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HOL Syndrome – is your laptop making you sick? (+ a possible solution)


Disturbing recent research from the U.K. reports that one in ten people suffer from posture problems while working on the move, with more than 65% of them saying they need to take medication to manage the condition. It seems that our laptops, tablets and mobile phones are causing real problems for our backs.

The research, conducted on behalf of office equipment supplier Fellowes, also points to a disturbing increase in pain among those who have to do much of their work while on the move, and with an increasing number of hot desks being introduced into the workplace (offering only temporary working locations for employees) this could get much worse over time.


Apparently the problem – dubbed HOLS, for Hunched Over Laptop Syndrome – is worse for those aged between 18 and 24, with two thirds of them claiming to have a problem caused by mobile working. It seems that the health risks of a laptop on your knee is a thing. (NB not to be confused with Texter’s Neck)

General practitioner and health broadcaster, Dr Sarah Jarvis explains that the problem is indeed getting worse, “In many cases this so called ‘HOL’ syndrome is brought on by lack of ergonomic equipment. Job illnesses and ailments associated with poor posture are rising significantly and I am seeing more in my practice year on year.”


Ergonomics is a growing problem generally in the workplace, and there are even free checklists you can use to make sure you’re not likely to end up a victim. But for now the best advice would seem to be, if you must work while on the move, try and make sure you find a location which lets you type in a more upright position and avoid using your lap as a desk.


Or maybe grab yourself a Roost?

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