With the demand of social distancing and fight against COVID-19, most of us are restricted at home. As this is a shift for a human being, from busy moving lifestyle to contained inside home for days and days can remarkably cause impact on physical and mental wellbeing. Work from home leads to many overuse injuries as we compromises on small details of ergonomics at home. Let us understand why we can end up in pain and how we can prevent ourselves? And work efficiently.
Working from home for many professionals, can lead to various overuse injuries as
- Tendinitis in wrist
- Lateral epicondylitis
- Neck muscle strain
- Low back pain
- Poor postural development
- Postural scoliosis
- knee pain
- weight gain
All these mentioned ailments can occur during longtime work from home. Let us see the reason behind it
- Poor ergonomic arrangement at home.
- Being lazy and adapting poor posture.
- Choosing wrong place/corner at home to work.
- No breaks
- Multitasking home and office work
How we can lower down or eliminate the chances of injury and stay home and work safely and efficiently ?
- Keep your routine discipline as usual: keep your daily routine as before, like wake up on time, start and finish your work same as your office hour.
- Set break time: keep your breaktime, set alarm and remind yourself as per your routine office timing.
- Active breaks: even at home, its important for all of us to change our posture every 30 minute. If you are sitting long time , make sure you get up from seat every 30 minutes and spend 3 minutes standing/walking. This prevents constant pressure on spine.
- Correct ergonomics arrangement at home: now most of the people think just having right chair and table is enough to have perfect ergonomics, but that’s a wrong concept. Everyone work is different, for example a tax consultant spends more time over keyboard whereas designer work more with mouse/cursor to create designs. Therefore, the arrangement for both will be different.
So, getting a personalized ergonomic consultation is always recommended. To create the workplace at according to your work, body and within the limit of resources you have at home. Everything available online is generalized, not person specific. Correct choice of seating arrangement, cushions thickness, height of desk/ monitor, supporting rolls etc is very crucial to prevent you from pain and injury.
- Engage in exercise: take out time atleast 20 minute for doing simple exercises at home as whole body stretching/sun salutations/ dancing etc something to keep your body physically fit. At this point of time the goal of physical fitness has changed from being progressively attaining sharpness in our physical fitness level to rather maintain out body is sound physical health and not to deteriorate what we have achieved through our consistence effort.
- Keep yourself hydrated: as at home many of us are drawn toward fridge frequently, make sure you do same for drinking water. In office we generally keep bottles to keep sipping water in between. So, don’t forget same at home. Keep two water bottle in your work place and keep sipping. Also, you can set water alarms in your mobile.
- Meditation: Yes, we all need to practice at least 15-25 minutes of meditation. There are so many app/guided mediation videos available online, follow one which you can easily relate to. Meditation gives peace and mental strength to stay focuses and positive in conditions like this when we are seeing all the negative news and worsening situation every passing time.
Working from has many positive aspects too as
- You are constantly with your family.
- Saving traveling time and expenses.
- Creating space and time for yourself.
- Can pursue hobby in leisure time.
Now is the time when we must take care of our physical and mental wellbeing to keep fighting till this war against COVID-19 over. Maintaining your body and mind fit should be the only goal for now. Every small effort now on your health will keep you healthy and safe.
Working from home is blessing for our generation due advancement of technology. We should make maximum use of it efficiently. Creating your perfect workstation at home can prevent you from injury and pain. Maintaining set routine will help you give proper timing for your work, exercise, family and yourself.
#Stay home #stay safe # work from home efficiently
Author: Dr. shubhangi Gaikwad, Senior Physical Therapist, Dubai
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