Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pain and Strain: Fighting Neck Pain At Work

Trying to endure any type of pain on the job is never a fun task, but for those working at computers all day, neck pain is definitely a killer. With computer work comes the constant struggle of trying to find the perfect position. Twisting one's head to view a screen or keyboard only exacerbates pain. Thankfully, ergonomics have provided solutions. If you're suffering from neck pain at the office, check out today's article for some excellent cures!

What Causes Neck Pain?

Office-related neck pain is usually the result of chronically improper posture. Constantly keeping one's head turned to view a computer screen or keyboard, talk on the phone, or keeping one's back bent over a desk are all popular causes of office related neck pain. Unfortunately, breaking these habits is sometimes extremely difficult. However, with the proper ergonomic tools to encourage proper body posture, neck pain can become a thing of the past!


Telemarketers and phone-users, this one's for you. Most avid office phone users who experience neck pain are unaware that their struggles could be caused by the very thing they use the most. Cradling one's phone between the head and shoulder in order to free the hands during a call is one of the most prominent causes for office-related neck pain. For those with a single executive office all to themselves, one obvious solution to this is using speaker phone. However, for those in a crowded office or shared space, adding a headset to your arsenal of helpful office accessories makes the perfect noise-canceling solution.

Monitor Arm

Computer users beware! According to ergonomic experts, by far the most common cause of office-related neck pain comes from the improper posture encouraged by regular computer use. If you're a computer user with neck pain, it's time to reevaluate your office configuration. If you are constantly turning your head or leaning forward to view a computer screen or keyboard, it's a red flag. This kind of chronic twisting and slouching can cause an uneven distribution of strength in the muscular structure of the neck, shoulders, and upper back, which causes terrible pain. Thankfully, with the addition of monitor and tablet arms, users can reposition their computer to encourage proper viewing posture.

* Proper Computer Viewing Position: The top of the computer monitor should be at eye level, directly in front of the viewer, with the screen about arm's length away from the face. The viewer should not have to turn or lean forward to see the screen. If reading text is an issue, affordable prescription glasses can be purchased online. Text size may also be increased the computer's settings. 

Proper Posture 

While improper placement of computer screens can certainly contribute to office-related pain, it is not the only cause. Incorrect posture in the rest of the body can also cause widespread pain throughout the body, and can even spread to the neck if not addressed. Slouching to view a keyboard or work at a desk can easily contribute to neck pain, but with quality ergonomic desk chairs to pick up the slack, your health could be restored in no time. Nearly all ergonomic chairs are designed to encourage proper posture, so by necessity, they also encourage pain relief. Purchasing an affordable chair with ergonomic benefits, like the MM6233M-Scarlett Layover chair by Ergo Contract Furniture, can help to reduce office-related body pain.

* Bonus Tip: For neck pain sufferers, choosing a high back ergo chair with a headrest is the best option. Those with lower back pain may benefit more from a low back chair with lumbar support. Stretching and "deskercises" are also excellent ways to ward off extensive body pain at work!

Adjustable Desks

Part of the reason people feel the need to slouch in order to get work done is because of the horizontal design of desk surfaces. Considering that desktops are meant for work, it's somewhat curious why they are designed to be parallel with the ground. This parallelism often requires desk users to bend significantly over the top of a desk in order to write and see their work at the same time. Thankfully, ergo experts have realized this and teamed up with popular office desk manufacturers to create adjustable desks.

Options like the Catalina 10080 Split Top Work Center can make a versatile desk, with horizontal surfaces to support office supplies, but also a tilting desktop for easier writing to prevent slouchers. Of course, those who would rather not purchase an all new desk may consider tilted document holders or adjustable height desks for their writing needs.

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