The Hidden Dangers of Working from Home
To say COVID-19 has changed our lives is an understatement.
Since new health guidelines were put into place nearly half of the working population of Australia is now working from home.
Working as a Podiatrist in private practice I have seen a surge in soft tissue injuries which can be all traced back to earlier this year when COVID hit the fan!
Lockdowns, working from home, school closures are contributing to a boom of sedentary lifestyle-related injuries.
In this article, I will outline the hidden dangers of working from home and why it is so important to keep mobile and be active.
We often spend more time sitting staring at a computer screen when we work from home.
We lose sight of work/life balance, taking fewer breaks and working longer hours.
Meetings are done via video calls instead of walking to a meeting room and we chat to colleagues via messenger or phone calls instead of walking to their desks.
All these small active tasks that we don't do when working from home add up to a lot of steps throughout the day.
Prolonged sitting causes deconditioning of your leg muscles and contribute to muscle fatigue.
Prolonged sitting is also associated with chronic health conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, blood clots, osteoporosis…. And the list goes on!
That's not to mention the mental health issues associated with working from home.
The combination of working from home and gym closures provides a toxic cocktail of enhanced muscle deconditioning.
This becomes a problem when we go back to our normal active lives with a deconditioned body which then increases your risk of a soft tissue injury.
5 Tips to Avoid Injury When Working from Home
1. Plan Exercise Breaks
Have a set time of at least 30 minutes scheduled during the day to get up and exercise.
One idea is to use the time you normally would drive to work to exercise instead of getting into the habit of sleeping in.
The most important thing is getting into a consistent routine.
2. Walk and Talk
Break up your day of sitting with walking phone calls.
When on the phone with colleagues make yourself get up and walk laps of the house or garden, this all adds to your steps throughout the day.
For example, if you have 6 x 5-minute phone calls per day then you have walked for 30 minutes without even thinking about it.
Schedule some breaks during your day
3. Schedule your Day
Have a daily schedule planned with work, exercise, breaks and relaxation.
This allows you to have a good balance throughout the day and not lose track of time.
You can set alarms on your phone to remind you that you need to stop and get up.
4. Make time for Family and Friends
During this time we may need to be physically distanced from each other however that shouldn't mean that we socially distance ourselves.
It’s so important for us to keep in contact with our loved ones.
This also comes down to scheduling your day for phone catch-ups to talk about non-work related things.
5. Get the Most out of your Exercises
If you are taking the time to exercise then you need to be getting the most bang for your buck!
If you are unsure where to start with a home exercise program it's best to book an appointment with your Podiatrist for an evidence-based home exercise program targetting the muscles in your legs that you need to strengthen.
We Are Here To Help
If you are worried about how working from is affecting your foot health, the first thing to do is book an appointment with one of our Podiatrists at Complete Podiatry for a comprehensive assessment.
Once this is done, we will develop a structured management plan that outlines our best advice for how to help you stay strong so you can keep doing the things you love without worrying about your feet.
Just call us on 8330 0004 I'll love to talk to you about how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up!
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry