2020 will go down in history as the year the pandemic turned the world upside down. By mid-March, the pandemic officially hit the Chicago area. Office workers were sent to work from home. Students began attending classes online. Restaurants shut down except for take out. However, some businesses were considered essential and could remain open, including physical therapy.
I chose to close my doors to in-person visits for the last 2 weeks of March and saw some of my patients via telehealth. In April, I saw about 4-5 patients a week in the clinic and another 5-6 via telehealth. By mid-May, patients began coming into the clinic again as many had flare ups of their pain symptoms from so much sitting at home.
I, myself, noticed an increase in stiffness and achiness from not moving as much as I used to when seeing my patients in person. When working with my patients I am often standing, doing my own balance exercises while observing my patients do their exercises, or demonstrating exercises while realizing how fortunate I am to have a profession where I don’t have to sit all day.
But, during March and April, I found myself sitting at a computer for longer periods of time than usual, similar to my patients who work on computers all day long. I, too, fell victim to not getting up and moving around as much as I should, like I tell my patients to do. Now I get it!
Even if you tend to sit all day in an office, working from home usually looks different. In the office, you might have an adjustable chair, an adjustable desk, a standing desk, multiple large monitors and ergonomic keyboards and mouse pads. How many of you have that at home? Or maybe you have some of that but now with no travel time you are actually sitting at your desk even longer. Some people move around their house into different rooms to work such as on the couch, on the floor or on the bed — none of which are ideal. Read about The Risks of Sitting and view this infographic to learn about the risks of sitting.