Double whammy: Work-from-home, chores causing back, joint pain – Times of India - Freelance Rack

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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Double whammy: Work-from-home, chores causing back, joint pain – Times of India

Gurgaon: A majority of office-goers in the city are coping with the challenges of working from home, which has been necessitated by a global pandemic. Most families are trying to strike a balance between hectic work schedules and the time they devote to ensuring that their children are attending online classes and doing their homework properly. Add to this, with many hesitant to allow domestic helpers back, the burden of household chores.
Staying hunched over laptops or smartphones for 8-10 hours a day, coupled with cooking, dusting and cleaning, has resulted in a large number of residents complaining of pain in the neck, back, hips, legs, wrists and joints, city-based orthopedists said, adding that a majority of them are women.
“I am getting many patients, many of them women, who are suffering from joint pain. I have observed that they are spending almost nine hours daily on office work. In between, they are also cooking for the family, arranging online classes for their kids and cleaning the house. Around 60% of my women patients have complained of back pain and around 30% have complained of both back and knee pain,” said Dr Himanshu Tyagi, senior consultant orthopedic surgeon at Artemis hospital.
Seema Kumar, who recently visited a doctor for severe joint pain, said she has been managing both office and house work for the past two months. “Working constantly on the laptop and doing household chores like dusting, washing clothes and mopping have put a lot of pressure on my knees, lower back, shoulder, elbow and forearms. I have been suffering from fatigue and pain in the joints,” the South City resident said.
Another resident, Arpita Monga, told TOI there was hardly any respite. “With no domestic staff around and continuously working at home with kids, parents are having a tough time at present. There is hardly any time to rest. I have pain in my lower back now. I am spending more than 10 hours daily on office work, and cooking and helping my children and parents-in-law in between,” she said.
Doctors attribute the ailments to poor posture and lack of breaks in between long stretches of work. “Most people don’t have a dedicated office space at home. We work while sitting on the couch or bed, which can be harmful for the joints in the neck, shoulder, elbows and wrists. It also puts pressure on the back,” said Dr Subhash Jangid, director and unit head of Fortis Bone and Joint Institute in Fortis Memorial Research Institute.
Orthopedists suggested that people take certain measures to avoid continuous stress on the joints and back — ensuring the top of their screen is at eye level while sitting erect and sitting in a chair with lumbar support, for instance. If the chair has no lumbar support, people can use a small pillow, they said. Doctors also advised that chairs and workstation be placed in such a way so as to allow for the “rule of 90s” (90 degree bend at knees, hips and elbows) to decrease joint and muscle strain.
Doctors also advised people to stay active and take breaks while working. “Sitting in one position for an extended period of time could cause pain in your legs, lower back and hips. We recommend getting up and moving around every hour and doing stretches. People are advised to develop a workout routine, even if it’s as simple as going for a 15-minute walk,” said a senior doctor working with the health department.



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