Part 1: Why Working from Home is Causing So Many People So Much Pain

Yes, it has to do with ergonomics. But there is more to it than just how you are sitting on a computer at home.

We are writing a series of articles to inform our patients, current, and past, about advice to help with working from home. We are seeing patients in the clinic every day right now that are experiencing more pain than ever before… What is the one thing they all have in common? They are working from home. In the upcoming series of emails, we are going to send out over the next week or so, we will discuss different reasons why people are hurting more now than ever before. And we will give some simple advice on what to do to minimize the negative impact of working from home.

We will dive into ergonomics deeper in future emails. First of all, I want to discuss the varying dynamic differences between working at a business vs. working from home. When “at work”, whether it’s an office setting or another type of job, people tend to be sitting at their desk working for what seems like the entire day. But this isn’t true. According to an article studying work habits from Perth, Australia, about 80% of the work time in an office is “sedentary”. This means in an 8-hour workday, office workers are moving around more than an hour and a half throughout the day. I would argue that when working from home, people tend to sit around more during normal work hours (as well as during non-working hours during the stay-at-home order–to be discussed more in a future article).  People don’t have co-workers in an office down the hall to walk to talk about issues at work. Instead, we email, instant message, call or sit in Zoom meetings for these daily communications. Even lunch breaks people would leave the office, walk to their car, go to their local restaurant, walk inside and get their food, walk back to the car, walk back to the office, etc. Now people walk to the kitchen 20 feet away.

The take-home advice here is to up and move at least 1 hour in the morning throughout your work shift and 1 hour in the afternoon throughout the work shift. Go walk around the block twice a day in the middle of your working hours. If you need a “note from a doctor”, let us know. Movement throughout the day is essential to avoid the negative effects of working from home.

Also, remember, that we are seeing patients during our normal patient hours. We are taking many precautions at the clinic to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. If you need to come in due to the pain you are dealing with, call us to schedule an appointment. We are also offering “TELEHEALTH” appointments with one of the doctors at mc2. These visits are done using teleconferencing methods like Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime, etc. We can meet to discuss any problems you are having and we can show you stretches, exercises, etc to help you start feeling better. AND…. many insurances are paying 100% for this and waiving all copays and deductibles. So the telehealth appointments have no out-of-pocket expense for many patients. Call us today to schedule a telehealth appointment.

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