Working from home? Here's how to avoid the negative side effects
KITCHENER -- Bad posture, back pain and sitting too long are just a few side effects of working from home.
With many offices closing because of COVID-19 restrictions, more people are working in settings that are not as ergonomically correct, causing people to suffer from pain.
Marcia Grove is no stranger to soreness from work since she's been working from home.
"The more I sit, the more I hurt," she said.
She's been getting chiropractic treatment more often, and she isn't alone.
The Registered Massage Therapists' Association of Ontario said that, since the pandemic began, patients are coming more frequently with back pain from working at home in less-than-ideal circumstances.
"From spending more time in their home offices versus their regular workplace, they are getting more chronic postural issues," explained chiropractor Jason Price.
But kinesiologist Steven Fischer said there are ways to avoid injury when working from home.
He said it's important to adjust your home office to have proper ergonomics.
"Having a space that allows your body to be comfortable and neutral," he explained.
There are a few ways to accomplish that:
- Raise or lower your desk so it's aligned with your elbow in a neutral position
- Elevate your chair to ensure your knees are at a 90-degree angle
- Raise your monitor so it's at eye level
When possible, though, Fischer recommended moving your body throughout the day.
"Getting up and reminding myself, setting myself alarms to go walk around the block or check the mail or take the dog out for a walk, can be really help to break up that continuity of prolonged sitting," he said.
As for Groves, she said that she is doing her best to employ those tips at home so she doesn't have any setbacks.
That's especially important, she said, because her time working from home has no end in sight.