Remote work setups linked to 88% of pain

Remote work setups linked to 88% of pain

February 14, 2024

  • The bad news: more and more Australians are living with pain every day.
  • The good news: osteopathy gets to the cause of pain and can provide management plans to help.

The impact of the pandemic on Australians continues to be felt in the form of persistent pain linked to lifestyle changes. A survey conducted by Osteopathy Australia in 2023 and completed by over 100 osteopaths revealed that nearly 88% of Australians are living with pain, a significant portion of which is attributed to the lifestyle adjustments brought on by the pandemic. The top findings include:

  1. Osteopaths attribute 87.85% of pain cases to lifestyle factors, further compounded by age-related concerns (47.66%).
  2. Back pain (87.85%), neck pain (84.11%), and shoulder pain (61.68%) continue to be leading issues, consistent with previous surveys.
  3. Approximately 50.47% of osteopaths noted that the common causes of pain have not changed since 2022. However, lifestyle-related factors exacerbated by post-COVID behaviours, such as sedentary habits, emotional distress, and poor ergonomic setups, have contributed to a rise in musculoskeletal issues.

These findings are supported by a 2022 public survey with 1,000 Australians which showed:

  • Almost half of Australians (45%) experience lower back pain, with 24% experiencing middle back pain.
  • Almost half (49%) of office workers have a niggle or a pain that reappears every now and then, while 1 in 6 Australians (16%) live with chronic pain every day.
  • Almost three-quarters (71%) of Melburnians and two-thirds (62%) of Sydneysiders admit their pain has increased or stayed the same since working from home.
  • Over a third of office workers (38%) have gained weight over the past two years (2020-2022), with 31% admitting they are not as fit as they were pre-COVID.

The Pandemic’s Impact on Lifestyle

Remote work setups, increased screen time, poor posture, and reduced physical activity has resulted in a substantial shift towards sedentary habits. These changes have placed additional strain on the nervous system, leading to heightened global muscle tension and a decline in the body’s intuitive awareness cues, such as hunger, thirst, emotions, and fatigue. Consequently, there has been a surge in musculoskeletal issues, ranging from hip and knee osteoarthritis to tendinopathies, neck and back pain due to overuse, and tissue fatigue.

Accessible Osteopathic Treatment

Osteopathy offers an accessible and effective solution for managing and relieving pain. Importantly, it doesn’t require a medical referral, is often covered by private health insurance and has various funding schemes, including Medicare, DVA, and workers’ compensation schemes.

As Australians continue to grapple with pain stemming from lifestyle changes, it is crucial to recognise the importance of timely pain management and osteopathic treatments.

This survey serves as a wake-up call, emphasising the need to address the root causes of pain and take proactive steps to prevent more serious injuries.


Don’t let pain hold you back from living your best life – seek help and relief today. Click on Find an Osteo.