Now working from home is becoming a central part to everyone’s life, I thought I’d cover something I get asked about a lot, which is how to stay pain free whilst working from home. 

Some of you may have noticed that you’re getting more aches and pains since working from home and this is often put down to working from a desk that’s not set up “perfectly” or because they’re sat at a “bad chair”. Although these things can play a part in preventing pain when working from a desk, there’s also some other important factors that contribute to your pain. 

The biggest cause of pain when working from home is lack of movement/changing postures rather than being in “bad postures”.

So what does this mean? Your pain is more likely to be as a result of reduced general movement since working from home and you probably underestimate the movement involved in things like commute, tea breaks and the general demands of a busy week.

So what do you need to do? View this extra time as a positive, what can you do to improve your health with the free time? Now is a perfect opportunity to take up running, do an online fitness class in the morning or go for regular walks. Whatever it is you can take up, this increase in activity is likely to have more benefit to keeping you injury free than your desk set up.

Another huge reason that I am seeing a lot of people in more pain since working from home is their stress levels have gone up. I’ll often question when the pain started and once we unpick the story, in turns out their pain came around the same time they started to experience more stress. We know since the start of the pandemic, the demands placed on employees have gone up. People have found it harder to separate work from coming home because they are one and the same. 

When we are stressed it puts our body in a permanent state of high alert, where your brain becomes hypersensitive to stimuli. This means something that previously would have been a 3/10 level pain, can become a 6/10, purely because your body has become over protective. I know it’s easier said than done but if you can create an environment which doesn’t expose you to prolonged levels of stress, then this will make a massively positive impact on your pain.

These are my main tips:

-Regular 20 minute breaks

-Change position – take calls stood up, sit on the sofa to work, sit at your desk, even work from your bed at times

-Create boundaries between work and home life

-Find ways to manage your stress levels