Tech Accessories Fixing Postures, Aches and Pains Caused by Covid

There has been a huge rise in physical as well as mental health issues since the UK’s workforce was effectively sent home when the country went into lockdown in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Now Edinburgh-based G-Hold has developed a kit that eases the physical strain of working in a home office space. Founder and CEO Alison Grieve said: “Not many people have a home office environment which is ergonomically optimised for working. “As a result people are developing lots of back, neck, shoulder, hand and wrist problems which can plague them for the rest of their lives. Our Working From Home Kit encourages people to sit and stand comfortably and correctly, with good posture while working at their computers and tablets, or on their mobile phone or video calls.”

A survey of homeworkers by the Institute for Employment Studies shortly after lockdown started found more than half were reporting new aches and pains, particularly in the neck, back and shoulders It described a “significant increase in musculoskeletal complaints” with more than half of those surveyed reporting new aches and pains.

The study’s interim findings identified ensuring a home office set-up is safe and ergonomic as a key action point for employers. Back pain alone is estimated to cost the UK economy £10.7billion a year in sickness absence and that was before the recent surge in home working. Alison added: “There has been a lot of talk about the potential impact on mental health of long-term home-working, and clearly that is really important. But it’s also important that physical health is not overlooked. “There are significant amounts of people suffering because they do not have a proper work environment at home and our Working From Home Kit addresses that.”

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Osteopath Gavin Routledge has also witnessed a big rise in musculoskeletal complaints in recent months. “I am seeing more pain in areas like neck, shoulders and lower back, plus things like repetitive strain injury in hands and wrists, as well as headaches,” he said. “With lots of new and existing clients I’ve seen a clear correlation that within four weeks of beginning to work from home a lot of them are suffering, either by developing new problems or exacerbating existing ones. Now that homeworking looks like being here to stay, employers need to start taking the health concerns of their workers more seriously. Just having your screen at eye level makes a huge difference to musculoskeletal health. Pain can lead to or exacerbate mental illness, and vice versa. Given that we know there are very legitimate worries about the mental health issues potentially caused by the isolation of working from home, it increases the importance of ensuring good physical health.”


Alison was featured on TV’s Dragons’ Den four years ago with her revolutionary G-Hold ergonomic holders for tablet computers. Although the Dragons turned her down she has gone on to grow the company and also develop a similar holder and stand for mobile phones.  Both products were developed with considerable lab testing and have been proven to reduce strain on arms, shoulders, wrists and hands. But after hearing of growing problems being faced by homeworkers during lockdown she realised she needed to do more. The Working From Home Kit includes holders for phones and tablets, as well as ‘Home Hangs’ that enable users to hang devices from any picture hook or kitchen utensil hanger to allow conference video calls to be viewed at whatever height and position is most comfortable.

“Whenever you’re on a group video call you can see the way people are leaning forward to be picked up by the camera on their laptop, phone or tablet, or to see the screen properly,” added Alison. These sorts of devices are brilliant for their portability and take up very little space in cramped environments, but homes haven’t been designed to position these devices with postural health in mind. Very early in lockdown I saw various physical issues being encountered by people working from home, so we used our skills and knowledge in the ergonomic space to design our Working From Home Kit. Setting a tablet or phone up on your desk tends to lead to hunching over to see the screen and be picked up properly by the camera. This is terrible for your posture and can lead to all sorts of long-term problems in the neck, back and shoulders. Even when the pandemic is over it’s clear that home-working is going to be here to stay for a lot of people so it’s important that they have the right equipment.

“Lockdown came on suddenly and it’s understandable that a lot of people found themselves working from home in less than ideal conditions. We’ve even heard of people using ironing boards as their desk. But we’re eight months down the road now and companies have a responsibility to ensure their staff are as comfortable as possible and not being asked to work in a way which is bad for their physical wellbeing.”

Paul Holleran, a health and safety officer with the GMB union, agreed that while many employers had prioritised preventing the spread of Covid and that he was working with many companies to address the mental health concerns associated with working from home, the physical effects were being neglected too often.

“My concern is that the third impact of ergonomic damage isn’t getting the same attention, with many people working from home without having had proper risk assessments carried out,” he explained. It is essential that people are given advice and correct equipment to enable them to work safely at home.  Our union is stepping up our campaigning in this area now for our own staff as well as our members, as we do not want to see a future epidemic of bad backs or other musculoskeletal disorders like RSI. Issues like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cripple people and we need to take every precaution that this does not become another side illness of long-term Covid.”

The £49.99 kits also come with a series of recommended stretching exercises.

“We’re really excited about adding the Kits to our suite of products and are already getting loads of interest, both from individuals and corporates looking to kit out their home-working staff,” said Alison. It feels good to be launching a new product that could make such a big difference to people’s work lives and health.”

Use Discount Code TR20 for 20% off G-Hold’s Working From Home Kit at: