Occupation: Couch potato.
For most Americans, the living room has become their workstation during the coronavirus pandemic. While some have opted to rearrange furniture to add space for desks, chairs, and at-home office needs, an overwhelming majority is embracing work from their couch, according to a new study
Sixty-one percent of working Americans said that they use their sofa as a workstation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with workers admitting it’s their primary spot to send emails daily.
A study conducted by OnePoll with Article polled 2,000 Americans to gauge how they’re been spending their time inside during the pandemic, which has had Americans bunkered in their homes since the start back in March.
While the living room is being used primarily as a spot for work, it’s also the space where seven in 10 Americans said their nights are spent, especially on the sofa. That includes 42% of Americans eating inside their living rooms when they order takeout and an additional 35% playing games there.
The added time in the living room has tacked on an additional two hours a day of sofa-sitting Americans, which totals to 448 hours since the start of the pandemic.
“With more time being spent indoors and at home in the last few months, we’ve seen a surge of people wanting to create beautiful modern spaces,” Nicole Hunt, Produce Development Manager at Article, said in a statement. “The survey revealed people are spending hundreds of additional hours on their couch, and our goal is to make it easy for people to find a comfortable, affordable sofa — all from the comfort of their living room.”
Although it might be comforting to work from your couch, the increase sedentary times should be a cause for concern, especially during work-from-home situations. A number of people have reported increase back pain since the start of the pandemic, which is attributed to people not moving around nearly as much as they did before.
A study from 2018 said that remote working situations can be harmful to your body — especially the back and neck — because people work in unnatural positions, such as from a bed or a couch.
Nearly half of workers in that study admitted to not owning an office chair or work desk. Chair companies have since started designing chairs to combat back issues and promote good posture.
That trend of back and neck issues has been consistent through the pandemic. A study by the Institute for Employment found that 50% of people had reported new aches and pains in the neck, should, and back areas. The key to fixing these issues revolves around your ability to move, experts say.
Bon Secours offered a few tips to help prevent poor posture and improve muscle strength during remote working. The plan calls for workers to sit up straight (sitting upright; shoulders relaxed and body supported by a chair), exercise and stretching, and setting up a work station where your monitor is at eye level.