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Shouldering the pain of business travel


- Leading physiotherapist identifies new medical condition
- Nearly two thirds of business travellers suffer from laptop shoulder
- More than half of business travellers don’t know how to alleviate pain and discomfort
- Crowne Plaza first hotel group to partner with physiotherapist to help guests

As leading physiotherapist, Diane Hunter MSc BSc (Hons) MCSP, identifies new condition, laptop shoulder, research from Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts reveals sixty-three per cent of laptop users suffer from severe pain and discomfort while travelling on business.

Almost two thirds of business travellers are putting their long-term health at risk according to Hunter who has teamed up with Crowne Plaza to provide a guide to help laptop users beat the condition.

Air travel, driving and bad posture further add to the pain and discomfort in the upper back and neck caused by transporting heavy laptop computers for business travellers. This tends to result in referred pain into the shoulders.

As business becomes more mobile, Crowne Plaza findings show that nearly two thirds of laptop users are suffering increased pain and discomfort in their shoulders, back or neck when travelling with laptops.

Crowne Plaza commissioned the research after hotel staff noticed a large number of business guests were suffering from pain in their back, neck and shoulders.

The findings also reveal that three quarters of laptop users carry their laptop in the wrong type of bag exacerbating the symptoms. One in two laptop users are oblivious to the ways that laptop shoulder and other repetitive strain injuries can be avoided, and don’t know they can relieve postural pain with straightforward exercises that can be carried out in hotel rooms.

To help its guests overcome the pain of laptop shoulder, Crowne Plaza has partnered with Diane Hunter, physiotherapy consultant, to provide an exercise guide that is specifically designed for use in hotels, as well as offering tips for guests to avoid laptop shoulder.

The guides are available in selected Crowne Plaza hotels across the UK and may be made available for download from the Crowne Plaza website depending on demand. Hotels include London Docklands, Glasgow, Birmingham NEC, Liverpool, Dublin Blanchardstown and Manchester City Centre. Additionally a number of Crowne Plaza hotels will offer free neck massages for guests.

Diane Hunter MSc BSc (Hons) MCSP, Crowne Plaza Physiotherapy Consultant:
"I am treating an increasing number of patients suffering from shoulder pain arising from carrying laptops. The symptoms include an aching shoulder, sometimes accompanied with neck and upper back pain. My colleagues and I refer to this condition as laptop shoulder. This can be a chronic and debilitating condition if left untreated.

“Treatment involves taking steps to improve posture and a simple exercise programme. Crowne Plaza staff have recognised the need for this advice to be made available to their guests in order to maximise the comfort of their stay. I hope this will contribute to the awareness of the problem and encourage travellers to look after their posture.”

Eleanor Conroy, Crowne Plaza spokesperson continued:
“A huge number of our guests are lugging heavy laptops around all day when they’re travelling on business. They can end up in a lot of pain. With simple in-room exercises our guests can avoid laptop shoulder and get on with enjoying their stay.”

Physiotherapy exercises from Crowne Plaza include the following:

- When you arrive in your hotel room, take ten minutes to lie on your back on the bed, allow your arms to relax by your sides and take a few deep breaths.
- Sitting upright in the chair, stretch your arms above your head, lean back in the chair so you can stretch your upper back and take three deep breaths without allowing your head to tilt forwards or backwards.
- Rotating your upper body in the chair, grab onto the chair and stretch round as far as you can. Do this five times to your left and five times to your right.
- Sit upright in the chair and look straight ahead. Gently tuck in your chin and pull your head back for five seconds. Repeat this five times.
- Sitting upright in your chair, shrug both shoulders up and back and drop them down to achieve a backwards rolling motion. Do this five times.
- Look down at the front of your right shoulder until you feel a mild stretch in your left upper neck. Slowly and gently, repeat this to the left.


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