We’ve all experienced aches and pains after sitting at our computers for long periods. After working in the same position during your work day, your neck can get really stiff and sore. Unfortunately, sitting for several hours can cause significant postural strain in the neck, back, and shoulders.
The Importance of Proper Posture
Maintaining proper posture is one of the most important factors in preventing neck pain while working at your computer. If you sit hunched over at your computer, the muscles around your spine and shoulder become tense or guarded. As you continue to work in the same position, these muscles fatigue and become more painful. The surrounding muscles start to contract to help compensate for the fatigue in the primary stabilizing muscles. As a result, you may experience significant pain and muscle guarding throughout the neck and upper back region.
Your desk can also be contributing to your neck pain if it isn’t adjusted properly. If you have a standard sitting desk, the height of the work surface should allow you to type naturally on a computer keyboard. Otherwise, you should consider a keyboard tray or drawer.
What You Can Do
If you must sit to work, try to limit your time to periods of 20-30 minutes, then take breaks to move around or stretch. When sitting, make sure that you have a chair that can properly support your body. Some office chairs are highly adjustable and can accommodate a variety of body types.
Another option is to use a standing desk converter or an adjustable height desk. Either of these will allow you to easily change positions while working at the computer. When working while standing, your feet should be a comfortable distance apart (often shoulders width) and your trunk should remain upright. Don’t slouch or lean forward over your desk.
Your desk surface should be adjusted to the height that allows you to reach the work surface easily when your arms are at your sides with the elbows bent to 90 degrees. The desk should also be large enough to hold your computer, keyboard, mouse, and any supporting materials. It should be deep enough to allow the monitor to be at least 20 inches from your eyes to prevent eye strain.
Call Us to Help Alleviate Your Neck and Back Pain
Neck pain is one of the most common conditions reported after working at a computer for long periods. Your plan of action for prevention should ensure that your equipment is setup properly and modify your workflow as needed to prevent postural strain. But this might not be enough! Call Cell Bionics Institute if you need further help with your neck and/or back pain.
At Cell Bionics Institute, we are proud to offer the latest and most advanced techniques using the body’s own stem cells. Our board-certified surgeons treat patients using modern, state-of-the art equipment and treatments that are not available elsewhere. We feature a one-day surgical treatment center in Northern Virginia that was designed specifically to treat patients who are seeking minimally invasive alternatives to traditional surgery for healing. Our highly trained board-certified physicians provide surgical services in an efficient and friendly manner. Please call us at 703-444-5007 to find out more information or to make an appointment.