Australians are working from home more than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic. And with Sydneysiders in the throes of another lockdown, the pattern is continuing. If you have swapped your office desk, ergonomic chair and desktop computer for a compact laptop on the lounge or the kitchen counter, your new home office setup could be wreaking havoc on your back, neck and shoulders. Fortunately, there is a solution: physiotherapy.
Is your home office setup harming your physical health?
It’s hardly a surprise that physiotherapists are reporting seeing more people for back and neck aches since the pandemic made working from home a new norm. If your workspace is conducive to poor posture, it’s time to rethink your setup.
Poor ergonomics can cause not only discomfort and pain but can also lead to musculoskeletal disorders and impact your body’s movement. Conditions like hand and wrist problems associated with repetitive strain (carpel tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, trigger fingers and De Quervain’s which affects the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist) and lower back and neck pain can be avoided with a few tweaks to your workspace design and avoiding awkward postures.
The strains and pains of a home office
If restrictions continue to make working from home your new normal, it’s time to spot the signs of poor posture in order to shake off the aches and pains. Sitting hunched forward over your laptop, tablet or keyboard is a no-no. So too is spending long stints in the same position.
There are some significant signs your body is suffering from poor posture, especially if your work station has transitioned from the office to the couch or a barstool in the kitchen. Incorrect posture can increase stress on the spine and the results are grim: for example, you can develop that dreaded round back or hunchback look as a result of slouching (kyphosis), the muscles in your neck can tighten from the strain of hunching forward and cause headaches, and slouching while seated can result in back pain.
Don’t let lockdown sabotage your body
Your body can be suffering in other ways too. For many, the pandemic lockdown has hit pause on their gym membership, for others it has ended weekend sport and then there are those that are experiencing a general lack of motivation to be physically active at all.
Despite the restrictions, we need to sit less and move more. Being inactive is not only bad for our mental health, it can also lead to muscle degradation and overall weakness.
If remote working is your new status quo, fight the urge to stay sedentary and stop slouching! Remember to stand up and move regularly. Change your position often (set a timer if you must). Find some time to exercise, preferably outdoors, to enhance your health. And invest in a workspace setup that encourages proper posture.
Let’s battle the lockdown pain together
If those working from home pains in your back, neck, headaches and wrist pain persists, find a physio near me to support you. Physiotherapy treatment is instrumental in helping you maintain and enhance your body’s function, especially during periods of immobility.
As an essential health business, we are open 24/7 for emergency physiotherapy attention and same day physio. We have protocols in place to keep you and our staff safe during this time. Call our team to discuss your concerns or book an appointment.