Telephones: Neck Pain Complaints

Neck Pain – Neck Pain, Back pain, Arm Pain and Headaches

A research study on office employees who used the phone for a minimum of two hours each day was carried out by the Health Sciences Department at Surrey University.

The focus of this study was the effect of telephone use upon working postures.

The most commonly observed posture was to grip the phone between shoulder and head. This posture increases the risk of nerve compression in the neck and shoulder area, which could lead to a number of problems in the spine, arm and hands.

Another potentially dangerous posture that was observed was leaning forwards away from the chair back while taking a call. This causes increased pressure on the spine and can lead on to other problems. The study found that 50% of the group suffered from neck pain and 31% suffered from low back pain. 65% of participants also reported that they suffered with occasional or frequent headaches.

In a crossover section of the study the same group were monitored using a telephone headset. Neck pain was reduced by 31%, lower back pain by 16% and upper back pain by 9%. Nearly two thirds of the group said that they rarely or never had a headache when using a headset and headaches were overall reduced by 27%.

The conclusion of the study was that anyone who uses a telephone for a minimum of two hours a day in conjunction with a computer could benefit from a headset, which significantly improves working posture and consequently reduces the risk of injury

Source: Elizabeth Simpson “Phone Use: A Cause of neck complaints” Surrey University

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