Jonathan Lohé Chung is a medical coordinator for Medisys Health Group, working with the team of dietitians and kinesiologists at the executive clinic in Montreal. He holds a B.Sc in kinesiology from the Université de Montréal and is currently working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside his very active 14-month-old son.
Q: Many of us have been mandated to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. What are some of the physical health risks that come with working from home, and how can we prevent them?
A: A poor work space at home can cause a number of musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, neck pain, several inflammatory issues and more. It is crucial to set up a supportive work station with proper computer monitor positioning, chair and armrest height, and a real keyboard and mouse as opposed to a laptop if possible.
Q: What are three changes people can make to optimize their physical health while working from home?
It’s imperative to maintain a physically active lifestyle, yet it’s easy to neglect this when changing routines. We can no longer go to the gym, play soccer or swim laps at the local pool, but many other alternatives are still present and permitted! Here are a few tips:
- Avoid sitting in front of your screen for hours on end. Every 30 minutes or so, stand up from your desk and walk around, stretch or climb up and down your stairs a few times.
- Adopt a daily home exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be long and you can even include your kids! Home exercise is new to many of us, so try out different online options until you find something that clicks.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to go out for some fresh air! Hop on a bike, go for a run or take a brisk walk around the block.
Q: How has your practice changed since the COVID-19 outbreak?
As a clinic that typically welcomes hundreds of clients a day, we’ve obviously had to adapt quite a lot. Virtual care has become a vital component of our service. While virtual consults with doctors, nurses and dietitians are quite common, we’ve now developed a consultation service with kinesiologists, which so far has been a tremendous success! Our kinesiologists can answer questions regarding physical activity, give suggestions and tips on exercises to do at home, help with setting up a proper work station and more.
Q: What is one challenge you’ve faced during this pandemic?
With my spouse working in a hospital, it’s been quite difficult managing home and work life with a very, very active 14-month old boy with me at home. I’m able to work during naps and at night, which makes for early mornings and late nights. The hardest part has been taking conference calls with my little boy often in my arms playing with my headset!
Q: What is one silver lining you’ve experienced during this pandemic?
This may sound cheesy, but despite the challenges it’s been truly wonderful to be able to spend so much time with my little boy. In any other circumstance it wouldn’t have been possible. I’m very quickly discovering how exceedingly difficult, yet incredibly rewarding, it is to be a “stay at home dad.” My spouse is incredible for doing this job for over a year! Another undeniable silver lining: going to work in my PJs.