The influx of working from home (WFH) since March 2020 has been extensive. Bringing its own set of challenges both physically and mentally, WFH is a hot topic both within the press and amongst health professionals.
The pandemic has led to countless changes to our daily lives. The workplace, according to the British Council for Offices (BC0), has changed irreversibly. Whether you are now a full-time digital worker or combined remote working has been implemented in your job, working is undoubtedly different.
Working from home (WFH) offers its own unique set of physical and mental challenges. Instead of worrying about a gruelling commute or an office romance gone wrong, we now face inactivity, loneliness and a lack of routine. Reports suggest that WFH results in prolonged periods of sitting, makeshift home offices and a less active lifestyle. WFH has now become the norm for 60% of Britons, but what are the impacts of having the ‘office’ at home?
Physical implications of WFH are undoubtedly abundant and on the rise.
- A Facebook survey from the American Chiropractic Association stated 92%* of chiropractors said that patients report new cases of neck pain, back pain or other musculoskeletal issues since the stay-at-home guidance began.
- Similar reports in the UK have suggested since the increase of digital working in March, there has been a significant increase in workers suffering from new aches and pains that were not present before WFH.
- In a survey carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies, 58% of people reported neck pain and 55% reported back pain that they had not had before the lockdown period.
But why is this happening?
Simply, ‘tech neck’ or ‘texter’s neck’.
According to Health Matters*, as you are working at a computer (or looking down at your phone) ‘the muscles in the back of the neck have to contract to hold your head up’. The longer you look down for, the more the muscles in the neck have to work to keep your head up. Prolonged periods of sitting at a laptop cause these muscles to get overly tired and tense. In a conventional office environment, measures such as ergonomic chairs are in place to combat ‘tech neck’ related injuries.
The continued working from home lifestyle is causing ‘pandemic posture’; measures are not in place to protect workers from the physical implications of WFH. However, this is not solely a ‘working from home’ problem. If you spend time at a computer or looking down at your phone, you could be suffering from ‘tech neck’. You just may not realise it.
So, what’s the solution?
When considering the implications of WFH culture and ‘tech neck’ it’s important to remain hopeful. We here at GravityLife are largely remote workers; we face the same challenges.
Incorporating movement into your everyday WFH routine is crucial. Many medical professionals, as well as anecdotal evidence reinforce the importance of ensuring prolonged periods of sitting are avoided by regular intervals of physical activity.
The unavoidable hours spent at a laptop or looking down at a phone are causing physical and mental damage. Technology usage is unavoidable within working from home culture; zoom meetings, slack chats and google drives are here to stay.
PostureKey offers a solution to the posture-related problems that are highly exacerbated within a remote working set-up. The two-piece device is accessible and easy to use anywhere, any time. PostureKey acts as a daily reminder to your body and mind to relax and realign. The WFH set-up is different for every remote worker; each individual is presented with unique challenges. The one-size-fits-all, drug free, natural solution PostureKey offers is unlike any other posture product in the world.
Pandemic posture is a very real concern when it comes to working from home. Long-term implications of hours of sitting at a makeshift desk are inevitable. PostureKey offers a simple, safe and universal solution to the evident issues working from home can cause for physical and mental health.
For some helpful tips on working from home posture see our blog post.