Covid19 has changed so many lives. Many lives have been sadly lost, others have survived but have long term health issues from the virus, and thankfully most who have experienced it have recovered and are back to normal health. In the business world, many businesses have had to close their doors for good as shutdowns have taken its toll. For others, they have been able to continue to work from the “comfort” of their own home.
Working from home has been a dream of many. No travel times, no commuting back and forth, more time to spend with loved ones, no getting up as early and a great deal more flexibility as well.
Despite this, there are many downsides to working from home. Lack of social interaction is one, but another downside is something that chiropractors have seen, and that’s more patients coming in complaining of back and neck pain.
Why is this?
This article from the New York Times explains the situation perfectly well. It’s a good article detailing the issues that people have found when working from home, especially as it was supposed to be a temporary situation while the virus was controlled. Well, now it’s September and those jobs still haven’t been called back to the office and the long term effects of working from the couch or the dining table are beginning to take their toll.
You see, in the office, equipment has already been provided by the business. Proper desks, chairs and other equipment that are designed for humans to use on a long term basis. At home, many are unable to supply that same equipment and so are making do with makeshift setups which do not pertain well to the worker at all.
And now add the fact that college students are now mostly doing lessons online, back pain is fast becoming a pandemic in its own right.
At Back and Body Medical, we agree with the article, we too have seen many individuals who are working from home who have come to us seeking help to relieve their pain.
As with most things, prevention is key. We have written several articles and created videos ourselves this year to help people setup their space so as to avoid pain in the first place. For example, this post on setting your chair up is very valuable to understand how you should sit at a desk.
The NY Times article discusses a couple of key things you can do to try and prevent pain. These are summarized here:
Buy a keyboard and mouse for laptop use. Bring the laptop monitor up to eye level and use the external keyboard and mouse at normal desk height. This helps keep your neck upright and not bent down.
Take more breaks. Get up from your workstation every 30 minutes and walk around. Every 15 minutes change your posture and stretch your neck. You can use a timer on your phone to set reminders up.
These two factors can greatly improve your pain and enable you to work better. If you are looking at working from home in the long term it is probably wise to invest in proper desk, chair and equipment to bring you back to the office in your own home. If you have the space, set aside a specific room for setting your office up, it will help you to separate rest and relaxation from work as well.
Don’t forget to read the article, it will help give you further insight if you are having pain, but of course, if you are having issues with back or neck pain, we are here for you. We are open and helping people out of pain as usual. Schedule an appointment to come in and see us or call us (212) 371-2000.