By Joe Staples // SWNS Staff
Working from home may have been the safest option for many Americans during the pandemic — but it has also taken a toll on their bodies.
A new survey of 2,000 general population Americans has discovered two in three respondents have suffered physical pain since they began working from home last year, and the average person wakes up with muscle and joint pain nine times per month.
Similarly, people will wake up with a headache or eye pain seven times per month.
With or without pain, 48% of respondents have started working in a hybrid setting — spending half of their time in the office and the other half working from home.
Overall, 73% of Americans have started to work at the office again in some degree, and an additional 15% are still currently working from home full-time plan to return to the office in the near future.
Commissioned by GlassesUSA.com and conducted by OnePoll, the study found 67% have feelings of tech fatigue as a result of working from home — feeling physically tired and stressed by technology use.
Out of every area of the body, the eyes feel the most stress (26%). Other commonly stressed out body parts include the head (15%), shoulders (14%) and legs (13%).
For 68% of remote workers, stress and their at-home environment have made their primary senses more sensitive than before.
Forty-five percent of those that described their senses as being more sensitive said their eyesight has especially been affected, with 63% saying their eyes have been constantly bothering them in the last year.
“There’s been an increase in both search and demand for blue light blocking lenses as the pandemic progressed,” said GlassesUSA.com CEO Daniel Rothman. “Screen time has drastically increased as it has become our means of social interaction as well as work. People report fewer headaches, improved sleep and less digital eye strain after using blue light lenses.”
Since working from home, 75% have started to look at new ways to take care of their bodies, with nearly as many (72%) looking for new ways to de-stress at home.
To deal with stress, respondents said they’ve started drinking more water (56%) and taking more naps (47%).
Screens have also played a role in increasing stress. The average American spends 27 hours in front of a screen per week, causing 46% to turn off their screens at certain times of the day to prevent eye strain.
People usually turn off their screens in the evening, and 30% of respondents who do so log off from 4:01 p.m. to 8 p.m. Another 32% do so between 8:01 p.m. and midnight.
More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents said they feel a physical difference in themselves if they haven’t had enough water throughout the day.
Seventy-two percent of remote workers said going back to working in-person is the motivation they need to start taking better care of themselves. Since working from home, 57% have given up their exercise routines, carrying their stress with them throughout the day
“A well-balanced diet and low impact movement are crucial to our overall health and ocular wellness. Maintaining personal hygiene and washing hands frequently can help to prevent us from spreading viruses to our eyes,” revealed GlassesUSA.com eye-health expert Sandra Young, OD. “Because of increased screen time demands, it is important to take regular breaks from looking at screens, reduce focusing fatigue by looking out of the window or at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. It is also recommended to use blue light blocking glasses to help filter the harmful rays emitted from our digital devices.”
MOST STRESSED OUT BODY PARTS
- Eyes 26%
- Head 15%
- Shoulders 14%
- Legs 13%
- Back 11%
- Feet 4%
- Core 4%
- Wrists 3%
- Arms 3%
HOW ARE REMOTE WORKERS DEALING WITH STRESS?
- Drinking more water 56%
- Taking naps more frequently 47%
- Turning screens off at certain times of day 46%
- Eating healthier 45%
- Trying breathing exercises 44%