BT Business has launched a downloadable guide - Get fit for mobile working - to help mobile workers to avoid back, neck and arm problems.
Official figures show that back, neck and arm problems are the most common occupational illnesses in the UK. BT says that a fifth (20.6%) of its employees’ sickness absence is caused by such illnesses.
Research carried out by BT Business also shows that fewer than half (46%) of the UK's 14 million mobile workers are receiving guidance about staying safe when working on the move. Furthermore, a quarter (25%) of workers are unaware that all businesses are legally responsible for their health and safety wherever they are working, whether or not they are in the office.
The guide, developed with leading ergonomist Margaret Hanson, includes advice such as:
1. Use the backrest of your chair. Don’t slouch forwards. Keep shoulders in line with your hips.
2. Hold your head so ears are above shoulders. Don’t stick your chin forward or bend or twist your neck.
3. Alternate between thumbs and fingers when typing on smartphones.
4. Don’t rest wrists or forearms on the edge of desks.
5. Position items so you don’t twist your back; screens should be at a comfortable viewing height in front of you. Ensure your back is supported.
6. Exercise your hands, wrists and neck regularly.
7. Make sure there is nothing underneath your workstation that restricts your posture.
8. Take regular breaks away from the keyboard and screen.
9. Don’t hold the phone between ear and shoulder – you’re likely to get a sore neck.
10. Adjust settings on your software so that the image and text are large enough for you to see comfortably.
The advice has been packaged in a handy, at-a-glance overview, as well as a detailed report at www.bt.com/getfitformobileworking.