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Neck pain at work or the home office?

by febfast 18 Feb 2016
Physiotherapist and Articfit founder, Phebe Corey gives us a 5 min easy check that your desk is set up correctly:

Neck pain, it's a pain in the neck! But seriously, if you work at a desk there are a few things in particular that may contribute to a sore neck. Read on and check your desk set up today!

Poor position or posture when seated at your desk can put extra pressure on your neck. Take articfit graphic designer Scotty for example.

ScottyBad

 

Here you can see he is quite rounded through his upper back and shoulders, so he has to extend his neck to look up at the screen (otherwise he would be looking down at the keyboard!) Sustaining this position for an extended period may certainly lead to symptoms of neck pain, especially if repeated every workday.

 

So what is the ideal desk set up?

  • Feet flat on floor

  • Hips and knees at 90 degrees

  • Lower back supported by your chair

  • Elbows at 90-120 degrees in line with the keyboard

  • Top of monitor at eye level


ScottyGood

Now we can see a nice natural curve in Scott's spine with his vision in line with the images on the computer and no unnecessary neck extension. This position is much nicer on his spine and decreases the amount of pressure on his neck.

 

 

 

TOP TIPS:

  • Have someone take a photo of you at your desk so you can see assess your position and determine what you need to change using the above guide

  • If your chair does not adjust, try using a foot stool to ensure your feet are flat and your hip/knee angles align

  • A lumbar support pillow placed on your chair can also help to promote good posture (especially if your chair doesn't adjust) by encouraging your natural spinal curve

  • Use a phone book or block under your monitor to raise it to eye level (like Scott!)

  • Standing desks are a great alternate option to decrease pressure on your spine and joints from sustaining the same posture for extended periods

  • If you experience any pins and needles or numbness when sitting at the desk please seek advice from a physiotherapist or medical practitioner. This is not normal!


Now that you've checked your office set up- make sure you have a look at your home computer too and don't forget to share this with your friends and family.

by Phebe Corey

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