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Working from home is a benefit and a literal pain in the neck

The pandemic forced people to adapt to remote working. Makeshift offices like kitchen counters and couches is causing people unexpected pain.

MAINE, USA — The ongoing coronavirus pandemic means many people are still working from home. 

And while that certainly has its benefits, it's also proving to be a pain in the neck—literally.

Take Steve Rosell, for example. When the pandemic hit, Rosell, a business owner who works in the tech field, decided, like so many others, to leave Los Angeles and quarantine in Maine, near family. That meant working from home.  

"For the most part I was working from the couch which I think a lot of people are doing these days," Rosell said. 

Working from home definitely has its perks.

"It has it's pros and cons," Rosell said. "It's great to be able to stay with family, being not to far from the refrigerator."

But on the other hand, there is the issue of posture and ergonomics.

"It certainly makes for some new postural physical ailments," Rosell said.

Nancy Charlebois, a physical therapist and co-owner of Jade Integrated Health in Portland and Brunswick, said since the pandemic, they have seen a 30 percent increase in patients.

Credit: NCM

"People are coming in with complaints of neck pain, lower back pain, mid back pain," Charlebois said. 

It's pain from makeshift offices and a lack of movement.

"The muscles that are holding you up get tired and they need a change of position to get a break," she explained.

Charlebois said our bodies were meant to move and should do so frequently. 

"Every 20 to 30 minutes changing positions, doing a neck stretch or a hamstring stretch or going for a walk," she said. 

Credit: NCM

The advice has helped Rosell, who is still navigating working from home.

"Sometimes the simplest of things, just like stretches, taking breaks, getting your eyes off the screen," he said. 

It makes working at home during a pandemic, less painful.