At first, everybody was fine working remotely, says Melissa Afterman, an ergonomics consultant and environmental health and safety specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. But after about three months, she says, “I started getting a lot of phone calls.”
Since Covid-19 sent droves of office workers home, doctors and workplace safety experts have called attention to the risk of work-related injuries and health problems, from back pain to tooth fractures. Even as many remote employees have settled into a routine, it was only a matter of time before months of hunching over laptops–combined with the stress of living through a pandemic–started to take a toll on their health.
Forty-one percent of Americans have had new or increased back, neck, or shoulder pain since they began working from home, according to a survey commissioned by insurance company Chubb in May and June. And in a separate June survey of