The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge rise in individuals working from home. There have been positives to this, however, the rise in working from home has contributed to a large number of health issues that you should be aware of. 

When people work from home and they are not used to it, or they do not have the correct setup at home, it can lead to poor working practice. And when you consider the fact that most of the people who are working from home have had to do so for several months, there is the potential for health issues to get worse. 

Here we take a look at some of the health conditions that working from home can cause or exacerbate. 

Back pain

“After just two weeks into lockdown, there was an average of 50% increase in back pain reported,” said Nichola Adams, founder of Corrigo Design, specialists in ergonomic office chairs “I have seen many people working from dining chairs and tables, sofas and beds. It seems very few have a dedicated chair and desk”. 

According to Adams, our backs are at their healthiest when we are sitting in an upright posture, or we are moving. Acidic buildup can occur if the muscles, tissues, and nerves do not get enough blood or oxygen flocking through them – and this can trigger a pain response. When we use the incorrect type of chair to sit for long periods it can cause static or awkward posture, and that increases the chance of back pain. 

Neck pain

Another issue is neck pain – and this might be caused by another problem with posture. If you are experiencing neck pain, it may well be because you are looking at a computer screen that is too low for you. 

It is important to understand that your eyes should be in line with a point around two inches below the top of the screen when you are seated in a comfortable position with your back straight. Of course, the ideal position will depend on the size of the screen and the casing around the screen, so it is important to spend some time getting this right. 

RSI

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) can occur when someone has bad posture or repeats an activity a large number of times. And, of course, spending a lot of time using a computer, keyboard and mouse is a common cause of RSI.

When working from home there is always the risk of RSI – as you may be working long hours on a computer and carrying out the same tasks over and over again. You may especially be at risk if you sit with poor posture (see above). It is important not only to ensure that you are seated comfortably, but also that you take regular breaks. 

Overworking

It may be the case that working from home has the negative effect of causing people to work more – or to struggle to manage their time effectively. This can create the situation where those individuals are consistently staying up late in order to do work that they were unable to complete during the day. 

Overworking can cause a huge number of health issues, from insomnia and eye strain through to stress and much more. You need to ensure that you have a good work-life balance. 

Not getting enough exercise

Working from home is sometimes the secondary cause of health issues. For example, you might find that you are expecting so much from yourself during the day that you are simply sitting at the computer and trying to get through everything. 

This can lead to you feeling exhausted and then not getting enough exercise, which of course, comes with its own health issues. 

Mental health

It is also important to remember your mental health, and ensure that you are doing everything you can in this regard too. Physical symptoms such as pain and aches are obvious, but this may not be the case with mental health issues. 

They can stem from things we have mentioned above such as overworking – but this can lead to you feeling overwhelmed and even depressed. Once again, it is recommended that you get a good work-life balance, and try to keep in contact with other people so as to keep your life as grounded as possible as you work from home. 

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