Is your computer a pain in the neck?

Aug 11 2020

With many of us now working from home full-time or part-time, an International consortium of researchers want to explore how this is impacting our health.

Led by University of Newcastle and HMRI-affiliated researcher Associate Professor Suzanne Snodgrass, the team is looking to learn more from people who spend approximately 75% of their working hours on a computer.

With workplace changes happening readily, the team is keen to explore how people are spending time on their computers while working from home.

For many, a dedicated desk set-up at home just isn’t possible, particularly with a household full of people.

The question is, if they’re using a laptop, is it still set up optimally or are people working in bed or on the couch?

The team is conducting an online survey in Australia, the UK and the US to assess not only how people are working, but how this is impacting their health and wellbeing. This includes any neck or back pain, as well as mental wellbeing, job stress, physical activity and sleep.

“This information will help us to find solutions to the everyday aches and pains people get when working for too long on computers, especially in awkward positions at home,” Associate Professor Snodgrass says.

“The flexible working from home that many people are doing now is likely to continue well into the future, now that businesses are set up for it. So we need strategies to keep people healthy and prevent pain during flexible work.”

Participants aged between 18 and 65 who spend 75% of their time or more on a computer or other mobile device (including tablets and phones) are invited to complete a 15 – 20 minute anonymous online survey.

Participants don’t need to be working from home or have pain, but their work must be computer based.

“Even if you only work at home an hour a week, we’d love to hear from you,” Associate Professor Snodgrass says.

To find out more, and to access the survey, go to

For more information contact Associate Professor Suzanne Snodgrass on 02 4921 2089 or email