LOGAN health experts say people working remotely from home are putting their health at risk.

They’ve echoed new data from the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) which shows 42% of people working from home are risking their spinal health due to poorly setup workspaces.

It’s a trend very visible to Logan Hyperdome Chiropractic Centre’s Dr John Swatland who said he has seen an increase in clients “with issues caused by prolonged sitting and incorrect posture due to an unsupportive workspace.” 

“The main problems are a sore neck, shoulders, lower back aches and headaches. Also, wrists and arm conditions like carpel tunnel syndrome,” he said. 

Greenbank’s Two Firm Hands remedial therapist Cher Tookey agreed, saying she has clients on a daily basis coming in for treatment due muscle stiffness and tightness from working a desk job. 

“Sitting at a computer all day definitely has an impact on an individual’s posture,” she said.

“The main conditions I treat for this are lower back pain, tight hip flexors, shoulder pain/tightness, headaches, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, anterior tilt, neck pain, muscle tightness and decreased range of motion.”  

To gauge the impact on the health of people who’ve been working remotely since Covid, the ACA surveyed over 1000 adults and 153 chiropractors.  

The survey found that 33% of those working from home reported they worked at their dining table, 16% worked from their bed and 15% worked from their sofa rather than at a desk, while 67% reported that since working from home their hours spent at the computer had increased. 

The survey also found that 86% of chiropractors reported an increase in existing patients presenting with workplace-related spinal health issues, with 78% reporting an increase in new patients presenting with spinal health problems as a result of working from home.

Overall, 90% said the most common workspace spinal health issues reported by patients was neck pain, 65% reported increased shoulder stiffness, 55% reported lower back pain and 53% reported that patients were suffering headaches. 

For those experiencing pain caused by working from home, chiropractor Dr Swatland recommended a holistic approach. 

“We recommend a holistic approach including correcting the cause whether it be spinal or extremity joints or muscles, posture advice, exercise like stretching, aerobic and strengthening, work-life balance including more sleep, relaxation downtime, breathing and stress release practice, and of course ergonomics in the workspace,” he said.  

“Take regular walking and stretching breaks, keep hydrated with water, practice good posture – use the affirmation ‘stand tall, walk tall, sit tall’ as a starting place and explore stretching and core strengthening exercises like swimming, yoga and pilates.

“Good nutrition is vital for healthy tissues and body function too and make sure you have a periodic or regular spinal check to make sure small spinal pains and aches don’t turn into chronic, long term syndromes.” 

Mrs Tookey said remedial massage used a range of different techniques to help reduce muscle tension, assist in recovery, restore the body’s natural position, promote health and maintain or increase mobility and function. 

She said regular massage could help with blood flow, increased range of motion, decreased pain, reduced stress, anxiety and depression, and aided overall health and wellbeing.

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