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Article Oct 20

Home office as a cause of headaches and back pain

DACH study shows: Home office causes health problems such as back pain or headaches for two out of three employees.

According to the latest Aeris study “Working from home”, 53 percent of employees in the German-speaking region are now familiar with working from home, not least due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In certain sectors such as banking, insurance, IT and telecommunications, this quota is even 80 percent or more. Although this allows many companies to successfully operate as normal, the detriment to our health is sobering: 64 percent of employees complain of health problems due to working from home. Homeworkers mostly suffer from back pain, muscle aches and headaches. As part of its study, Aeris - a manufacturer of active chairs and movement solutions for offices, home offices and home areas - conducted a survey of 2,000 employees in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Study shows: Working in a home office is often the cause of back pain.
The chart shows the most common complaints caused by working in a home office with the wrong equipment. More than a quarter of respondents complain of back pain. /small>

As the study further shows, the causes for many health problems are quite obviously to be found in the design of the workplace at home. Only about one in two homeworkers (56%) has their own study at home, while the rest have to improvise at dining, kitchen or living room tables as well as in bedrooms and guest rooms. Moreover, working couples often have to share a study or take turns using it.

In addition, more than every second employee with home office experience complains that their workplace is significantly worse equipped than the actual workplace in the company, both technically (53%) and in terms of office furniture (54%). One in three workers would like an ergonomic office chair and a height-adjustable desk at home.

The health consequences of the design and equipment of the home office workplace are shown, for example, by the following results of the Aeris study: While a total of two thirds of employees in the home office complain about health problems, it is even about three out of four employees who have to use the bedroom or guest room as a workplace.

Too many people still sit still too often.

Josef Glöckl

Managing Director Aeris GmbH

The list of health problems caused by working from home is headed by back pain (26%). This is followed closely by muscle pain (e.g. in the neck or shoulder area) and headaches (21% each). In addition to weight gain, 20 per cent of the homeworkers surveyed complain of fatigue and exhaustion as well as stress and restlessness. For more than one in ten (12%), working at home even leads to psychological problems such as fatigue and depression, according to their own statements.

"The dark season that has just begun is likely to exacerbate these health problems," says Josef Glöckl, founder of Aeris, with conviction. "Firstly, many companies have already noticeably increased the home office quota in view of rising infection figures, and secondly, the opportunities for outdoor sporting activities are considerably less in autumn and winter.

It is therefore all the more important to set up the home office as healthy as possible. "Innovative office chairs that allow permanent movement, such as the Aeris Swopper, can incidentally ensure that the back and neck muscles are strengthened," continues Glöckl. "Too many people still sit still too often. The lack of movement robs us of concentration, energy, creativity and above all our health after only a short time. Back pain is now the most frequent cause of sick leave. It is responsible for every tenth day of absence."

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