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Sitting at Your Desk Doesn’t Have to Be a Pain in the Neck

August 25, 2020 4 min read

 

Imagine it’s a Friday. You’ve just put in a long work day, and you can’t wait to get home. You finally stand up and—ouch! That excitement is short-lived.


Why? Well, it may have felt like you were resting the entire time, but in fact, your body was putting in just as much work as you were. If you weren’t sitting in a chair that was made for your body, then your muscles were straining all day long trying to keep you seated. 


Your joints were overworked, your spine was working overtime trying to keep you balanced, and your whole body was pretzeled into a shape it doesn’t naturally go.


It’s no wonder you stood up and felt achy, creaky, and stiff—that’s just your body reacting to the strain it’d been under all day.


Working at a desk is a common cause of back and neck pain for office dwellers around the world. 


In fact, just having your computer screen too low, too high, or too dim can cause undue stress on your body. 


But you’ve gotta work, right? So how can you put an end to the constant struggle of work vs. comfort? Well, let’s first look at the facts of your pain.


Why Does My Neck Hurt After Sitting?


Time for some science. 

The average human head weighs almost 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms), which is the equivalent of a full size bowling ball! 

So if you bend your neck 45 degrees, suddenly your head is exerting nearly 50 pounds (23 kilograms) of force on your neck. (That’s a lot!)

And it doesn’t just hurt your neck. In addition to putting a strain on your joints and muscles, it also puts a strain on your breathing and mood. In short, it’s just no good for anyone. 


But the real question is… what can be done? Well, we’ve put together a few tips for making your work day work for you, and they’re all about making your workstation as ergonomic as possible. 

Here we go…

6 Ways to Minimize Neck Pain At Your Desk

 

 

  1. When you’re seated, make sure your feet touch the floor.If your feet aren’t touching the floor, you have nothing to ground your posture.Make sure to maintain a couple of inches between the back of your knees and the chair. Bonus: if you’re using an Omega Chair, this would be a good time to use your seat height adjustment to set your perfect height.
  2. Position your monitor so you can see it without straining. Make sure to raise or lower your monitor so your eyes are level with the top of the screen. Additionally it needs to be readable, so spend some time adjusting your font size and/or moving your screen to make your font optimal for viewing.

 

  1. If your chair has armrests, make sure they allow your shoulders to relax. Consider lowering or getting rid of the armrests so that your neck and shoulders can relax downward.
  2. Position your mouse so you don’t have to reach up to use it.You want your chair to be at a height where your forearms are parallel to the floor or even pointed slightly downward. You also don’t want your wrists to be pointed upwards or downwards. You can lower your desk height or raise your chair to prevent this from happening. 

 

 

  1. Your chair should allow you to maintain the natural curve of your spine (like the curve in your lower back). Spines are not actually straight, but curved. Find a chair that allows you to sit at a posture of 100 to 110 degrees (instead of a right angle.)
  1. Keep frequently used tools closeby to minimize reaching. Your mouse, headset (if you use one while at the computer), and keyboard should be in a position that’s close to your body to avoid the strain of constant reaching. It’s also recommended that you switch your mouse from one side of your body to the other semi-frequently. And to really avoid overexertion, you can use a document holder (to keep from looking down) and shortcut keys on your keyboard.

Try Some Experimenting


Not sure if these tips will work for you? Well, you never know until you try—but helping your body get in an optimal position is one of the best ways you can stop or minimize neck pain. 


Of course, if you really want to kick things up a notch, you can add these into your routine as well:


  1. Set a timer. Every 30 minutes, get up and stretch. You can take a walk around the office, exercise during a conference call, or hand deliver a message you’d normally email.
  2. Ask a colleague to take a photo of you at your workstation to see how your posture looks. You want your eyes looking straight, neck not bent, and forearms parallel to the floor.
  3. Follow the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, give your eyes a 20-second break by focusing on something at least 20 feet away.
  4. You can even create a standing workspace.

For Good Posture, Choose Omega Chair


No matter what you do, your chair has a lot to do with your overall posture. If you’re sitting in a bad chair (or one that lacks customizable options)... your position probably still isn’t going to be ideal. 


So if back and neck pain have been a constant issue, it might be time to trade up. 


With the Omega Chair, you can customize every aspect of your seating arrangement until it’s the perfect match for your body!