Work from home leads to tech strain

Internet searches for eye and back pain see massive increases

Work from home leads to tech strain

Since the pandemic started, Americans have recorded a 40 per cent increase in internet searches for tech ailments since 2019, according to a report from Harmony Healthcare IT.

There has also been a 78-per-cent increase in searches related to eye strain from working at a computer, and a 142-per-cent increase in searches related to back pain from working at a computer.

“This research really sheds some light on where employees are feeling those pressure points, those pain points from work from home,”  says Tricia Harte outreach manager at Digital Third Coast, speaking on behalf of Harmony Healthcare IT, speaking with Canadian HR Reporter.

Web searches for the following terms have also increased during the same period, according to the report:

  • best desk chair for back pain (up 392 per cent)
  • headache from screen time (up 255 per cent)
  • lower back pain sitting at desk (243 per cent)
  • best office chair for back pain (236 per cent)
  • eyes hurt from screen (182 per cent)
  • cybersickness (171 per cent)

These searches shine a light into what types of setups people have at home, she says.

“If you were working in an office for a long time and, suddenly, you’re working from your home office or from your living room or kitchen, you don’t necessarily have that ergonomic work chair.”

Many remote workers do not have the tools they need to be comfortable working from home, according to a report by the University of Cincinnati.

The searches also reveal where there might be opportunities for employers to provide solutions for improvement, she says.

“Those are potentially ongoing conversations that employers have to have with their employees with their comfort levels as they continue to work remotely.”

Are employers meeting the benefits needs of employees? Not always, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada and TELUS Health.

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