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Feeling aches and pain? It could be your work from home setup

Posted at 9:21 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 13:25:07-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Have you been feeling aches and pains after working from home for the last month? You're not alone — and experts say that your work setup at home could be to blame.

Raina Brautigam, the injury prevention coordinator at Tampa General Hospital, says it's okay to work on from a couch or bed for short periods, but anyone working from home should avoid camping out there for hours.

"When you get working in a recliner, your body is not aligned, and those postural imbalances are going to increase," she said. "And when we have postural imbalances, we're at higher risk of an injury."

Brautigam says people working on laptops face the most challenges.

"Laptops are really meant to be used for short periods of time," she said. "They're made to be portable and give us that access, but they're not developed in order to give you healthy positioning."

She suggests making some simple adjustments to follow ergonomic recommendations.

  • Step 1: Make sure to have a chair that provides back support.
  • Step 2: Support your feet with a footrest.
  • Step 3: Have your keyboard is at elbow level.
  • Step 4: Use an external keyboard and mouse and raise your laptop.

"You want your monitor to be about arms distance when you're sitting back, and you want to the top of your monitor to be at eye level," Brautigam said.

Lastly, Brautigam recommends taking a break for five minutes every hour to stand up, do stretches or breathing exercises.

This story was originally published by Sarah Phinney on WFTS in Tampa.