A huge number of people who started working from home during lockdown are experiencing back, neck and shoulder pain as a result of poor home office setups. Since the start of lockdown in March, people have seen an increase in musculoskeletal pain. A huge four out of five people who started working from home due to Covid-19 have developed some form of musculoskeletal pain, according to the charity Versus Arthritis. The charity’s nationwide survey found that 89% of those who started working from home during lockdown are suffering from back, shoulder or neck pain due to their new workspace, and yet they have not told their employer about it. Some 23% said that they are now left with musculoskeletal pain all or most of the time, with just under half (46%) saying that they are now having to take painkillers more than they would like to as a result. The most common complaint among survey respondents was lower back pain, with 50% experiencing this. Neck pain was next up, being experienced by 36% and 28% had shoulder pain. However, failing to talk to their employer about this pain means that people will not be able to arrange an alternative workspace or suitable furniture. Employee support for home workers Some 35% of office workers who had to work from home during lockdown received no equipment, advice or support from their employer when it came to home working. The situation for those working for larger businesses (250-499 staff) was worse, with 45% not getting any support. While it isn’t necessarily up to employers to provide special equipment for those who are now having to work from home, companies still have a responsibility to ensure they are reducing risks and providing training and information. This includes: Advice on equipment adjustments, how to sit properly and regular breaks being needed. Ensuring a process is in place for employees to raise any issues and encouraging them to do so. Putting risk mitigation strategies in place. Providing equipment on a case-by-case basis, such as if employees are identified as being at risk of health issues. Continually reviewing the situation and individual’s needs. Failing to inform employers of musculoskeletal pain or any other issues means that they are not able to assess whether additional equipment is required. Ultimately, this can lead to further issues and possibly more pain. Ergonomic furniture for home offices The answer for man people who will be working from home for the foreseeable future might be ergonomic office furniture. Furniture that has been designed ergonomically offers adjustments for the user to ensure they are able to work comfortably and with the right support. This will help to reduce pressure and pain, as well as any possible long-term damage that working in the wrong position can cause. With many people not having worked from home before this year, a large number of workers have not had access to a suitable home office environment. A large number of individuals have had to do with working from the sofa or the kitchen table, neither of which promote good posture. This is where an ergonomic office chair comes in. An ergonomic office chair provides the right level of lumbar support and multiple adjustments that allow you to ensure you are able to sit comfortably – something that is vital when you’re doing long hours at your desk. Failing to set your office chair up correctly or using the wrong type of chair can lad to pain, discomfort and long-lasting health implications. Of course, sitting down all day isn’t ideal either. While you should be taking regular breaks, you might want to consider whether an ergonomic office desk is the way to go. Height-adjustable office desks allow you to set your desk at the right height to allow you to work comfortably, however, they can also take you from sitting to standing at the touch of a button. This means you can break up your day, stretch your back and refresh yourself throughout your workday.