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COVID-19: People seek medical help as work from home hurts back and neck

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Pune, Sep 24: With work from home becoming the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have started complaining of neck pain and backache while working for long hours and are seeking help from physiotherapists.

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Health experts say this is due to improper sitting postures and people need to follow good ergonomics and working habits at home. Employees of several corporate firms and industrial bodies have been working from home for nearly six months now since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

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"Initially, work from home system brought cheers among employees. But, due to long working hours and improper sitting postures, many have started complaining of neck pain, backache and other issues," Dr Apurv Shimpi, head of the community physiotherapy department in Pune's Sancheti Hospital told reporters.

He said the National Institute of Personnel Management's (NIPM) Pune Chapter, a body of HR professionals here in Maharashtra, approached the hospital to conduct physiotherapy sessions for their associate members.

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"Over 700 people took part in the recent session where they were given tips on work from home ergonomics," he said. "Our physiotherapists explained about the wrong postures and positions adopted by employees while working from home. We gave them tips like raising the height of laptop screen to eye-level, use of pillows, taking frequent breaks and doing exercises for relaxing the mind and eyes," he said.

NIPM Pune Chapter's Chairman Dr (Capt) CM Chitale said many professionals have been complaining of spinal cord- related issues. "During the webinar, physiotherapists gave participants several ergonomic tips and explained the ideal work postures to avoid backache and other health-related issues," he said.

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Narendra Patil, HR head of Pune-based Kalyani Maxion Wheels Pvt Ltd, said though their firm is into manufacturing, several employees are currently working from home and have been complaining of backache and neck pain.

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    "We asked our employees to take part in the physiotherapy session organised by NIPM and it turned out to be beneficial for them," he said.

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