If you work at a computer you know how tense and painful your neck and shoulders can get. Many of us don’t notice right away but find at the end of the day that we are horribly sore. You want to go home and relax but those everyday aches can make it hard to unwind. If you work in an office, it’s extremely important to make sure that sitting all day doesn’t leave you tense to the point that it’s hard to unwind. For some people, it’s an occasional irritation, but for many people it’s a chronic and painful issue. Here are nine tips for easing and preventing neck and shoulder tension. Remember, you should always ask your office for as much help as you need to sit properly. It’s in your workplace’s best interest to keep you from discomfort and injury.
- Keep your head straight: If you spend a lot of time at the keyboard make sure you’re sitting as comfortable as possible. Your computer monitor should be directly in front of your field of vision. You may not realize how much time you spend looking up or down. You should be looking straight ahead as much as you can. Adjust the height of your monitor until you feel comfortable
- Don’t lean forward: You should keep the weight of your head directly above your shoulders. Your head is heavy about 10 pounds—and that weight will put a lot of strain on your muscles if you slouch forward too much. Resist the urge to prop your chin on your hand. Remember: sitting symmetrically is your best bet.
- Support your arms: The weight of your arms should be supported at all times either on your desk or the arms of your chair. Holding them up puts the strain off your shoulders
- Keep your arms in a natural position: If your keyboard is too low you’ll be reaching down. Too high and you’ll be straining up. Your arms should be bent at a neutral 90-degree angle (While you’re at it make sure your wrists are straight as well).
- Don’t let your feet dangle: It might not make sense at first but you use your head and shoulders to counterbalance your weight. Make sure you can keep your feet flat on the ground. Almost everybody sits too high to keep their feet comfortably flat. Try lowering your chaff or buying a footstool
- Get up and move around: At least once an hour, get up and move. Get your blood flowing? It’s a good idea to take a break from your computer every now and then for physical and mental wellbeing.
- Stretch: But be careful! That crack may feel good when you’re tense but if you hear your neck or shoulders pop you’re straining them way too much. Any yoga teacher tell you “too much stretch is worse than no stretch at all “. Roll your shoulders gentry forward ten times and back ten times. Swing your head slowly from side to side. Tilt-back and then forward.
- Get warm—but not too warm: Many people’s go-to for neck and shoulder tension is a hot back or shower. But be careful if you hop out of that shower into a cold room the sudden change in temperature may actually make things worse! Our bodies don’t like abrupt temperature transitions. Try making that bath or shower warm instead of hot make sure your home is nice and toasty and ease from one temperature environment to another slowly.
- Try a massage: Buy you don’t need to spend money on a massage therapist. A massager like this one can be used daily. If you’re in pain, you’ll notice immediately how much more relaxed you feel after just 20 minutes. It can also be preventative-a human massage therapist will use lots of pressure for instant relief but that relief only lasts a little while. It’s actually healthier to use gentler pressure over time. You don’t need to push hard into your muscles. Press gentry and hold, breathing deeply. Go a little firmer only after you get used to the lighter pressure. Regular use of the massager can mean that neck and shoulder tension is a thing of the past. We can refer you to pickmyperfect.com to check out some more options