Six ways to prevent neck and shoulder pain at work

More than 25% of American men and women experience daily pain and pain is estimated to cost the economy over $60 billion a year in lost productivity, according to a Stony Brook (NY) University Medical Center random survey conducted among nearly 4,000 respondents. Norman Marcus Pain Institute
If you work long hours or work at a desk, it's easy to start experiencing neck and shoulder pain. And quickly. Small twinges seem to come out of nowhere. Before you know it, you are trying to work out the kinks when you get home, only to repeat the process tomorrow.

How can you avoid this?

Create an ergonomic work station

Things like monitor height, location of your keyboard and mouse, and chair settings can all affect your neck and shoulders. By demonstrating a proper setup and posture, you can avoid uncomfortable positions for your body.

Sometimes we don't notice the effect of our setup, but it might be those aches and pains we discover on our way home from work. Tense neck and shoulders can be directly related to how your work station is put together.

Click here to learn more about how to set up your work space in a ergonomically friendly way. With 4 quick steps, you can be on your way to relieving neck and shoulder pain.

Step away from the monitor

Staring at one screen for hours on end does not help your neck and shoulders. Take time away from your monitor, walk around, and readjust. Not only will it help keep you refreshed, but it can relieve some of the tension you accumulate staying in one spot for an extended period of time.

Don't stare at your phone

Looking down at your phone places your head at an odd angle. Over time, you build up the same tension experienced when using a computer monitor. Rather than staring at your phone for long periods, try to speak to someone in person or engage with a monitor if you need to. Using a monitor should minimize the amount of looking down and can be much faster for responding to inquiries.

Consider a standing desk

If you can, look into procuring a standing desk for your office space! You may be able to create one yourself with boxes, but a standing desk will offer the flexibility of moving up and down over the course of the day as needed. It will alleviate any muscle tension leading to your neck as well.

Stretch your neck

Take time throughout your day to stretch your neck muscles. You'll be happy at the end of the day you too a few minutes for neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and head tilts.

Another way to incorporate muscle release is through massage. A neck and should massager used at work or at home can help relieve unnecessary tension.

Stay hydrated

Often overlooked, muscle tension can be caused by dehydration. It helps to lubricate the spongy structures between your vertebrae. Sip water throughout the day, drink with meals, and maybe set an alarm to remind yourself to hydrate.