How to Save Your Back and Neck from Your Desk Job
By Sara Butler
One of the leading causes of back and neck pain is hunching over a computer at a work desk. After a while, aches, stiffness, and pains emerge as your muscles are forced to assume this poor posture for too long. In fact, hanging your head in a forward position for long periods can lead to pain and discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. But don't despair. There are some practical and easy things you can do to help reduce neck and back pain when you're at work.
Pay Attention to Your Desk
If your desk isn't adjusted properly, then you're going to have a difficult time avoiding neck and back pain. Your desk should be tall enough that you don't have to raise your shoulders in order to comfortably rest your hands on your keyboard. If your desk isn't tall enough, then it can force you to adopt an unnatural position that leads to fatigue in the back and neck muscles as well as muscle spasms.
Keep Your Keyboard Close (But Not Too Close)
Your keyboard and your mouse close to your body so you don't have to lean over or extend your arm too far in order to reach either of them. If you spend too much time overextending your shoulder, wrist, or arm, then it can lead to pain and soft tissue injuries that impact your life beyond your work desk.
Get a Good Chair
Make sure to sit in a padded, sturdy chair that helps to support your lower back. It should also allow you to slightly recline in order to help reduce strain on your upper and middle back. You should never sit on a stool or folding chair that doesn't offer proper back support. Any chair you choose should also have an adjustable height lever so you can sit with your feet flat on the floor.
Keep Your Monitor Adjusted
Your computer screen should be at eye level to help reduce strain on your neck and shoulders. You should also make sure that your screen is about at arm's length, which will also help to reduce strain on your muscles.
Make sure to take a short break at least once per hour to get up and move around. This will help to break you out of the posture you've been sitting in as you work and help to keep your muscles from getting tight.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buford, Ga.