments, including remote workstation assessments. Mobile workspace influences also impact commercial designers, architects, spec writers, and facility planners.
To get more information on this topic, ergonomic assessments, or related equipment and desk accessories, please contact us [email protected] or visit our website: https://adapt-global.com/en-us/ergo-squad/