Now more than ever, Americans are spending extended periods of time at home. From sitting for long hours working and logging more time in front of the TV, to uncontrollable snacking and changing bathroom habits, the behavioral changes resulting from more time at home are impacting overall health, especially for our backsides. In fact, according to a new survey commissioned by Preparation H, three in five Americans reveal they have experienced aches and pains due to habits they’ve developed at home since the pandemic began.
While some of the new practices instituted during the pandemic may seem inevitable, they could be causing discomfort. To help remedy potential harmful habits developed as a result of being at home more often, the following tips can help combat potential pains and help you find relief.
1. Workstation slump
The sudden shift from working in an office to working at home has caused plenty of new behaviors, including slumping and poor posture. As more than half of Americans had to create makeshift workstations at home, many have found themselves working from their couches, kitchen chairs or even beds.
While a bed or couch might provide a soft and comfortable setting for relaxing, they are not ideal for productive, long-term use and ultimately not the best for health, as a plush seat lacks support and can lead to slouching. With nearly two-thirds of working Americans finding themselves working longer hours since working from home, switching up your choice of seating can help prevent bad posture and back and neck pain. Opting for a firmer chair with proper back support is key to stop the slumping and keep you comfortable when working long hours.
Additionally, the survey revealed that, on average, Americans have spent four hours sitting in one spot without getting up, and remaining sedentary for lengthy amounts of time can lead to health effects. Set a goal to get off your butt throughout the day to stretch out and get the blood flowing — aim for at least five minutes of standing and moving each hour and track your progress. Setting a movement notification and blocking those few minutes on your calendar can make a big difference.
2. Scrolling away
It’s no surprise that social media use and content streaming are hitting all-time highs this year. Compared to before the pandemic, two-thirds of Americans (66%) shared they are watching more television and movies through streaming services than they did previously and nearly 60% revealed that they feel they are on social media more. That’s a lot of scrolling!
Whether you’re looking for the next show to binge or refreshing your favorite apps, too much screen time can fatigue the eyes, affect mental health and disrupt sleep patterns. Set a timer on your television and phone to help regulate consumption, especially before bedtime, and take breaks for healthier activities like phone calls with friends and family or walks outside.
3. Exercise experimentation
Physical activity is especially important as it provides various health and wellness benefits. However, out of the ordinary workout routines may lead to newfound discomfort. On average, one in five Americans think their new exercise routines at home are the reason behind their backside discomfort!
Before tuning into a virtual workout class or hitting the pavement for a run, make sure you are taking the proper time to warm up your body and stretch to help prevent any injuries. If working with heavy weights at home, keep in mind that vigorous straining can cause backside issues — so make sure to slowly increase weights or lift with a workout buddy to help keep each other safe and in check.
4. Toilet devotee
More time at home has also affected bathroom habits. Since the pandemic began in 2020, 39% of Americans admit they have spent much longer periods of time on the toilet than ever before. Extended toilet time can place added pressure on your backside, potentially leading to discomfort, like pain, itching or hemorrhoids.
In fact, nearly a quarter of Americans have experienced hemorrhoids while spending more time at home, with men afflicted two times more than women. If you experience any of these discomforts and need relief, the new Preparation H Soothing Relief line provides everyday comfort and is specifically formulated to soothe, cool, cleanse and care for your backside. The line features a maximum-strength Anti-Itch Cream and Cleansing & Cooling Wipes for convenient relief that goes beyond cleaning.
5. Kitchen addiction
Round-the-clock access to the kitchen and increased levels of stress can mean constant snacking and bad food choices. Processed foods can be low in fiber and not easily digestible, potentially causing constipation, which can in turn lead to discomfort, straining or hemorrhoids. Opt for high-fiber meals and snacks and try keeping a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or table so there is easy access to a healthier snack option.
With more time spent at home, developing less-than-optimal habits may be difficult to avoid. It’s important to be aware of the mindless behaviors that impact our health, so we can be mindful about implementing lifestyle changes to correct them. By remembering these tips, you can be on your way to eliminating unhealthy at-home activities and finding relief when discomfort strikes.