Work From Home Can Be a Literal Pain in the Neck

Written by Susie Guthro

28th Apr 2021

Last spring thrust so many office workers into work from home positions ill-equipped and under-prepared. Since then, a significant rise in at-home injuries is getting some notice. It’s logical, more people spending more time at home would yield more at-home injuries. However, the causes of these injuries are not just overzealous home renovation DIY’ ers. Nor are they those fighting the ‘Covid 15’ by increasing activity too fast and/or working out from home unsupervised. Alas, it also includes the work from home professionals who are spending more time hunched over an impromptu home workspace.

Work from home has put a literal strain on our bodies. Increased time spent on our laptops, phones, and other backlit devices, contributes to the overall stress we feel as our bodies unknowingly accommodate uncomfortable improvised setups. In an Injury Epidemiology survey from November 2020, 26% of respondents reported an at-home injury between March and June of 2020. Compared to a survey from 2017 reporting only 14%.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article that highlights some of the more common work from home injuries. Dr. Max Fitzgerald, physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor and assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, feels confident that there is a strong correlation between work from home and the rise of soft tissue injuries. Many of these include strains and sprains and are reported to be in the back and neck. Most likely as a result of sitting in a chair that is not the right height, typing on a keyboard that’s not aligned, and bending over to look at a screen that is too low. He states, “Very few people can achieve an ideal ergonomic position in a makeshift space.” He also notes that these WFH injuries are not serious or long-lasting as long as you can change up your setup.

Safe and healthy working conditions apply to anyone regardless of being an office employee, a remote worker, or a combination of both. Business owners can reduce WFH workers’ compensation claims by establishing clear limits on remote work hours and providing employees with guidelines on proper workstation setup. If you lack the space required to have a well-laid-out ergonomic office plan in your home, there is hope and maybe some relief for that pain in your neck. Workspace offers private office space that you can customize to suit your ergonomic needs. Plus, when you have dedicated workspace outside of the home, you are less likely to overwork into the off hours, leading to tiredness, stress, and ultimately injury. Click here to schedule your tour and see if Workspace is the right fit for your healthy office needs.