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Getting Back Pain While Working From Home? An Ergonomics Expert Offers Advice

0 2 years ago

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, roughly 1 in 6 U.S. workers, some 26 million people, worked either partly or fully from home. Now that number has grown significantly, as states are requiring non-essential employees to stay home. If you’re one of these people, you may be noticing new aches and pains that you did not experience at the office. That’s because even though it isn’t mandated, many companies follow an ANSI-HFS standard in the design of their computer workstations, furnishing the office with the ergonomic furniture and accessories.

Most residential settings, however, simply don’t have the space to accommodate today’s ergonomic office furniture, nor do most people invest in it, especially if they do the bulk of their work in the office. So if you are working from your home, it’s likely that you are either using your computer on a regular table or a kitchen countertop, or you are in a lounge chair or on your bed. Wherever you’ve camped out for the day, chances are you aren’t in a healthy posture. If you do this for only short periods of time, you might not need to worry, but our weeks at home are turning into months. And even after the pandemic has passed, remote working is likely to remain the norm for millions of workers, as companies learn that certain jobs don’t require the in-office hours they once did. If you are already feeling the physical strain, the bad news is that you may be on the road to a potentially debilitating

musculoskeletal injury, such as a bad back, sore neck and shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome or even a deep vein thrombosis, a condition in which blood clots form in the veins deep in your body.

1. View your computer screen with a straight neck.

Put your screen in front of you at a comfortable viewing height. Don’t look down at your screen, like to a laptop on a table or to your phone. And don’t angle your screen so you must twist your neck–some people like to put their keyboard and mouse in front of them with their screen off to the side, but then they end up dealing with neck pain from the swiveling. If you have a separate screen or if you are using a laptop, you might have to put it on a pile of books or on a cardboard box to raise it to a comfortable viewing position straight in front of you.


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