Repetitive Surf Injury is thought to affect more than half a million workers in the UK and could be costing the industry up to £20 billion a year.
People suffer painful muscle damage as they spend hours hunched over keyboards, balancing laptops on their knees or continually texting on mobile phones and Blackberrys.
AdvertisementAccording to Yahoo!, the internet search engine, more than 8 million Britons access the internet on the move, many of them finishing off last-minute work on the way home or surfing social networking sites, Telegraph reports.
Gordon Mowat, of Aspire Management Services, a business consultancy firm, said: "People are under increasing pressure to deliver because they are scared of losing their jobs.
"Pushing staff too hard and making them work non-stop is likely to have the opposite affect employers are looking for.
"New technology means workers are almost always in contact and subject to deadline pressures. The trouble is we forget that people aren't machines."
Iain Thompson, the general manager of Yahoo! Finance Europe, said, "As a nation we are demanding more and more from the internet and we want access anywhere and everywhere. Location is no longer a barrier when it comes to logging on but it does mean we are laying ourselves bare to potential RSI problems. We don't need to stop surfing we just need to surf safely to remain injury free to continue to enjoy all the brilliant content the web offers."
Yahoo! has teamed up with the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) to help internet users avoid RSI.
With the advent of mobile technology, BCA chiropractors have reported seeing increasing amounts of patients whose back pain and neck pain is due to the using laptops and mobile phones. In fact, research reveals that over 56% of the population owning up to having a bad posture, and 43% blame their posture problems on the use of a laptop.
Tim Hutchful from British Chiropractic Association comments: "Sitting down puts almost twice as much pressure on the spine than standing up, so we are more at risk from posture pains when seated. As chiropractors we are finding that, when on the move, people are balancing laptops on their legs so users stare down at the screen which in turn puts strain on their necks, shoulders and backs. Holding your head and neck in this unsupported position can place increased load on the joints of the neck and reduce blood flow to the surrounding muscles causing inflammation, stiffness and pain.
"So many phones nowadays have a built-in internet browser, and as technology is developing, gadgets are getting smaller and so the buttons are closer together. Small, fine movements tend to aggravate more than larger movements - this coupled with the smaller buttons can lead to injury as smaller buttons are harder to activate. These movements may cause a lack of blood flow to the tendons and muscles of the thumb and may cause inflammation of the joint at the base of the thumb."
www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk offers a lot of tips on handling electronic gadgets safely without injuring ourselves.