How to Prevent Office-Related Neck & Back Pain

Women working in an office

It’s never good to be uncomfortable at work. When at work, we often spend 8 hours (or more!) and sometimes even consider it our home-away-from-home. Many of us are workaholics, and often times we bring our work stresses home with us. It’s also possible to develop pains specific to spending long hours doing whatever job you happen to be doing, and to track that home with you.

The big problem with work and office-related pains is that if you develop them from office habits, they can crop up quickly but be hard to get rid of. In the same way as sleeping on your shoulder wrong, it can take much longer to be rid of a pain than to develop it. So it’s better to avoid those pains entirely! Here are some great ways you can avoid developing office pains:

Ensure Good Posture

One of the biggest work and office pains happens in front of a computer. Many times we are hunched or slouched over our computers for hours each day, and this can cause distress on our backs and shoulders. Make sure that you aren’t hunching your back, you’re planting your feet on the ground (make sure that your chair isn’t too high and allows your feet to dangle), and your eyes, when seated upright, rest at the top of your monitor.

You should not be straining to look up or down at your screen, so if you find that you are, you may want to place your monitor on risers, or lower your chair. If you’re using a laptop, you may want to invest in a second screen.

Take Walking & Standing Breaks (Or Sitting Breaks!)

If you do a lot of one thing, you want to take breaks and do some of the other thing. This is where convertible desks come in handy, because you can go from sitting to standing, so you’re not in one position all the time. If you stand for extended periods of time, you will also want to take time to sit and give your feet a rest.

Short breaks throughout the day is good for anyone. If you work from home, take twenty minutes to walk the dog, get the mail, or pull some garden weeds. If you work in retail, convince your higher ups to let you and your coworkers take “fresh air breaks” where you can go outside, sit in the break room, or stretch your legs a little more. While it’s suggested to walk around or take a break every hour or so, we know not all employers will accommodate this, so do your best, because some is better than not at all.

Limit Cell Phone Use (Or Other Small Screens)

We just love looking down at our phones! Because of our phone-looking, a phenomenon called text-neck can occur. If you spend a lot of time squinting into your phone, you may want to see if you can convert any of your activities into larger screens, such as casting to a television or monitor. Try to answer emails from your computer rather than your cell phone, if possible.

Do Stretches

You can also take a minute or two to complete some easy stretches to help ease your troubled bones and muscles. We’ve compiled a list of easy stretches you can do right at work or the office to help alleviate pain.

What do you do to alleviate office and work pains? Let us know in the comments below!

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