MADE IN AUSTRALIA

Contact

Pixel Together are constantly looking to grow and evolve. If you have any feedback or suggestions of ways we can improve our service, please let us know.

FAQs

Image Credit: 

Jason Strull - Unsplash

Work from home without becoming a pretzel

BUSINESS BUILDING

Published: 

So you’ve set up an ergonomically sound home office, and you’re feeling good about your physical environment. You’re taking advantage of opportunities to move around, playing with the dog, and remembering to take breaks. All of this has helped make working from home feel easier, but your neck still hurts at the end of the day.

AUTHOR

Renae Turner

Co-founder @ Pixel Together


Thursday 28th October 2021

SHARE

“We’ve been seeing a lot of office space-based injuries over the past eighteen months,” says physiotherapist Jarrod Matthews. Matthews, who works on the Bellarine Peninsula, has noticed a trend towards head and neck pain since the pandemic began, which he attributes to a few different causes.

 

For one thing, even if you are building breaks into your day, working from home involves a lot more time in front of a computer than ordinary office work.

 

“We’re seeing a massive change in sitting time,” Matthews says, “In an office, people are getting up and down; they’re having meetings and engaging with people, whereas now everything is happening in front of a screen.”

 

The outcome is an increase in head and neck pain, particularly among women.

 

“If, say, you’re spending 10% more time in front of a computer, for most people that seems like no big deal,” Matthews says, “but it means that the neck is going to get grumpy.”

 

The human head weighs approximately 5kg, and the neck uses 20 different muscles in order to support the weight. Forward head posture (FHP) puts additional strain on these muscles, with recent research finding a correlation between FHP and neck pain. The stress of holding the weight of the head forward is also the cause of the infamous ‘text neck.’

 

For men, the musculature of the upper body can mitigate this stress, but women’s relatively lesser muscle mass puts them at risk for increased neck pain. But there are simple, free, and effective ways to reduce the load.

Strength training

'It doesn’t really matter what we do, as long as we get people’s heads and necks a bit stronger'

“Any strength training of the neck is good strength training of the neck,” Matthews says. “It doesn’t really matter what we do, as long as we get people’s heads and necks a bit stronger.”

 

He recommends using a resistance band affixed to something in the house to very gently work the muscles of the head and neck.

 

“You should almost sort of wear it like a headband, and take a very small step away from where the band is fixed. It’s like an isometric strengthening exercise for the neck, which switches on all the muscle cells.”

Image Credit: Kelly Sikkema

'If you are physically active but still have niggling pain, consider how much weight you are bearing when you work out, and think about switching to a combination of gentler exercise and increased incidental activity across the week'

Consider your weekly load

When seeing a new client, Matthews walks them through their weekly routine, looking at their weekly loading.


“When I talk about loading, I mean, what a person probably does over a week that reflects physical exercise, and what they consider exercise,” he says. He then scopes out a rough idea of a client’s goals, and their restrictions and their limitations.


“From there, it’s about starting to begin changing their habits away from an unhealthy situation towards a healthy one,” Matthews says.

 

Though we’re used to considering working out as a net good, the shift from gym to home exercise has been at the root of some of the muscle pain Matthews has encountered during the pandemic. Home-based workouts often use a person’s entire body weight for resistance, he says, whereas gym equipment allows us to vary weight-bearing exercises in response to strength, soreness, or injury.

 

If you are physically active but still have niggling pain, consider how much weight you are bearing when you work out, and think about switching to a combination of gentler exercise and increased incidental activity across the week.

Though as a physiotherapist much of Matthews’ work is in hands-on muscle adjustments, he and his peers have been working on how to make the switch to telehealth, in order to keep clientele as limber as possible through various lockdowns.
 
“On the practitioner front, for things that are central but not urgent, I’m really happy for clients to make a telehealth appointment,” he says. “I think the best way that would work probably have an initial consult with the practitioner. Make sure that you've got video link up and make sure you're in a good space.”
 
After walking a client through their problems, Matthews would then be able to suggest some self-mobilisations tools, give an exercise prescription, and demonstrate stretching. This early intervention can make a huge difference, and he urges potential clients not to feel embarrassed about presenting with relatively ‘small’ problems.
 
“Office-based pain is one of the most common presentations that we've had in normal times, and it’s even more common in COVID,” Matthews says. “It’s something that people should get on top of early, get moving right away and get managing their lives—and begin to get better, really.
 
“We want to get out and enjoy the limited freedoms that we have, to keep living our lives as best we can.”

Ask the experts

Like what you see? Share the story

AUTHOR

Published: 

Thursday 28th October 2021

Co-founder @ Pixel Together

Renae Turner

ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS

Intelligent digital solutions for your organisation

PRICING PLANS

Flexible pricing plans that scale with your business

Social

Company

Product

MADE IN AUSTRALIA

Create your way - design and build custom websites without the need for code or restrictive templates. Get full creative control and confidence with securely hosted and auto SEO optimised sites, made by you.

Copyright © 

Pixel Together

2014-2021


ACN 603 213 010 20 


Little Gore St

Fitzroy VIC 3065