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Working from home can cause a sore throat by forcing you to raise or strain your voice


Working from home hurts people, scientists claim, because they have to continually raise and pollute their voices during Zoom meetings.

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin asked 1,575 people how often they had suffered from hoarse voices or vocal discomfort since the coronavirus lockdown.

Due to measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, more people were working from home than from home, leading to an increase in video calling use.

As a result of people raising their voices to be heard in online meetings, the rate of neck problems increased – 85 percent of respondents have developed problems since the lockdown began.

The study's lead author, Ciarán Kenny, said the study shows that workplaces should consider language training for employees to limit potential difficulties.

Researchers from Trinity, College Dublin, interviewed 1,575 people about times when they had suffered hoarse voices or discomfort in the vocal apparatus since the coronavirus lockdown

The global COVID-19 pandemic caused many countries to take action to "flatten the curve," primarily through the introduction of social or physical distancing.

During the initial lockdown, many countries prohibited people from traveling to work unless it was an essential service that could not be performed from home.

With job changes, the use of telecommunications increased, and many companies were using video calling technology to keep in touch with employees.

Video conferencing and remote apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams saw a huge surge in user numbers due to working from home.

Even perceived voice difficulties affect quality of life, the Irish team said, adding that it also affects job performance and individuals' prospects.

Even perceived voice difficulties affect quality of life, the Irish team said, adding that it also affects job performance and individuals' prospects.

Of the 1,575 people involved in the study, 516 reported problems with their throats at the time the survey was completed on June 19, 2020.

Of this subgroup, 86 percent said they had no problems with their necks before the lockdown was in place, but only five percent had no problems after the lockdown.

Of those who developed a problem since the onset of lockdown, 72 percent reported mild problems and 22 percent reported moderate problems with their necks.

Even perceived voice difficulties affect quality of life, the Irish team said, adding that it also affects job performance and individuals' prospects.

Language difficulties are related to people taking time off, considering a career change, and limiting their ability to do their job or interact with colleagues.

The widespread adoption of home working during the global pandemic may have put a large portion of the workforce at greater risk of developing professional voice problems and related discomfort in the voice apparatus, the researchers said.

Moving to increased online and phone communication can put increased voice strain so people speak more than they do in the office.

"This study is based on the fact that difficulties can arise while working from home rather than in a normal work environment," they said.

"It was therefore remarkable that the increasing use of telephone and video compared to the pre-blocking phase was also associated with newly emerging complaints of the voice apparatus."

They found that those who used video calling the least while working from home were more likely to develop a hoarse throat than those who used it frequently.

& # 39; The reason for this is unknown and needs further investigation. For example, it could be that those who do not rely on video calls are using the phone instead and that this is more vocal, ”the team said.

The widespread adoption of home working during the global pandemic may have put a large portion of the workforce at greater risk of developing professional voice problems and related discomfort in the voice apparatus, the researchers said

The widespread adoption of home working during the global pandemic may have put a large portion of the workforce at greater risk of developing professional voice problems and related discomfort in the voice apparatus, the researchers said

This study collected information about the participants' use of tools such as speakerphones, free-standing microphones and headsets.

"An analysis of their influence on the complaints of the voice and the vocal apparatus would be lengthy and will therefore be published in a separate study," said the team.

People who said they needed to raise or strain their voices during phone or video calls most likely developed new sore throats or other problems and got worse than others, which had a greater impact on their lives.

The team said there are steps in place to reduce the impact, such as: B. Voice hygiene programs for users of telecommunications equipment.

Organizations should first raise awareness of poorly adapted speech patterns before correcting these behaviors, similar to how traditional speech therapy works.

The research was published in the Journal of Voice.