COVID-19: Remote work leads to back, neck pain - GulfToday

COVID-19: Remote work leads to back, neck pain


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

With homes having been converted into temporary workplaces in these Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) times, a Dubai-based Orthopedics and Sports Injuries consultant has suggested ways to prevent lower back and neck pain in the possible absence of ergonomic chairs that support posture, weight and lumbar while sitting.

These syndromes are said to be among the worse disabilities worldwide.

In “The Epidemiology of Neck Pain” by Damien Hoy (University of Sydney) and Rachelle Buchbindee (Monash University) in Australia, neck problem is “with a higher incidence noted in office and computer workers with prevalence generally higher in women, higher in high-income countries compared with low-middle income countries and higher in urban areas compared with rural areas.”

Al Zahra Hospital (Dubai)-Department of Orthopedics and Sports Injuries head Dr. Ahmed Labib cautioned remote workers against “comprising posture and our sitting position,” adding that everyone must always strive for “reduced stress and strain.”

“Many people do not have proper office chairs and working for extended periods of time in bed or hunched over a coffee table (which) is not great for  (the) body and over-all health.”

Labib’s tips: Sit down and stand up often; elevate laptop below eye level; put up feet and stretch the legs periodically; take five-minute breaks every 30 minutes; do low level physical exercises; add a rolled towel on the chair for lumbar support.

From the Philippines, Pasay City Charity Health Center medical director Dr. Willie Ong, an internist/cardiologist, had added a new info-video in his series on the pandemic wherein mentioned was the existence of 10,000 other viruses excluding all forms of bacteria leading to diseases such as tuberculosis which may be swiftly transmitted in enclosed  and improperly ventilated spaces.

“We must keep our windows and doors open especially when someone is sick so that the viruses and bacteria would not remain within the confines of our homes or offices, severely affecting others as well.” Ong said in the mix of Filipino and English.

Ong cited a Japanese study on this as he also explained why in the Diamond Princess cruise ship, COVID19 had spread quickly downing 712 with the virus discovered to have lingered initially for 17 days.

He said governments have been imposing lockdowns and self-isolation strategies because people tend to mass and crowd making the human-to-human transmission of COVID19 unavoidable.

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