Millions of people around the world spend a good part of each day sitting at a desk. This is one of the most common sources of pain and discomfort. In itself, a sedentary lifestyle is not good for anyone’s health. If we add bad postures while sitting for a prolonged time, the result will be catastrophic.
Unfortunately, the situation described above is the daily life of many office workers. The routine is the same. Come to the office, sit down at your desk, and spend the entire day typing and doing office work. If you work at a computer, you must mind the height of the screen while sitting. Otherwise, you may be forced to adopt an unnatural posture that would eventually bring neck and back problems.
So, what can you do to prevent these health problems? While you can find many recommendations online, all of them can be summarized as follows:
- Adopt a good posture while sitting at your desk;
- Adjust the position of your computer to your sitting posture;
- Try to stand while working. If possible, get a standing desk like the ones shown here;
- Don’t use your smartphone for a long time;
- Do exercise.
These are some simple actions that you can take to avoid getting neck and back pain. Let’s review each of these steps to better understand how to implement them.
Adopt a Good Posture
A bad posture while sting at one’s desk is arguably the most common source of neck and back pain. Hence, correcting your sitting posture will eliminate the problem most of the time. When you sit down, your feet must be flat on the floor. Your back must be straight and firmly placed against the chair. To protect your neck, your head should not adopt any forced position. Ideally, your ears must be above the shoulders.
Make sure you get an office chair. It must be preferably a revolving chair, comfortable, and with adjustable height. You must adjust the height such that your lower back doesn’t round while sitting. Remember, your back must be straight all the time. In this way, your weight will be evenly distributed through your spine and hip bones.
Adjust the Position of Your Computer
Nowadays, most office workers use a computer for their daily activities. Thus, the position of the computer monitor is very important to promote a good posture while sitting. Ideally, the monitor must be in front of you. To determine whether the location and height are correct, the center of the screen must be at the same level as your nose.
A lot of neck problems are caused when the monitor is too low. In such cases, you’ll be forced to keep your head downward, which puts a lot of stress on the neck. This problem is very common with people that work on a laptop. If this is your case, you should get a monitor with adjustable height to connect it to your laptop.
Another important aspect is the position of the keyboard. You have to locate near your body such that your elbows form approximately 90-degree angles when you type. The mouse and the keyboard must be at the same level.
Stand While Working
Many medical studies have demonstrated that sitting for a long time every day is harmful to one’s health. It causes more than just neck and back problems. A sedentary lifestyle is responsible for the development of life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and heart problems. Thus, you should aim at reducing the time that you spend sitting during working hours.
Standing desks have been designed to address this problem. A standing desk allows you to modify its height. Most of them are equipped with an electric system to ease the adjustment. With a simple push of a button, a pair of lifting columns moves the desktop up or down as preferred.
You don’t have to spend the entire working day standing though. It is possible to alternate between sitting and standing periods. For this purpose, electric standing desks are the best alternative. A few years ago, standing desks were rather expensive. Today, they are more affordable, and prices keep on going down.
Don’t Use Your Smartphone for a Long Time
“Addiction” to the smartphone has become a concern. Despite the time one wastes reading social media and other stuff, it can cause health problems. While typing on a touch screen of a smartphone or tablet, you are forced to bend your head forward. If you do it regularly, you will end up straining your neck muscles shortly. In the long term, you can get even joint injuries. Both conditions lead to severe neck pain.
Exercise and Walk Around
Don’t rely solely on a standing desk. Do some basic exercises at the office. For example, you can walk around the office every 30 minutes. This simple exercise routine will give some relief to your back and neck.