SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When the pandemic started in KELOLAND, many were forced to begin working from home.
Ashley Elliott has been working from home since March of 2020. She says the change has been a positive one.
“I no longer have a half an hour drive to work and back. So I’m actually saving five hours a week by not driving. My stress level has gone down immensely with not having to rush home and get dinner and everything,” Elliott said.
But even with the positives, Dr. Paul Bunkers at Alternative Back Clinic says remote working can leave a negative impact on your physical health.
“People are sitting there on their computer doing their projects and then guess what they have to have a meeting. And now all of a sudden they click over to zoom. They stay there. They’re on the meeting for 10 minutes, two hours and then they click back over and do their work and they’re not getting up, moving around,” Bunkers said.
With people getting up less, and staring down at screens more- he’s seeing a big increase of patients with neck pain, back pain and headaches.
“It’s been a lot, I mean, in fact through the pandemic, that’s probably what really kept us busy, the busiest,” Bunkers said.
To avoid developing issues, Elliott regularly sees Dr. Bunkers- for both an adjustment and tips on avoiding pain altogether.
“One of them is you take your arms, make sure your palms are straight up toward the ceiling. Come back as far as you can. And then squeeze further. What that’s doing is now it’s stretching the front and it’s strengthening your back all in one shot,” Bunkers said.
For other ways to keep moving while working at home, click here.
Taking short breaks to get up and move and sitting up straight can also make a difference.
A simple and free way to help yourself sit up straight while at home is with the help of a towel, rolling it up and placing it behind your back.
“So my back is completely straight. And I also have a reminder on my phone that goes off about every hour to check my posture,” Elliott said.
Allowing her to focus less on pain, and more on the work at hand.