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Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic? – Part 2: Avoiding Injury

This second article in our series on working from home is about helping to reduce the possibility of you ending up with an injury as a result of poor postural and other habits while working from home.

Avoiding Musculoskeletal Injury

People who work in office environments spend approximately 76% of their time at work sitting, which equates to about 5 hours per day.

A quarter of the population report that they sit for more than 8 hours per day.

When working from home these numbers typically increase due to less distractions such as work colleagues talking to you, getting up to the printer, meetings etc. (Although with kids at home that may not be the case!!)

Sedentary behaviour which can increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (like dis compression and muscle fatigue), cardiovascular disease, some cancers and type II diabetes. Sitting for long periods can also lead to feeling tired and lower productivity.

Exercise performed outside work does not necessarily negate the risks factors of prolonged sitting so the sitting needs to be interrupted on a regular basis.

Here are some tips for doing just that:

  • MOVE!!! Just get up from your chair and move around, doesn’t need to be specific
  • Get up and move every 20 to 30 minutes
  • Stand, walk or move around when you are on the phone, thinking or any time you don’t need to be stuck to your desk
  • Stand to read
  • Have water at your workspace because not moving as much also leads to less hydration
  • Keep to a routine, designate break times including lunch
  • At lunch go for a walk, stretch or do short odd jobs Diffuse thinking happens when we detach ourselves from a situation so this could happen as you take breaks to move around through your day
  • If you feel yourself fidgeting, crossing your legs or are uncomfortable – MOVE