Wrong Setup Can Make Working from Home a Pain
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
The pandemic has changed work forever for many people, with a larger share of the workforce staying at home. But there are perils, especially for people's backs, if their home offices aren't set up right.
According to a Gallup poll from last year, 45% of respondents said they were fully or partially working from home.
Dr. Viral Patel, an orthopedic spine surgeon at University of Washington Medicine, said people should remember to move around.
"Sitting actually increases passing the weight through the lower part of the back," Patel explained. "I suggest whenever you're having long hours, and you're working from home and sitting at the desk and working on the computer, standing and walking around a little bit and stretch yourself out is important."
Patel recommended people invest in ergonomic chairs and a standing desk, if possible. He also noted having a mattress to support the back also is important. About half of all Americans have a musculoskeletal disorder, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Dr. Russell Amundson, national senior medical director for UnitedHealthcare, said one downside of not being in the office is people might not have access to desks and chairs designed to support long periods of working.
"They're working from household furniture in a non-ergonomic setting, and with that, they lose some of that support," Amundson pointed out. "Research has shown that's contributed to a spike in low back pain among folks working from home."
Amundson added it is important to focus on posture, including sitting up straight with your shoulders, hips and ears in a line looking directly forward. Screens should be at eye level and wrists and forearms parallel with the floor when typing. He emphasized exercise outside the home is critical as well.
"We really want to focus on low-impact exercise," Amundson advised. "Such as walking and swimming, things like yoga and Tai Chi, which have actually been shown to improve and reduce even moderate to severe low back pain."
get more stories like this via email
Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…
Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …
A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …
In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…
By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …
A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…
New Mexico residents have two weeks to submit written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency about its proposal to implement stronger standar…
As National News Literacy Week comes to an end, one Nevada journalism professor says media professionals need to make building trust with their …