Dealing with aches and pains brought on by home offices

U.S. & World

(NBC) – For many American office workers, working from home has been a new and unexpected experience. Trading in that ergonomic office desk and chair for a couch or kitchen table has been painful for some, literally.

It’s something many of us never saw coming in our new work-from-home reality.

“My back hurts because my chair is not comfortable. My legs hurt because I am not doing anything, physically, I feel my body is wasting away,” said Denise Khumalo.

These days, nagging aches and pains, sore necks, stiff wrists are popping up all over.

 “People really haven’t had time to prepare for that. They haven’t adjusted their workstations, they haven’t adjusted their lives around working from home,” said Dr. David Shapiro with the Cleveland Clinic.

That means making your home office more like your real one by putting your monitor at eye level, using a wireless mouse and keyboard, finding the right chair and desk, and even taking breaks and stretching to make sure nothing gets hurt.

“You want to work on moving your neck from side to side, you want to work on bringing your arms across your body, best you can, reach behind, if you are able to reach behind, able to reach and stretch that way,” said Dr. Shapiro.

And if something doesn’t feel right, Dr. Nancy Lane says don’t ignore it.

“The best part is we have ointments that are non-steroidal drugs that can help take the pain and inflammation away pretty quickly,” she said.

Of course, prevention is better than treatment.

Dominick Miserandino learned that in his 25 years of working from home. Every time he has phone calls scheduled, he puts on his headphones and goes for a walk.

“At least going for that walk, you are moving your body – you are getting away from sitting at the desk and getting those aches and pains,” he said.

A lesson for the rest of us, still getting used to working from home.

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