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Shawnee hospital offers health tips for those working from home

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Working from home

For the last several months, many people have been working from home to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19.

According to SSM Health Orthopedic expert Dr. Clayton Nelson, while people are working from home, it's important they take the necessary measures to maintain the health and wellness of their bodies.

Nelson said he has some useful tips for people to help them properly take care of their bones and joints as they work from home in the recliner or on the couch.

"Your work station really needs to be fit to your specific needs," Nelson said. "The work station needs to be adjustable to that specific person. So whether it's the kitchen table or a real office space it needs to be specific to you."

Nelson said those working from home should make sure they think about several aspects of their home work space, which includes the height of their chair, the support of their back in the chair, the placement of their computer monitor which should be at eye level and the type of keyboard they use.

"Those are the main things as far as positioning is concerned," Nelson said.

For those working from home who may already suffer from back, neck or other bone and joint issues, Nelson said people need to be aware of their positioning and seek medical advice from their physician if symptoms are really bad.

Since working remotely has become more of the norm, Nelson said he hasn't necessarily seen an increase in patients, but rather an increase in symptoms in patients who've been working from home.

"I do have a lot of patients who are describing things mostly like carpal tunnel- like symptoms and tendonitis around the elbow," Nelson said.

The doctor explained this is common if someone’s home work environment is not the same as their regular work environment.

Going forward, Nelson said he encourages people to adjust their home work environment to their specific needs, be aware of how working from home can affect their bones and joints and doing the necessary activities to prevent any pain or symptom flare ups.