Are you sitting comfortably?

When it comes to working at a desk, many people experience strain and discomfort, most often in the shoulders, neck, and back.  This can occur due to multiple reasons, such as:

  • Lack of movement
  • Inappropriate desk set-up
  • Leaning forwards to look at a bright screen
  • Work stress
Lack of movement

 When sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time, remaining in a static position will minimise blood and oxygen flow to the muscles and therefore can result in stiffness and tension. This can also cause long-term muscle fatigue.

This can be prevented by frequently changing your posture and position when sitting at a desk for long periods. Also, take regular breaks when working to get up and move around – this will increase blood flow and minimise strain on the muscles. Simple movements such as reaching upwards to the ceiling, reaching down to your toes, squats, and head rotations will relax the muscles and release stiffness.

Inappropriate desk set-up

Due to the increase of people working from home, some may be working at unsuitable desks and chairs or in cramped spaces with insufficient room to move. This can result in muscle pain if there is minimal space to stand up or change position.

An appropriate desk set-up would include a spacious desk with plenty of legroom, with your feet resting on the floor or on a footrest. Use a comfortable chair that can be adjusted to allow you to change position easily, and make sure you sit with your back resting against the chair. If you work at a computer, ensure the keyboard is at elbow height and the mouse is by your side.

Leaning forwards to look at a screen

Peering forwards towards a screen at the wrong angle can cause tension in the neck and shoulders. Screens are often very bright and can cause eye strain and headaches.

To prevent this, remain an arm’s length away from your computer screen and keep the keyboard and monitor directly in front of you to minimise uncomfortable positions. Control your screen’s brightness to reduce eye strain and prevent headaches and migraines,

Work Stress

Stress at work can cause pain and fatigue in the shoulders and neck. To minimise this, manage stress levels and ensure you get enough sleep to allow your muscles to rest.

The bottom line Is that, contrary to popular belief, muscle tension and pain from sitting at a desk is not simply a result of ‘bad posture’.

When to see an Osteopath

If you follow this advice and continue to experience muscle pain or fatigue, you may want to consider seeing an osteopath.

At Solihull Osteopathic Practice, we pride ourselves on offering quality and professional support to help everyone who comes to us achieve optimal health. Our practice operates in a safe and clean environment, offering osteopathy techniques and a holistic approach to wellbeing, to deliver the best results we possibly can for you.

If working at a desk is part of your daily lifestyle, it is important that you are comfortable and not experiencing any pain.

You can book your first appointment online or can call our team on 0121 705 4499