Long-term work-from-home setups can mean back, neck pain: ergonomics expert

Working from home can mean back and neck pain due to improperly set up workstations. Getty Images

Feeling new aches and pains after working from home for the past few months?

A leading Canadian ergonomist says back and neck pain is a common complaint these days, caused in part by people assuming that working remotely would be a temporary situation.

“This discomfort has already set in, and whether they’re noticing it now, or they don’t notice it until (they) come back to work, it is a function of what we’ve done over the past five months,” Rachel Mitchell told 680 CJOB.

“We were all sent home in March with very little preparation for it, and people have been making do with really non-traditional, non-ideal work stations.

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“We made do because we saw this as being temporary, and people had so much on their plates that it wasn’t a priority.”

If you’ve been working from home for the past few months and you’re just getting back to the office, you may also notice some new aches and pains, she said.

Read more: ‘Work shouldn’t hurt’ — Easy ways to make your desk safer and more comfortable

Some people may also be feeling a bit more achy if they’ve toned down their physical activity levels since March while gyms were closed.

“There are also lots of people who would have been really physically active, and they’re not so active now, so their bodies are not up for everything they might have been in condition to do before.”

Mitchell said if you’re still working at home, you should take the time to set up your workspace properly as this may be a more long-term arrangement.

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