Problem-solving my aches and pains when working from home

Ideally, if you were going to start working from home on a full-time basis, the decision would be one that had been considered for some time to allow you to prepare to set up an appropriate workstation and working environment. With the current global situation being thrust upon us, a lot of people have now scrambled to start working from home. With the outlook of working from a less than ideal workstation at home for a somewhat prolonged period, these are the most common areas of discomfort, what might be causing it and some possible solutions.

Neck Pain

For everyone that is working from a laptop without an external monitor or laptop stand, then this is especially for you. Assess where your eye level is when you sit in your chair (or stand) and then think about where the middle of your monitor screen is. If your eye level is above the screen, then that means your neck is going to be in a sustained flexed position the whole workday. Being in this position can be a significant source of neck discomfort.

SOLUTION: Raise your monitor/laptop with a stand, books, reams of paper or whatever it may be and use an external keyboard and mouse. If this isn’t possible then make sure you take regular postural breaks and stretch regularly around the neck.

Lower Back Pain

Working from home can mean working from a dining chair, couch, stool, fitball or even on the floor. Unfortunately, as these options aren’t fully adjustable or fitted to suit your body composition, it means you can be sitting too upright or without your back supported. It can then result in discomfort to the lower back and made worse the longer you sit in these chairs as the weeks roll by.

SOLUTION: Best practice would be to buy a chair that is fully adjustable and fitted specially for your body composition. If this isn’t realistic, the best solution is to get out of your chair as much as possible throughout the day, at least every 30 minutes. Regularly stretching around the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and lower back will also help as well as going out for a walk at lunchtime to break up your day.

 

For additional training on working from home, Absolute Balance can conduct assessments via webinars to assist you with your setup. For more information contact aaron@absolutebalance.com.au

Aaron McErlaine

(BSc – ExHealth, BSc – ExRehab, Dip WHS, Cert IV TAE)
Health & Injury Prevention Services Manager (AEP) (ESSAM)