It’s been two years since most of the nation began working from home, and with that has come new back, neck and shoulder pains.
While strains and creaks are part of life as we age, working from home has accelerated people’s issues according to a UK osteopath.
Jeremy James, owner of Solihull Osteopathic Practice, says there are many health issues that come with poor posture.
“We have noticed a big increase in the number of patients with lower back, neck pain and headaches since people started working from home,” he said.
“This is not surprising, as at home people often have unsuitable chairs and desks, and are forced to work in cramped spaces which do not allow enough chance to change position.”
He said people should also be aware of other things that can develop with these incorrect habits, which include:
- Rounded shoulders
- Bent knees when standing or walking
- Head that either leans forward or backward
If you’re looking for a quick fix by following online advice on how to sit, Mr James says contrary to popular belief, there is, in fact, no ‘correct way’ to sit that’s going to solve your problems.
While some seated positions are better for us than others, back, neck and shoulder issues usually arise when we stay sedentary for long periods of time- because it restricts the blood flow to the muscles.
(Image: Getty Images)
He also clarified that the mid-afternoon headache you may get from day to day is likely not as a result of staring at your screen for hours on end, but in fact, it is linked to your posture as well.
“You might think that your headaches are as a result of looking at a screen for long periods of time, but in fact, it could be due to something else.
“Neck tension from peering at a screen can cause headaches.
“Headaches which come from the neck are very common and are often wrongly thought to be an issue with vision.”
More serious effects include disc degeneration, muscle fatigue (which can lead to them becoming sensitized to pain), and issues with your vision.
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
“Over time, discs may become compressed, which can lead to disc degeneration.
“Muscles may become tight due to lack of movement, while prolonged positions leaning forward looking towards a screen at the wrong angle may cause muscle tension in the neck and shoulders – especially if the workstation does not allow enough room for movement.
“Over time, muscles fatigue and can become sensitized to pain, which can then cause long term problems.”
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