Remote working has been a necessary shift for many businesses. And while it’s solved a couple of issues with safety, there is a downside for remote employees: the lack of proper workspaces. While professionals get to eliminate long commutes, working on sofas, beds, and in dining spaces can be quite detrimental to their health. In fact, hrmagazine.co.uk reports that these makeshift setups have already caused injuries in 11 million adults in the UK.
Remote working can definitely be hazardous, especially if you’re not careful. If you’re a remote employee, then this is what you need to know about the common work-from-home pains and the best solutions against them.
Poor design of your workspace—which includes your seat, desk, even your computer—could be contributing to the physical stress and strain on your body. Over time, you could be at a higher risk of experiencing these common aches and pains caused by the work-from-home setup:
After typing all day, you might notice an uncomfortable pain in your hands and wrists. This pain is usually caused by the position of and tension in your wrists and hands while you’re working on your computer. If your hands aren’t in a neutral position during a great portion of your day, your median nerve becomes compressed through the carpal tunnel. The blood flow in your nerves will then decrease, causing you to feel numbness, tingling, and loss of control in your hands.
Spending too much time in front of a device can cause eye strain, dry eyes, and even transient blindness. These are all major symptoms of computer vision syndrome, which is commonly experienced by individuals who use gadgets up-close for more than three hours a day, according to a study from researchgate.net. Since workers are required to work at least eight hours per day and stay more connected now that setups are remote, they are at a higher risk of damaging their sight.
Working on couches and beds can be comfortable, but it won’t be long until you feel discomfort and pain in your back. Lack of physical activity and poor posture can cause your blood flow in certain areas to stop due to muscle fibre contraction. As a result, remote workers who sit for long periods of time are more susceptible to experiencing pain and tenderness in certain areas of their body, such as their back.
A good home office setup will not only lessen your risk of getting injuries, it will also make you more productive. You can improve your remote working experience by assessing your working environment, investing in ergonomic equipment, and doing exercises to stay active and healthy.
You can prevent injuries or stop these from recurring by identifying their causes. Here at walkersafety.co.uk, we’ve suggested that you must understand your working environment first. After making a thorough assessment of your workspace, you can provide yourself with tools and equipment that can cater to your specific needs.
The right ergonomic accessories can prevent and relieve the common pains of remote workers. Look at getting a well-designed ergonomic chair and adjustable desk, so you can reduce your risk of myofascial pain syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. Also consider smaller accessories that can make a world of difference. For instance, if you typically experience discomfort in your hands while working, invest in a wrist splint to keep your hands in a neutral position at all times. Wrist supports can also help in keeping your hands elevated while working. You can also get a standing desk mat, which according to painfreeworking.com helps relieve pain that develops from standing for long periods of time. Most importantly, standing desk mats also encourage better posture.
Step away from the computer and bring relief to your hands, eyes, and muscles by doing various physical activities. Yoga is recommended by netdoctor.co.uk because it can reduce stress, correct your posture, and reverse chronic pain. But that’s just one of a myriad of options you can try. Maybe start a running regimen, try resistance training, or workout with a friend online—anything that can get you away from your desk for a couple of hours will surely do wonders for your health.
By making these necessary changes, you can improve both your working life and your safety at home.
Feature specially contributed to walkersafety.co.uk
Contributed by: JBrogden
Contact Walker Health and Safety Services if you require further information.