Julie Lombardo Talks Chronic Pain as a Result of Working from Home
Physical therapists: More people reporting chronic pain as a result of working from home
VERONA (WKOW) — Working from home or remotely seems to be something that’s here to stay, but physical therapists say that they’re seeing more people reporting chronic pain as a result.
“Now that they’re working from home, they [people] are actually sitting about 10 hours a day versus pre-pandemic was about 6 hours a day,” said Julie Lombardo, the CEO of Capitol Physical Therapy. “All of that sitting, especially in poor ergonomic positions, is difficult on the body.”
Places that they’re seeing the most pain are upper neck, shoulders, wrists/elbows, and lower back.
Many people may have thought they would just be working remotely for a short while, so maybe their set up isn’t as body-friendly as it was in the office. Lombardo suggests you make sure you’re sitting in a chair with proper lumbar support, with feet flat on the ground and monitors at eye level.
“We’re often finding people stooping forward with their heads or looking down at their laptops,” she said.
And Lombardo says people might not even realize that their pain is coming from increased time sitting, or a poor work from home set up.
“As we dig in more, we’re finding that they’re working from their kitchen table and it’s not the best setup, or they have meetings from their car,” she said. “So when we dig a little bit more, we do see the effects of COVID. I just am not sure that people fully recognize or attribute it to that.”
So adjusting that work from home set up may be the first step, but there are also things people can do at home to address pain, including yoga or some simple stretches.