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October/November 2011 (vol. 08/3)
Remote and mobile workers
A systematic review found a lack of good quality evidence on managing the health and wellbeing of remote and mobile workers (RMWs). Defined as having less than four hours’ face-to-face contact with managers or colleagues per week, RMWs are estimated to number around 1 million in the UK and Ireland. Most papers covered musculoskeletal risks, which were associated with time spent in vehicles and high mileage, and related to psychosocial factors; though vehicle design can improve symptoms. There was moderate evidence that poorer mental health was associated with longer hours, high psychological demands, low control, and role ambiguity, but better mental health was associated with more time with customers and higher mileage. While the review identified health risk factors, there was little evidence on how best to manage them.
Occupational Health at Work October/November 2011 (vol. 08/3) pp41