Do you work at a “desk job”? Do you sit for more than a few hours each day? Are you working from home, in a less-than-perfect posture?
Chances are, you’re reading this on your laptop or phone, and are slouching in a less than ideal posture.
Nowadays, our dependency on and overuse of computers is wreaking havoc on our posture, leading to a loss of the naturally occurring curve in the neck, which helps support the head. This can create internal structural changes in your spine that can lead to neck pain, back pain, shoulder tension, muscle stiffness, headaches, and more.
These ailments have become increasingly common, even more so since COVID changed our world, and now more and more people are telecommuting and working from home. As you probably realize by now, working from home usually means we are working in less-than-perfect ergonomic conditions, oftentimes slouching or lying down in awkward positions.
While in the short term, the slouching can cause muscle strain, neck or back pain, and headaches, over the long haul it can lead to more serious health challenges. When sitting in a slouched position with your head jutting forward, there’s an additional load placed on the neck and back muscles, which can result in chronic pain.
What Should I Do?
Correcting your workstation ergonomics should be a priority. Here are some recommendations to minimize your risk work station-related health challenges:
- Reduce your sitting time. Get a standup desk such as a Varidesk, if possible, and spend as much time as you can standing while you work. Sitting is extremely detrimental to your posture and your health, and can worsen neck and back pain. If you can’t avoid sitting, at least take a 2-3 minute break every hour to stand up, walk around a bit, get a drink of water, and stretch a bit. A few air squats might get you a few weird looks, but it will help tremendously.
- Keep your computer screen at eye level to relieve the stresses that place strain on your neck and upper back.
- Restore muscle balance: strengthen your weak muscles and stretch your tight muscles. Usually, your pecs and upper traps are tight, and scapular stabilizers are weak, allowing the forward collapse of the shoulders, which will further exacerbate the neck and back pain.
- Go see your Structural Chiropractor. He or she will do a Structural Analysis to determine your weak areas and how to address and correct them. Once you have identified the problem, you can establish a course of action to correct it.