Working in front of a screen every day is tiring not only for our grey cells, but also for our entire musculoskeletal system. The Swiss Office Survey (SBiB) confirms that this often leads to pain..
How cervical spine pain occurs
Neck pain can have many causes that aren't necessarily related to the workplace. However, since working in an office often involves sitting for long periods of time while staring at a screen, this makes us particularly prone to tension. For the workplace to be designed in a more ergonomic way, the furniture must be adjusted to suit individual needs and thereby reduce pressure on the neck. Adequate lighting and the right temperature also help to avoid tension.
But that’s not all: when you sit in a hunched position in front of the screen for a long time, some muscles tighten. These imbalances lead to tension and poor posture. That’s why it is particularly important to take regular breaks to stretch. Ideally, you should also be able to work standing up from time to time.
Here's how to combat neck pain
Ergonomically designing the workplace
To reduce or even prevent pain, it is important to adapt the workplace to personal needs. The correct adjustment of office chairs, desks and other equipment reduces the strain on the whole body – and thus on the neck too. And how can the workspace be individually adjusted? The FCOS Box explains how to do this, free of charge and step by step.
Change position frequently
The way we sit and stand also influences our well-being at work. Ideally, only 60% of working time should be spent sitting down. Even when sitting, it’s advisable to keep moving. For example, by tilting the pelvis back and forth or rolling the shoulders. At least 30% of working time should be spent standing and 10% walking. The most important thing is to frequently change position. This stimulates blood circulation in the muscles and reduces muscle tension.
Keeping the head upright, in line with the spine, reduces the pressure on the nape. Moving the head too close to the screen puts the cervical muscles under constant stress and strain.
Movement and relaxation exercises
Take a few minutes’ break to exercise every morning and afternoon. Just two minutes on simple stretching and massaging exercises and another two minutes for strength and mobility exercises are already enough. A simple and effective neck exercise, which can also be done while seated, is to tilt the head back and then make slow circular movements from shoulder to shoulder.