That’s not a frog in your throat

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working from home (Getty)
working from home (Getty)

NEWS


Working from home is giving people a sore throat, scientists claim, because they are having to continuously raise and strain their voices during virtual meetings.

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland surveyed 1 575 people on the number of times they have suffered from a hoarse voice or vocal tract discomfort since Covid-19 lockdowns began.

As a result of people “raising their voices” to be heard in online meetings, the rate of throat issues increased – with 85% of those surveyed developing issues during lockdown.

The study’s lead author, Ciarán Kenny, said the research indicated that workplaces should consider voice training for employees to limit potential difficulties.

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The Covid-19 pandemic caused many countries to adopt measures to “flatten the curve”, primarily through the introduction of social or physical distancing.

During the first lockdown, many countries banned people from travelling to work unless it was an essential service that couldn’t be carried out from home.

Change of workplace venue saw increased use of telecommunication, with many firms adopting video calling technologies to stay in touch with employees.

Video conferencing and remote working apps, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, saw a huge boost in user numbers as a result of work-from-home orders.

Out of the 1 575 people involved in the study, 516 reported issues with their throats at the time the survey was completed in June.

Of that subset, 86% said they had had no issues with their throat before lockdown measures were introduced, but only 5% had no issues while working from home during lockdown – only developing a sore throat after returning to the office.

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Of those who developed a problem after lockdown began, 72% reported mild problems and 22% reported moderate problems with their throat. – MailOnline


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