The health and well-being of remote and mobile workers

JO Crawford, L MacCalman, Craig Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background Remote and mobile workers (RMWs), people who spend the majority of work time away from a home or office base, are estimated to number 1 million in the UK and Ireland. A number of advantages and challenges have been identified with this way of working but little is known about the impact of this type of work on the health and well-being of RMWs. Aims To identify any potential health or psychosocial effects associated with remote and mobile working, identify ergonomic factors that impact on this group and ascertain the effect of organizational or management factors that influence this occupational group. Methods A systematic review methodology was used and a search strategy developed including keywords, which were used to search electronic databases and websites. Data were then extracted from included papers and quality assessed. Results Initial searches identified 280 references but only 11 papers reached the inclusion criteria. Health effects identified included musculoskeletal symptoms associated with higher mileage and more time in a vehicle but a number of vehicle design issues were found to improve symptoms. Psychosocial factors including high demands were also found but better mental health was associated with higher mileage and more time with clients. There was a lack of substantive evidence in relation to managing this group. Conclusions There is little research currently available on the general health of RMWs and future research should examine this further and focus on general health and access to support services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-394
Number of pages10
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011


  • remote and mobile working
  • occupational mental health
  • occupational health
  • Ergonomics


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