Handheld Mobile Devices—How Do We Use Them at Work? A University Case Study

  • Abdullah AlzhraniEmail author
  • Margaret Cook
  • Kelly Johnstone
  • Jolene Cooper
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 820)


The use of handheld mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) is common among the general population. It is acknowledged that the use of handheld mobile devices exposes users to the recognized ergonomic risk factors of duration, repetition, and awkward and static postures; however, the nature of this exposure is currently poorly defined. This cross-sectional survey collected information about the use of smartphones and tablets concerning: type of devices, duration of use, duration of work-related tasks, environmental settings, hand-grip and tablet position, and musculoskeletal discomfort. Three hundred and ninety-eight (398) university employees and research students responded to the survey. The survey results highlighted that the use of smartphones differs from the use of tablets, with differences noted for postures adopted, duration of use, location of use, tasks undertaken, environmental settings, and hand-grip and tablet position. The results emphasized the potential ergonomic risks that workers are exposed to during the use of smartphones and tablets especially in relation to posture, duration, and environmental settings.


Smartphone Tablet Musculoskeletal discomfort 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdullah Alzhrani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Margaret Cook
    • 1
  • Kelly Johnstone
    • 1
  • Jolene Cooper
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Health, Safety, and WellnessThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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