Research confirms that regular phone use for long periods can be a common cause of neck and back discomfort and complaints. It is reported that an increasingly common form of repetitive strain injury known as 'phone neck' is caused by wedging the telephone handset between neck and shoulders. This is typically done to free hands to use a keyboard. Therefore those particularly at risk are office based phone users who simultaneously use a phone and computer for lengthy or regular periods of time.
When we cradle a telephone handset between ear and shoulder this can result in stress on our neck which results very often in muscle spasm and stiffness. Poor posture of the neck during extended (and demanding or stressful) telephone calls may even lead to improper cervical alignment and pinched nerves. The resulting reduction in blood flow from adopting the prolonged use of the telephone handset between shoulder and ear also accelerates muscle fatigue.
Using telephone headsets eliminates the need to hold the telephone handset in an uncomfortable position, helps the shoulders stay relaxed, ensures the head can be held up straight and in doing so improving posture. Telephone headsets also allow the freedom of movement and encourage users to sit more naturally.
When considering hygiene, since most headset users take ownership of their headset they are also less liable to have contact with bacteria usually found on the handset of a telephone, especially telephones that are shared with other users (common in call centres operating shift patterns).
Telephone headsets are available in many wearing styles to suit individual users. Common styles are monaural (single earpiece), binaural (twin earpiece) and convertible style which allow over the ear wearing as is common with bluetooth mobile headsets. Additional features such as noise cancelling enables the ambient office or call centre noise to be attenuated so that the other call party cannot hear this. Most modern office and call centre telephones have a suitable headset connection port/socket for connection of the telephone headset with the industry standard RJ type or 2.5mm round type connectors.
In summary most business owners can benefit significantly from providing their staff with telephone headsets both in terms of both improved productivity and reduced absence.