Telephone Headsets and RSI
There are other postures, which can result in musculoskeletal disorders, such as using a telephone at a computer workstation. A common posture involves holding the phone handset between the ear and shoulders. This is common practice when combining phone and computer work. Also another posture while on the phone is leaning forward while talking. These kinds of postures can increase tension in the neck and shoulder muscles and can lead to discomfort. Various awkward postures have been associated with the risk of inflammation of the joints, tendons, and muscle spasms. It is highly recommended to use a headset instead of holding the phone on your shoulder.
RSI from telephone and computer use is frequently overlooked. Some other common problems with employees who are in a receptionist position, call center environment may also be at risk of voice loss, and upper limb disorders. Postures that cause constant moving of body parts in neutral positions can affect circulation, irritate and apply pressure to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and the nerves. Properly adjusting workstation headsets, phones, computers, chairs, and desks, while providing proper footrest support and placing the most used items closer to the user can minimize the amount of time spent using incorrect posture. RSI comes from frequent movements such as constantly holding the phone receiver with the neck and shoulder, clicking a mouse, typing on a keyboard, and other various positions.
Not only can an employee be at risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, they could also be at risk of Tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the tendons, Tenosynovitis, which is the irritation of the synovial membrane, and Bursitis, which is the inflammation of the bursa, which is located in the shoulder, elbow, or knee.
If you are in a receptionist position or call center environment and do not have a headset, ask for one from your employer and let them know about any symptoms or concerns that you may have to prevent future problems such as the ones described.