The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, which means that adults will have to continue to work from home for at least a few more months. And, even with the shelter-in-place orders have been lifted in parts of Australia, Australians are not too keen on the idea of returning to the office.
One study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that up to 60% of the workforce would want to continue working from home for at least two or three days a week after the pandemic. The most common reason people prefer the set-up is the additional time and money they get from not commuting to and from the office every day.
However, working from home would not save adults from the aches and pains from sitting in front of a computer all day.
The Solution to Back Pain
Back pain has been a problem among office workers since way before the pandemic, and people brought the root cause of it back home when the nation went into lockdown. If you have been experiencing back pain, you can blame your posture.
A bad posture puts a strain on your lumbar region, which causes back pain. People who work with computers tend to slouch or move their torso forward, which will hurt after several hours of little to no movement. The best way to prevent bad posture is to maintain a neutral position. Sit back and relax your torso.
Of course, when you are focused on a task, it is difficult to keep track of your posture. Investing in office furniture, including a chair that properly supports your back, will improve your situation. Your sofa, your dining chair, and especially your bed are not designed for work. If you plan to continue working from home after the pandemic, you will need better equipment than you already use.
When Your Hips Feel Tight
The tight feeling on your hips, which limits movement and causes aches, is also caused by posture. You are not actually meant to sit straight when you work. Your back has to recline 15-50 degrees so that your hips remain open and loose.
Again, getting a good chair will provide you benefits in the long run. If your chair has an adjustable back, you can modify it not to sit straight while you work, which only squishes the hip flexors.
This is also why office workers are advised to get up from their chair every once in a while and walk around. It keeps the joints nimble, your muscles are warmed, and your hip flexors are freed from the pressure of bad posture.
For Leg Cramps
Working from home, you may also experience a leg cramp. This may happen because you sit on your bed or the sofa with your legs crossed or your feet are not firmly planted on the floor.
Cramps are caused by poor circulation. It is your muscles’ way of telling you that they are not getting enough blood. You need to adjust the height of your chair so your feet are flat on the floor. If that is not an option, a footstool is also a good idea. Anything that supports your feet would remove pressure from your thighs.
Again, having periodic breaks for walking is a good habit to have when working, whether at home or in the office.
Strain from Staring at a Screen
The home is where the television, the smartphone, tablet, and other devices have screens. You already spend up to eight hours of your day on your laptop or desktop for work. If you unwind by staring at more screens to watch a television show or browse social media after you sign off from work, your eyes will get tired.
Eye strain can lead to dry eyes and intense headaches. Preventing it is as simple as reducing the amount of time your eyes spend staring at a screen throughout the day. Like the rest of your body, your eyes need rest, too.
Instead of reaching for your phone during breaks or switching the television on after work, make yourself look outside your window. Doing this for at least 20 seconds, refreshes your eyes. It is even better if you are staring at nature. Looking at vegetation is beneficial to the eyes and overall well-being.
Working from home is still work. Although the environment changed, you likely took home the bad habits you had back when you were still going to the office. Unless you make changes, you will continue to experience the same aches and pains related to work.