The pain of home working

A Shropshire physiotherapist has reported a sharp increase in the number of patients visiting his Shifnal clinic with spinal related postural pain, since the introduction of home working.

Steve Briggs, owner of SB Sports Injury and Physiotherapy, who has worked with top sports people all over the world said many had moved from a strategically designed workstation at the office, to a homeworking situation which often consisted of no more than a dining room chair, a higher than desk table and a too low laptop monitor. And he said it was causing skeletal damage.

“The importance of good posture at a workstation is vital not just for the individual worker but also for the employer, as an uncomfortable employee in pain is likely to result in lower productivity and higher sickness leave.

“My advice to home workers is try and replicate your office workspace set-up at home. If you do not have use of a suitable chair at home, ask your boss to loan you the one you sat on in the office. We have advised several patients to do this and it has completely changed their pain and discomfort.

“If you are not able to do this putting a small rolled up towel in the lower back can help provide a degree of lumbar spine support add a cushion if the seat is too low or a box under your feet if it is too high."

“Screen height is also important. If you are working off a laptop, invest in a separate keyboard and mouse, then raise your laptop, either on a laptop stand or by simply popping some books underneath it."

“Finally, do not sit in one position for too long. If you are still in pain after making these changes and it is ongoing, then do seek professional help before any permanent damage is done.”

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