Cervical spine pain: what are the causes?
Neck pain can have many causes that aren't necessarily related to the workplace. However, since office workers often sit for long periods in front of a screen, office life is likely to induce muscle tension.
Lack of ergonomics at the workplace
A neck-friendly workplace therefore means adjusting the furniture to suit your own body and reduce the strain on your neck. The right lighting and an optimised room climate also help prevent muscle tension.
Lack of movement
But that's not the end of the story: if you sit in a slumped position in front of a screen for a long time without moving, certain muscles shorten. These imbalances lead to muscle tension and malpositions of the neck. Taking regular breaks to move is therefore particularly important during a day at the office. Ideally, you should also have the opportunity to work standing up from time to time.
Too much screen time
Daily screen time isn't t only strenuous for our grey cells, but also for our entire musculoskeletal system. The fact that this often leads to discomfort is confirmed by a study conducted by the SBiB (Swiss Survey in Offices) organisation: out of 1,230 respondents, around 68% have neck pain at least once a day.
This helps with neck pain
To reduce neck pain or prevent it from occurring in the first place, it pays to adapt your workplace to your personal requirements.
Making an ergonomic workplace
You can adjust your office chair, desk and work equipment to reduce the strain on your whole body, and consequently on your neck too.
Movement and relaxation exercises
Take a few minutes in the morning and afternoon for a short exercise break. Just two minutes of stretching exercises and simple massage strokes and another two minutes of mobilisation or strength exercises are enough. A simple and efficient exercise for the neck that you can also do while sitting: tilt your head back and slowly circle from one shoulder to the other.
Change your posture at regular intervals
Your sitting and standing habits also influence your well-being at work. Ideally, you should only spend 60% of your working time sitting. Even when sitting, you should still take time to move.
While seated, tilt your pelvis back and forth or rotate your shoulders at regular intervals.
At least 30% of your working time should be spent standing and another 10% walking.
Keep changing your posture. This stimulates blood flow to the muscles and reduces muscle tension.
Keep your head straight
Keeping your head consistently straight – in line with the spine – reduces the strain on your neck. Stretching the head forward towards your screen or phone will put your neck muscles under strain and cause tension.