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How to prevent muscle aches caused by teleworking

Causes and possible solutions to problems caused by poor posture or muscle tension.

Woman leaning on her desk

The change to teleworking has also meant an alteration in health and physical condition. / Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Thomas Handley

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The conversion of a large part of work activity to remote work, also known as home office or telework, has brought with it a new lifestyle. With it, the comfort of not having to travel to the office, or even of not needing to follow a dress code and opt for more comfortable clothes (who has not had a meeting in slippers, for example?) are some of the advantages we can mention. But this change has also meant an alteration in our health and physical condition. A constant incorrect posture in front of the computer due to digitization of tasks, long meetings, and prolonged tension are some of the causes for which we can suffer muscle pain.

Common muscle aches caused by remote work

Sciatica

One of the conditions that we can suffer from teleworking is pain in the sciatic area. This, which to varying degrees extends from the lower spine to the buttocks, can be aggravated by sitting for long periods of time, such as when working from home. It is important to know that it can also manifest itself as tingling, or numbness in one or both legs. Anyway, being related to nerves, the most common manifestation is that it affects only one side of the body.

Neck pain

Cervicalgia, or pain in the neck area, is another of the muscular problems that we can suffer from remote work. Prolonged bad posture, such as looking up or down for a long time, is one of the major causes of this illness. Although it is recommended that the monitor is at eye level to avoid this, it is also popular knowledge that it is not always possible due to the resources that we have within the home. Muscle discomfort can extend from the neck to the shoulders, and may even manifest as a small electrical shock or spasm in that area.

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Low back pain

Low back pain is pain that affects the lower back. With causes such as poor posture or lack of exercise, this muscle condition is one of the most common, and the fastest to appear. The absence of physical activity is closely related to spending a long time sitting or in the same position, since we limit our movement for long hours. As it is a muscle pain, painkillers can help to dispel the symptom, but it can take a few weeks for it to completely disappear without the need for them.

How we can avoid muscle aches

There are different ways to help the body not suffer from bad posture, long hours in front of the screen, or moments of tension due to deadlines, common elements in the modality of remote work. Fortunately, we also found the solution. Having a few minutes to walk, even indoors once per hour worked, is a good way to relax your muscles and promote good circulation. Finding ourselves in our home allows us to improve our diet, too. Staying hydrated, and avoiding foods with a lot of salt is another preventive measure. Also, before or after lunch, it is not a bad idea to get into the habit of stretching a little before you go back to work.