More and more homeworkers suffer from complaints in their arm, neck, shoulder and back due to computer use. It is feared that these complaints are quite simple to solve, but they will get worse the longer working from home takes.
“Since May we have seen a significant increase in the number of complaints from home work,” says Boris van der Vorst, owner of FysioHolland, a company with 500 physiotherapists and 140 practices. “Working from home often went well at first. But now that complaints arise that are slowly getting worse, they come to us. ” The national association for physiotherapists KNGF also sees the increase in home working complaints.
“Many people don't have their home workplace in order,” says Van der Vorst. “People who work for hours on a laptop every day are bothered. A laptop holder, a separate keyboard and a separate mouse are required for a good working posture. Just like an ergonomic office chair and a well-adjusted desk. ”
Many people have an imbalance between work and private life
According to Erik Havelaar, occupational physiotherapist and owner of physiotherapy practice De Schoof in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, the balance between work and private life is disrupted in many people. “Employees have to take care of their children at home or are distracted at work. That causes stress and fatigue complaints. " Then there is the psychological effect of less physical social contact with colleagues. Havelaar: "Complaints often arise from a combination of physical and mental factors."
The lack of social contact is seen by employees as the biggest disadvantage of working from home, according to a FNV survey among more than 9,400 members. The union wants to negotiate a home working scheme with employers. In addition to a fee - working from home entails additional costs for employees of approximately 2 euros per day - employers must provide material to be able to work well at home. The right to work in the office should also be included in such a scheme, according to the FNV. Two of the three respondents indicated that they enjoy working from home. Almost three-quarters would like to work alternately at home and at the office in the future. Forty percent report they exercise less as a result of working from home.
The latter does not benefit health. Company physiotherapist Havelaar: “To exercise, you often have to register online at a swimming pool or gym, reserve a time slot and fill in health questions. That makes the threshold higher for people. While exercising ensures that complaints diminish. ” In recent weeks, he has been treating ten extra people per week for home work complaints.
Many people walk around longer with complaints
Most complaints are now fairly easy to treat, says Jochum van Brummelen, manual therapist and practice owner of Physiotherapy Leeuwarden: “With four treatments, a few exercises and some tips. But many people walk around longer with complaints. That makes complaints worse and more difficult to remedy. "
All three see that employers are becoming more aware of the importance of good home workplaces. Van Brummelen: "To prevent dropouts, companies approach us more often with questions about the best ways to let people work from home." According to Van Brummelen, there are things that people can do themselves to prevent complaints. "Take short breaks while working, try not to sit all day, work standing up, move around and go outside during the times when you are not working."