They say necessity is the mother of innovation.
At present, COVID-19 brought that ‘necessity’ and companies around the world innovated by embracing the work-from-home model.
Many market pundits believe this could be an inflection point when remote work takes the mainstream spot. Already, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, said his employees can work from home forever. Not to that extreme extent though, many companies are following suit by encouraging their workforce to remain at home and work.
While this, at large, could be a piece of good news for many, it also comes with several challenges.
Orthopedic problems are among those challenges.
What Do The Numbers Say?
Back pain is already a big problem, especially among working professionals who have a desk job. In fact, per WHO, lower back pain is a leading cause of disability. The work-at-home culture, if not propped with proper measures, can make this situation even worse.
About 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time, which results in 264 million lost workdays in a year.
More than 1 in 10 people suffer from lower back pain worldwide.
The situation in India is equally bad – if not worse. Among those millions of Indians who struggle with back problems, 45 percent of them neglect their pain for more than 7 weeks.
Need To Shift The Conversation
So, while we step into the new work culture from home, it’s essential the conversation shifts to the orthopedic problems in this model. Many of the work-at-home professionals,after all, lack the necessary infrastructure that their office would usually provide. They don’t have the proper furniture that provides them seating comfort and maintains their posture for long hours. In addition, since in their home, many people might even lag in health etiquette like taking breaks, standing up and stretching often, and doing some light exercises. All these can, collectively, lead to lower back pain, as well as a herniated disc.
Possible (Indirect) Effects
Furthermore, there are several other indirect orthopedic problems one might have to endure here. For instance, India doesn’t trade well when it comes to working out and taking proper care of health. 64 percent of Indians don’t get exercise. For them, going to their office could have provided a minimal level of physical activity, a luxury they no longer enjoy.
Similarly, going outdoor to the office might be one of the very few ways these professionals were getting sunlight; in the absence of this, now stuck in their rooms on their devices, they might not get enough of vitamin D, which could be bad for them orthopedically.
This is just talking about the health of their bones and joints. There are other challenges as well, like behavioral health. When indoors all the time, many of these work-at-home professionals will amiss socialization and human-touch, which could cascade to create mental problems.
These health aspects must be discussed widely as the world strides forward to wholeheartedly embrace the work-at-home culture.
Are You Okay?
If your company, too, is adapting and promoting work from home, you must seriously consider the well-being of your health unless you want to end up Googling “best orthopedic hospital in India” to treat your back pain.
Basic measures like investing in good chair and desk, taking enough breaks in between work, going outdoors to breathe in the fresh air (if permitted by the local authorities), getting involved in light exercises, and eating the right foods – these can really make a big difference for your orthopedic health.
In case if you already have back pain – or some other bone and joint-related problems – you should consult the best orthopedic doctor in Kolkata.
The work-at-home model is great – BUT only if you heed to your health needs and requirements.