Most of us spend an unnatural amount of time at our desks, staring at computers, checking our smart phones, resulting in neck pain. Day in and day out, over time, this can cause long-term damage. Neck pain doctors recommend we take action to protect our necks. Here are five helpful tips that you can implement in your workday to reduce neck pain.
- Focus on your posture. Your back should ideally be flat against the chair while your feet should be flat on the floor. Concentrate on stretching your back to its full height and keep your head in a neutral position – ears above shoulders. Adjust the height of your chair so that you do not slump. And while we are talking about chairs, this is one item of office equipment that you cannot compromise on. You need a good quality chair which provides excellent lumbar support.
- Get on your feet! Consider a standing desk if you spend a lot of time seated and working on the computer. Remember that sitting is not a healthy position for humans, so minimize time spent in the seated position. Take frequent breaks to stand up, march in place, do some quick stretches, take a few deep breaths in and out and pattern interrupt the monotony of sitting at a desk.
- Move as much as is possible – even if it is just to keep the blood flowing. Try to decrease your seated time by 30 minutes per week. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or use your lunch break to take a walk.
- Place your computer correctly. Make sure that your computer screen is level with your nose and approximately 24” away from you. Most people position their monitor too low causing them to look down for long periods, causing stress on the neck. The keyboard placement also plays a role; place your keyboard so that your elbows are bent at 90 degrees when you type.
- Stay off the small screens. Spending too much time looking at your phone’s screen can cause stress on the neck. This is known as tech-neck. Because we generally look down on the phone, the repeated stress can result in pain and more serious problems.