It goes without saying that COVID-19 has completely rocked the world. As a result we are having to acclimatise to a new ‘normal’. One of the most common changes is the change from working full time in an office environment, to now (for many) working full time from home. Of course this change brings on many challenges, including a change in our work set up. Our bodies were accustomed to an ergonomically friendly setup, and unfortunately our living room couches, kitchen benches or even ironing boards – yes we have seen it all! – don’t really compare to our more ergonomically friendly work spaces.
As a result of this change, we have seen an increased number of people attending physiotherapy with complaints of neck, back, shoulder and wrist pain. Although not entirely causative, the change in work setup (plus anxiety and stress) definitely is playing a major role in people’s pain.
Research shows us that our pain experience is attributed to a number of factors, including biological (our physical structures), psychological (our beliefs and coping responses) and social (our culture and contingencies). We usually have a certain pain ‘tolerance’, and when this tolerance or capacity is exceeded, we experience pain. Now what we also know is that with increased stress, our capacity or tolerance is much lower – leaving us more susceptible to pain. Once this capacity is exceeded, seemingly insignificant pain can linger and evolve into something much greater. Our aim is to either prevent this pain from starting, or to stop it along the process and prevent it
Our team is passionate about helping people reduce their risk of injury, and intervening if injury has occurred. We strive to support our clients to feel as happy and healthy as possible, even in these uncertain circumstances.
If you have recently started working from home please check out my top six general tips to remaining happy and healthy while working from home:
- Have your computer screen at eye level – You can get creative here, if you need to raise your laptop or monitor, pop some books (etc.) underneath to bring it to eye level – your neck will thank you later!
- Let those shoulders and arms relax! – Push your keyboard deeper on the desk so that your forearms can sit comfortably on the desk. Notice how your upper back is now relaxed and your shoulders aren’t up near your ears?
- Have 3-5 fingers between the back of your knees and the seat edge while sitting right back against the back support – If you don’t have this right, the chair is probably not suited for you. If the dimensions are correct however, your back can utilise what the back support is designed for – to support your back!
- Get up and move every 30-60 minutes – Our bodies weren’t designed to stay in the same spot for hours on end, the more you can get up and move the better. We recommend setting an alarm every hour to remind you to get up and take a walk around the house or perform a few stretches
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity – These are the keys. Getting a good sleep, eating healthy and exercising regularly will allow us to work freely and all are amazing de-stressors.
If you are experiencing pain or are concerned over your work set-up please contact us at www.physioyves.com – we would love to help you.