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Is Your Computer a Pain in the Neck?

Or more realistically, is bad positioning of your monitor contributing to your neck pain? Many of us use computers for several hours a day; sitting in one position for several hours without break which can cause muscle stiffness especially if posture is poor.


The NHS cites that common causes of neck pain include sleeping in an awkward position and poor posture at a desk. So this blog will focus on what you can do to ensure that your monitor is set at a correct position to help reduce neck pain.


Position the screen so that the top of the screen is at eye level when you are sat upright. If the screen is too high or too low, the neck will be not be in a neutral position. The head typically weighs 10-12 lbs, and as a rough guide, for every inch that the head is brought forwards in poor posture, an additional 10lbs of weight is added to the cervical spine. So if you are in poor posture, having to gaze down at a monitor, this is putting a lot of added pressure on your neck muscles.


The Health and Safety Executive have a checklist to help set up a computer workstation in a way to eliminate excessive joint and eye strain. https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ck1.htm


What else can you do to reduce neck pain when sitting for long periods? Irrespective of whether you are at a computer or not, it is worthwhile getting up every 30 minutes to move.


Gentle neck stretches, which can be done whilst sitting, to improve neck mobility and loosen tight muscles are found on the NHS website here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/


Small changes can make big differences.... is this a change that will benefit you?

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