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Healthy working- five easy tips: So as well as the screen position, what else can you do to avoid neck pain & stay ‘office healthy‘?
1. Bob Marley once said ‘Get up, Stand Up’ and nothing could be truer when it comes to preventing neck pain. One study showed the longer you sit, the more likely you are to have neck pain. Standing up frequently, whether to pop to the water cooler, chat to your colleagues or just go for a walk around- all will help.
Stand up desks are becoming popular. These often adjust between sitting and standing.
2. Don’t keep the neck too still! Avoid holding the same neck position for long periods of time. Especially if looking down. Studies have shown people who look down (we call this ‘neck flexion’) for long periods are more likely to get neck pain. It’s easy to get caught up in a document you’re reading- so remember to move frequently. Sometimes document holders can help.
3. Dead as a Dodo. The Dodo bird became extinct because it was unable to fly- it was suggested it was too slow, heavy and unfit. Don’t become the dodo- there’s lots of research that shows keeping yourself fit prevents neck pain, and has heaps of other health benefits too!
4. Don’t let work get you down! If you are stressed, or unhappy at work, you are more likely to get neck pain. Speak with your boss about changing things that don’t work for you. And try point (3) above- research shows if you do exercise or sport it’s likely you’ll be happier at work.
5. Sit. Stand. Move. Repeat. Regular movement is so important we are mentioning it again. You can have the poshest desk with the most expensive seat, and the latest computer screen. However, if you sit there all day and barely move, you’re still more likely to get neck pain, as well as other problems.
In summary: Movement is key. And if you can add in some exercise (whatever you enjoy doing, it doesn’t need to be the gym) you are minimising your risk of getting neck pain- and also gaining lots of other health benefits!