Work from home and its effect on your healthDr. Mahima Handa
Work from home is the new normal! It has become a necessity thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. To make sure all businesses and work do not stop, new ways have been adapted for working from home and managing the necessary tasks. May it be presentations, meetings, classes, transactions, consultations, etc all are done from home now. Even I myself am typing this blog from home.
It has led us to work from the comfort of our homes. Even if you feel comfortable sitting with your laptop on your bed, it is actually harming your body. Your body postures, long hours in front of the monitor, lack of physical work and stress do more harm than you know.
Employees have started getting an isolated feeling. Fewer interactions with colleagues and employers may lead to a feeling of disconnection. Also, due to continuously working, staying in the same room and not going out makes a person feel confined and anxious. This impacts mental and social health.
An office provides a clear distinction between office and home life. Working from home makes it difficult for an employee to switch from work and home life. This impacts health and lifestyle. People may start becoming workaholic. They would only think about and do work. It starts to affect mental health. This then affects social and physical health too. Therefore, an endless vicious cycle begins. Recreation and leisure time may seem to be time pass. But they are very important to maintain good mental health.
The work expectations have increased. Due to being at home, distractions have also increased. Job satisfaction, as well as productivity, has degraded. Many people wish to return to the office. They also feel depressed due to the confinement at home.
A research showed that 65% of the work from home employees had an increase in physical health problems. Neck pain, back pain, shoulders pain, etc had become very common. Due to long hours on the computer, eye strain has also increased. A sedentary lifestyle has further lowered health. Lack of proper physical exercise has lead to obesities. Lack of knowledge about proper working conditions has led to strain and pain in various body parts.
Impact on neck and back
Due to long periods of looking down on the monitor, neck pain has become prominent. The spine ligaments and muscles get strained. The back is not able to get proper support. It gets overworked. Due to less rest, the spine is not able to ease off. Due to less proper physical exercises, the strength of back muscles is not as it should be. So, the neck and back are unable to handle the stresses.
The lack of breaks also impacts spinal health. It is continuously burdened. The spine has to handle the body weight, posture as well as movements. Due to sedentary life and lack of physical exercise, the body has become overweight. While working, no one pays attention to the posture. So, the ill postures lead to further stresses. Lack of exercise led to lowering in muscle mass and strength. All these simply add up to the problems your back faces.
Impact on the shoulders
The shoulders carry our arms. They do most of the work we intend to do, may it be working on a laptop, carrying things, cooking, etc. All movements done by the hands also occur via the shoulder as it carries the hands to the required places. Again, due to overwork and lack of strength, the shoulders get fatigued. They aren’t able to replenish their nutrient stores.
Impact on knees
The knees are a very important joint in our body. They are still neglected. They take our body weight. They help to walk and run. They also help to sit and stand up. While working, many people tend to sit on the bed or sofa with cross-legged sitting for long periods, harming the joint. They sit in awkward positions, straining the knees. Also, lack of walking and exercises leads to weakening of the leg muscles and knee joint.
Keep your job and home life separate. Keep their timings also separate to help you know when to switch off your work mode. Take breaks in between. Get up and move around a little. Do basic stretching exercises. Sit properly on a chair while working. Understand the good work ergonomics properly. Exercise regularly. Meditation is a great way to reduce mental stress and depression. If you are facing any difficulties, feel free to talk to a doctor or a therapist.