A March 23, 2020 Oklahoma News 9 report detailed additional closures of businesses throughout the Tulsa area as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Office workers and school students throughout the area are adjusting to working online. Unfortunately, at home work spaces can create challenges. Employers and school administrators make a concerted effort to provide desks, chairs, and other types of furnishings that are ergonomically correct. This helps to reduce the risk of orthopedic injuries. Those new to working at home will need to make some adjustments to prevent painful and potentially serious conditions.  

Work At Home Injuries

Rather than spending eight hours a day in an office or classroom, the coronavirus may have you setting up shop in your home. For some, at home offices and desks can provide some semblance of normalcy in conducting online activities. Others may be working on couches, recliners, or even in bed.  “People are now conducting their daily business while sitting in spots usually reserved for leisure activities. This increases the risk of injuries,” says Dr. Jason Sparks of Spine & Orthopedic Specialists Tulsa. “Looking at computer screens from certain angles and sitting without proper support can do damage to muscles, tendons, discs, and vertebrae in the back and neck.”

Home Office Ergonomics

People who worked from home prior to the pandemic know the importance of good ergonomics. While sudden closures may not have allowed you the time to set up a home office properly, there are still steps you can take to protect yourself. Working From Home Insider recommends the following: 

  • Make sure your workspace has proper lighting;
  • Choose a seat that provides good support and allows you to keep both feet flat on the ground. 
  • If you have a desk, make sure is the proper height to avoid having to bend over the keyboard;
  • Keep your computer screen at least 20 inches away and use pillows, books, or other items to prop it up;
  • Take regular breaks to ensure proper circulation. 

“Taking the time now to address home workplace issues can help to prevent injuries and reduce the risk that chronic conditions will develop,” says Dr. Sparks.