Working From Home May Be Ruining Your Posture…
Covid-19 restrictions have shaken the working landscape on a grand scale, with more than 60% of the UK workforce remaining within their homes. Whilst many of us have become accustomed to the same four walls (for better or obviously for worse), you may be finding that your posture is deteriorating in recent months.
Those makeshift offices utilising your dining room chairs may have served their purpose for some time, allowing for a smooth transition from office to remote life. In fact, many businesses have been vigilant in removing workers from the office to their home environment, with office equipment, VPN systems and various technological necessities functioning well and enabling the business to flow as usual.
While this remote environment may not seem much of an issue, the overall outcome to our physical wellbeing can actually be quite detrimental.
We as employees often take for granted the equipment that is given to us at our workplaces, giving them little to no thought. From ergonomic office chairs to 24-hour mesh chairs that facilitate posture and make for a comfortable sitting arrangement, companies can typically afford to splash the cash on the latest gear to kit out the office and keep their staff satisfied (well logic would say they should). Contrastingly, our ‘provisional’ office equipment does not have this luxury…
As such, workers across the nation have been reporting chronic pain as a result of their existing workset.
Charity Versus Arthritis called on firms to encourage their staff to be more open about their home working needs, after it found 89% of those suffering with back, shoulder or neck pain as a result of their new workspace had not told their employer about it.
Almost a quarter (23%) said they experienced musculoskeletal pain most or all of the time and 46% said they had been taking painkillers more often than they would like.
Lower back pain was the most common complaint identified by the charity’s survey, with 50% of respondents reporting this, followed by neck pain (36%) and shoulder pain (28%).
Karen Middleton, chief executive of The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, commented: “This research isn’t surprising as Covid-19, months of working from home and reduced activity levels will have had a serious deconditioning effect on millions of people.
Whether it’s slouching or hunching over your keyword, or getting into seriously bad posture habits as a result of your existing work set up, these positions can place severe strain on already sensitised muscles and soft tissues. There are some key ways to combat such issues listed below;
Do not work on the sofa;
Despite how tempting that sofa may seem, in truth, it’s probably the worst location you could pick in your home. Sofas encourage you to slump and offer little to no back support.
Do not use a laptop without a mouse and keyword;
For short-term measures this is obviously fine. For 9-5 jobs, this can again be detrimental to one’s posture. The lack of flexibility when it comes to adjusting the computer’s position is likely to make you develop neck and upper back discomfort.
Do not use a dining room chair
The dining room setup is typically a great place to work from and can provide you with a dedicated space to call your own. However, dining room chairs are not practical for everyday use and are not kitted with appropriate mechanisms and functions to facilitate working posture.
With this in mind, there are some simple tips that you can do to prevent pain and discomfort whilst working from home…
- Familiarise yourself with your posture
- Reduce your risk of back pain by adjusting your chair so your lower back is properly supported. A correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your back. Get a chair that is easily adjustable so you can change the height, back position and tilt.
- Rest your feet on the floor
- Place your screen at eye level
- Have the keyboard straight in front of you
- Keep your mouse close
- Take regular breaks
And last, but certainly not least, purchase an ergonomic chair.
Ergonomic chairs are designed specifically to adapt to an individual’s needs. Whether it’s their body composition, seat height, pan depth, backrest height, back angle, seat tilt or lumbar support, ergonomic chairs help you stay comfortable and supported throughout the day.
You could try to speak to your company to see whether they would help purchase the chair for you. While they can be slightly pricer than your prototypical workchair, their overall benefits to your body make the money extremely worthwhile – particularly when ergonomic chairs have a guarantee of up to 5 years.
Call our team today to find out how we can help you work remotely in comfort!