Survey reveals home working is a pain in the neck
A Home Working study carried out by workplace health and engagement business, YOLO Wellbeing, finds employees forced to work remotely as a result of the Coronovirus Lockdown, are experiencing musculoskeletal injuries caused by poor posture at improvised home working stations.
The Home Working Survey identified 60% of respondents are currently working from makeshift positions in the home. Whilst 33% report they are suffering from aches, pain and injuries. Anecdotal evidence suggested that a high number of these are due to poor posture and working conditions at home; with 82% of these injuries either upper limb and neck, and/or back problems. Sample 136 respondents.
These results are supported by a separate study, Homeworker Wellbeing Study, released by IES (Institute for Employment Studies), April 2020, which revealed a significant increase in musculoskeletal complaints. More than half of the survey respondents reported new aches and pains, especially in the neck (58 per cent), shoulder (56 per cent) and back (55 per cent), compared to their normal physical condition. Sample 500 respondents.
In 2018-19 over 6.9million working days were lost to musculoskeletal disorders; 41% accounted for workers with upper limb or neck disorders2. It is fair to assume, (supported by information gathered by the Labour Force Survey over the last ten years), that how, the majority, of individuals are currently working from home will directly affect posture and their musculoskeletal health.
Poor posture is caused by the joints, muscles and vertebrae being in stressful positions for prolonged periods; which results in a build up of pressure on tissues, causing tension, aches and pains.
However we work, it’s important to be mindful of our posture. By adopting good, home working habits you’ll help to prevent musculoskeletal challenges in the short and long term. Because no one likes a pain in the neck!
YOLO WELLBEING TOP TIPS TO KEEP YOU FEELING TIP TOP
- Wherever you are seated try and ensure your back is supported and your monitor high enough so that you’re not bending your neck to view your screen.
- Take regular breaks - getting up and changing your posture at regular intervals will alleviate the pressure on your joints, muscles and vertebrae. A 5min break after every 25mins of work is good for your health and your productivity.
- Stretch. When your joints are immobile for prolonged periods of time you get a build up of Fascia, the connective tissue that wraps around your muscles; which causes tightness and tension, and can lead to aches and pains. By mobilising and stretching your joints: wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, back, knees and ankles you help to clear the excess fascia, to relieve tension and make the movement of your joints feel freer.
- Poor posture can also affect your breathing, try this simple breathing exercise to help correct your posture, relax and energise you.
Sit up straight and take in a deep breath, in through your nose. As you’re breathing in imagine the air going to the very top of your head. This will lengthen your neck, and your shoulders will drop. When you can take in no more air, hold it for a second or two.
Then exhale slowly through the mouth. Let your shoulders relax, but keep sitting up straight. Keep blowing until all the air is expelled from your lungs. Normally we shallow breathe which means we hold a lot of stagnant air in the bottom of our lungs. This exercise helps to remove it.
Take in another deep breath, in through your nose. This breathe should be deeper as you’ll be able to take in more, fresh air. Again imagine it filling up your body to the very top of your head. Hold for a second, then breathe it all out.
Do this 3-4 times. Then notice how much calmer and more relaxed you feel. The fresh air in your lungs will help you feel more energised and focused, ready to return to work.
ABOUT YOLO WELLBEING
YOLO is a unique experience that improves health and wellbeing; by using a blend of massage and meditation, which is delivered in a mobile calm space that is brought to your premises. The pandemic has forced the business to rethink how they deliver the hands on YOLO experience.
After identifying high demand to support the prevention and improvement of DSE related injuries and blue screen overload; we now also provide a range of hands off, remote training, HSE and wellbeing solutions that improve the mental and physical health of your workforce.
For further details contact
01772 283139/ 07912536658