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Your job is a pain in the neck (literally)

Your job is a pain in the neck (literally)

People who work in manual labour often suffer from aches and pains and that is something that is widely acceptable, however those working in an office environment also suffer but don’t know why. There are many reasons why office work can cause strain on the body, especially the neck and back, much of which is caused by bad posture and office equipment that you use day after day.

How office work causes discomfort

There have been many reports over the past few years about how sitting at an office desk in the wrong type of chair can cause problems with the back and neck.  Sitting for long periods of time often leads a person to change from an upright posture into a slouching position without even realising it. When busy going over office work or answering calls all day, the chances are you won’t remember to get up and walk around to give your body the stretch it needs, getting up occasionally can make a big difference and even help you to concentrate better on your return.

The long period of time spent in an office chair or even at meetings can start off as a bit of a stiff neck, which worsens over time. It is not only the neck that is affected, the spine, ligaments and muscles in the back are all having pressure put on them as are the shoulders, arms and even legs. When sitting the blood circulation is not as good which means that those areas do not get all the nutrients they need to remain healthy. Over time that stiff neck could turn into something serious which requires a chiropractor, physiotherapy or even surgery to repair!

Simple changes to improve/prevent problems

One fact most people don’t realise is that the pressure the spine takes when sitting 40% more than standing!  If you don’t use the muscles in your back, they will not strengthen just like someone that works out in a gym and obtains a great physique then takes time out and has to start over. Getting into the habit of ensuring you always sit at an angle of 45 degrees will reduce the amount of pressure on the spines discs.

Having an office chair that provides support for the spinal curve is important too! The chair should when sat back be flush against the spine, head straight and not bent over and your body should definitely not need to be hunched to get access to anything at the desk. It is recommended that people that sit for long periods of time get up for at least 2 minutes per 30 even if it is only to the fax, water or printer. If you are straining to see the computer screen from your position and have not had your eyes checked recently, it may be an idea to do so. If all is fine with your vision you could speak to your manager about changing the seating.

Office work can be stressful so when you go home, leave thoughts of work behind you where possible. Take time out to relax and spend time with friends and loved ones or just watch a good comedy. Stress is a big factor in back and neck pain, so home time should definitely mean home time and time to switch off!

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