Working from home leads to 'posture pandemic' for some

October 13, 2020
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    CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- If you’re working from home, you may notice new aches or pains you didn’t experience at the office.

    It’s likely because of workstation setups at home.

    “What we’re finding is most people are working at their dining room table, or their center island or literally sitting on a couch,” said Dr. Cathy Subber, owner and chiropractor at Advanced Health in Naperville.

    Poor posture and placement can contribute to serious strain on back and neck muscles.

    “We end up seeing patients with not only just basic neck pain, but more headaches and then pain or even numbness going down from the neck area into the arms and sometimes even into the hands," Dr. Subber said.

    Working from home is becoming a long-term arrangement for many, and if poor posture goes unchecked, it’s likely people will suffer chronic consequences.

    “If you don’t get those issues resolved at the source of where the problem is, whether it’s spinal misalignment or muscle spasm or things like that then it really can create a chronic lifelong issue," she said.

    Luckily, Dr. Subber offers three easy tweaks to get your WFH setup to be more ergonomic.

    “Your screen to be directly in front of you, not off to one side or the other. You want your eyes to be close enough to the screen so you're not squinting or shifting your head forward.

    “You want your shoulders down, your elbows should be close to your body and then your arms should come out and your fingers should be reaching the keyboard in a really natural place.

    “The chair needs to be at a certain height where your legs are parallel to the floor. For a lot of people, when they get their ergonomics where their arms are at the right height, their chair has to be too high for their legs and then the legs kind of dip down putting strain on the back. So we always suggest putting a box or a stool or something underneath your feet to lift your feet up.”

    Dr. Subber also suggests taking five minutes out of each work hour to walk around the house and stretch your neck and back.

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