Common home office injuries during Covid 19
This self quarantine has been a pain in the butt, both figuratively but possibly physically also. We are all sitting more and moving less during this self isolation. This sedentary lifestyle can cause tension and weakness in our hip muscles leading to a condition called piriformis syndrome otherwise known as deep gluteal syndrome.
Try to move more throughout the day. Stand up and walk around when taking calls from work. Set up your workstation at the kitchen counter so you can work in standing. Although it’s hard to stay motivated it’s important to work out. This can vary from a HIIT or yoga video to walking or riding a bike outside. Use a foam roller to massage your buttock and legs. To learn how, follow me on instagram @rebuildphysiotherpy.
Neck and Back Pain:
This is one of the most common issues I am working with my patients on nowadays through our virtual appointments. We have all set up “home offices” and this setup vary among individuals. Some great ergonomic set ups involves working at a desk or kitchen table with a desk top or laptop. Other less ideal set ups include sitting on the couch slouched over a laptop on a coffee table. Ouch! Slouching over a coffee table like this can put up to 30 kg of pressure on your neck and 180 kg of pressure on the discs of your lower back.
Set up your office at a desk or a dining table. Ideally sit in a chair where your feet can touch the ground. Use a laptop riser so the height of the monitor can be closer to eye level. Consider “borrowing” your external monitor and/or keyboard from the office at work and plug them into your laptop at home. Remember to sit up with good posture when you work. As tempting as it may feel to work in bed all day. Get up. You will physically and mentally feel better.
Stress and anxiety:
Our mental health is definitely being tested during this period of self isolation. Most parents are struggling with working from home while caring for the kids throughout the day. We have had to set up a home office, home gym, home school, home barber shop, etc. Our sleep routine has been challenged. Waking up late only means that it will be hard to go to sleep at night. Difficulty sleeping compounds our stress.
Before COVID 19, I would regularly recommend exercise as an outlet for stress relief. This advice hold true now more than ever. Exercise releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin which all will boost your mood and sense of well being. Personally I maintain a 3 day per week workout schedule involving 20-30 min online videos. It makes me feel like I am working out with someone and I feel better after. Serotonin, released from exercise, also helps regulate your sleep cycle. During the weekdays I go to bed at midnight and set an alarm for 9 am. Still quite a bit of sleep but there has got to be some good out of all this.