‘The New Normal’: Can Working From Home Be Detrimental To Our Skeletal Health?

Posted in by Lucy Holl

The severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK has forced people of all ages to adapt to a new way of life. With the recent news of another national lockdown, it is looking like the ‘new way of life’ is here to stay for a little longer. Working from home is a big change in your lifestyle, both mentally and logistically and with big changes come some risks. In current times, we need to take extra care in making sure we are looking after the most important thing of all, our health. It is generally accepted that employees working from home is now the future for many companies, so the consequences must be explored – both good and bad.

Risk factors of working from home:

Many workers are reaping the benefits of homeworking – goodbye to early get ups, rush hour, expensive commutes and the stress of delayed public transport however, like anything, there are some cons alongside the pros. Having a bad posture is one of the leading causes of occupational based health problems- not sitting correctly, or sitting for too long can often  lead to back, neck and shoulder pain, poor circulation, impaired lung function, poor digestion, constricted nerves, misaligned spine or a curvature of the spine.

When working remotely, it is important to remain mindful that your home may not have the ideal set up- unbeknownst to you, your desk may not be the recommended height, your chair might not be high/low enough to provide you with the correct support and your computer may not be in a suitable position to prevent occupational based health ailments. Skeletal based injuries may not show instant symptoms but can worsen over a period of time.

 What actions can we take to prevent skeletal health conditions?

  • Undergo a comprehensive Preventative Health Assessment, which could detect damage that you do not know about, before it has a chance to worsen.
  • Regular movement breaks while at home- it is important that your joints get regular movement to prevent stiffness and discomfort.
  • Invest in a padded back and seat chair for your home-working set-up.
  • Make sure your desk/table area is not too high or low, you should not have to strain when typing on your computer.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day- keeping hydrated brings invaluable benefits to your whole body, but it is particularly important when it comes to your skeletal health as water brings nutrients and calcium to the bones.
  • Plan scheduled lunch breaks and stick to them, to avoid sitting for too long.

For now, there are measures that home workers can take to minimise the risk of occupational related injury, but sadly we cannot predict the damage that this may cause in the future.

Echelon Health’s preventative Health Assessments screen for disease that may otherwise go unnoticed, so you can get it treated before it is too late to cure or turns into something irreversible.

Our Platinum Package and our Evergreen Membership include an EOS CT upright skeleton scan using the EOS Dual Source Linear Upright CT Scanner which is a revolutionary new scanner, utilising Nobel Prize winning ultra-sensitive detector technology, and promises to dramatically alter the way we image and diagnose spinal and posture related conditions. This ultra-low dose CT scan of the entire skeleton in the standing position enables us to determine whether you have any postural issues or predisposition to spinal disc problems.

There is nothing more important than your health, that’s why Echelon Health take pride in keeping you in the know about your body.

Sources:

Mayoclinic.org- Adult Health, Risks Of Sitting Too Long

Echelon Health- Our Facilities

Lucy Holl