Desk Solutions to STOP Back and Neck Pain, that don't cost an arm or leg
We seem to be working longer hours these days. Being stuck behind a desk for hours can really take a toll on our bodies. Well, we just can't have that. So, keep reading for our super simple, yet awesome, desk solutions to stop pack and pain from even becoming a thing. And, the best thing is, they don't cost a thing.
Moving to STOP Neck and Back Pain
You need to regularly move around.
Every 25-30 minutes do some star jumps, squats or hamstring stretches. Static postures and positions cause muscle fatigue and contribute to damage on your neck and back.
Drink lots of water regularly so you must move to fill your glass and go to the toilet.
Be the one who volunteers to do the photocopying or take the mail to the post office.
Just get mobile every 25-30 minutes. Set a timer on your desktop, phone or watch to remind you to move, or find an app if you need.
Keyboard is the Key
Your keyboard should be directly in front of you. Unless you use the numbers a lot, the letter B should be in the middle of your workspace. Your mouse should be close alongside the keyboard. When using the keyboard, your elbow should be at approximately 90° with the wrist straight.
Any angle on the wrist will reduce strength in your wrist and can cause permanent damage. When using the keyboard or mouse, make sure your chair is upright. (When you are on the phone you can recline a little to open the pelvis and hip joints up) Your main work area needs to be set up though, so you don’t have to twist or rotate. Continuous rotation can cause problems with your pelvis and ribcage.
The set up of your monitor and desk itself are also super important. CLICK HERE for a detailed description of how to set up your desk and monitor to prevent back pain.
The Eyes Have it
Staring at a monitor for hours on end will cause eye strain and fatigue your eye muscles. This in itself can be a cause of headaches and neck pain. You eye muscles work intimately with your upper neck muscles (called the occipitals) and when one group aren’t working well, the other group are also affected.
* Handy Hint: Remember to take the pressure of your eyes is the 20 – 5 – 20 rules. Every 20 minutes look up from your monitor focusing on something approximately 5 metres away for around 20 seconds. This will not only help to relieve eye strain but also take the pressure off your neck too.
If you work with a lot of data entry or other physical documents, then a document holder is a must. It needs to be on an adjustable tilted stand and set up at eye level.
* Handy Hint: An upside-down binder clip resting on the top of your monitor works just fine
When on the phone, don’t cradle it between your ear and neck. In the short term this can cause muscle spasm, but in the long term it can change how your upper neck is aligned. Use your hands to hold the phone, put it on speaker phone, or (even better) get a headset. To learn more about other causes of neck pain CLICK HERE.
* Handy Hint: Make sure you remember when you are on the phone for an extended time to recline your chair a little to open the pelvis and hip joints up.
Your chair should be as close to the desk as possible. It should have lumbar support, adjustable height, a comfortable cushion and the ability to swivel and roll. The ability for the chair to be mobile is important so you don’t have to strain on reaching to grab something, and you also get to move around. (No, not for office chair races!)
* Handy Hint: When setting up your chair, remember to have 90° between your shins and thighs, and also 90° between your thighs and torso.
Your feet should be flat on the ground with your toes slightly lifted. By supporting your feet, the pressure is taken off your low back, pelvic and hip joints. Ideally, you want a 90° angle at your ankle joint.
If you aren’t as tall as the average person and your feet are dangling in the air, or you are only just touching the ground, you will need to grab a rest of some kind.
* Handy Hint: Old textbooks or yellow pages are great if you don’t want to waste money on a proper footrest. If you are wearing heels, my suggestion is now the time to kick them off. Enjoy going barefoot. Trust me, your back will thank you.
Finally, I always suggest asking a friend, family member or work mate to take a photo of you at your desk so you can see if you are ticking all these boxes. Sometimes it’s easier to analyse yourself from afar.
However, if you have set up your desk mighty fine and are still experiencing neck or back pain, please feel free to call us on 6009 0999 or CLICK HERE to book in so we can assess your spine at House of Chiropractic. You may simply be out of alignment. Please comment on this article below if it has been helpful.