It seems like someone with extensive use of a sitting desk now has neck pain and wants to get rid of it. If it sounds like you, you are at the right place. Prolonged sitting not only causes neck pain but is the source of other complications as well. Get rid of your regular sitting desk and buy a standing desk.
Here are some comprehensive details you would need to consider getting rid of the old desk and buying a new one. Make sure to read the article completely as there are some things you need to be cautious about standing desks too. Incomplete information leading to improper use can give you some other aches and pains.
Prolonged Sitting is the Cause of Neck Pain
Sitting for prolonged periods does not cause neck pain alone, poor posture is what worsens it. When one sits in a slouching position such that the neck is bending forward and a bit downward, the muscles at the back of the neck have to work to support the head. The more one slouches, the more the muscles have to work, thus increasing the tension and risk of strains.
There’s a pictorial description in which the scientists showed how much weight the neck has to bear whenever it is bent by some angle. As a result of bearing this weight, neck spasms and pain between the shoulder blades are often observed. If one does not correct his posture, extreme pressure and weight results in damaging the discs causing unbearable pain.
Vice versa is also possible. If someone is suffering from a degenerative cervical spine, the spine can hurt the surrounding muscles and soft tissues. If a poor posture is combined with this condition it just adds fuel to the fire.
Neck Pain Can Cause Pain in Other Parts Too
Neck pain can vary from slight numbness to sharp pain. Depending on its severity, it can cause complications and aches in other parts of the body too. Headache is one of the most common complications associated with neck pain. There are 8 spinal nerves in the neck whose branches are present in the shoulders and head. So, the head and neck are directly connected. But often the neck pain is ignored as the cause of severe and recurrent headaches. In the same manner, not only nerves but also the muscles and blood vessels connect the shoulders with the neck resulting in acute pain. Shoulder pain is often observed when a muscle in the neck has become dysfunctional. Keeping the shoulders and neck straight and not giving them enough mobility can damage the connecting tissue causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the affected region.
Ultimate Solution: Standing Desk
Neck pain and associated issues can be resolved by upgrading your lifestyle a bit. Instead of sitting all day long and suffering from pain and diseases, you can buy a standing desk. This desk is way more ergonomic and gives you the freedom to move your body and ease the pain. A good posture can be maintained very easily while standing and hence no neck pain, no back pain, and no severe headaches. Just buying a standing desk is not the key. You must know its right use. There are two main things that everyone needs to know before buying a standing desk. It includes setting up the right adjustable desk and then your posture while standing.
Not all standing desks are ergonomic, so you have to buy the right one carefully. Make sure the desk is adjustable so that you can adjust it according to your height. Desk height is one of the main things to consider as the desktop should be at the level of the elbow. Elbows should be making 90 degrees with the desktop. Elevating or lowering them can hurt the arms and the pain can radiate towards the shoulders. The second major feature to consider is the height of the screen. Keep the screen at eye level so that you don’t have to bend your neck to see the screen. The desk length and width should be enough to accommodate all your things closer to you. It is necessary so that you don’t have to lean forward for picking things up. The same goes for your telephonic calls. Use a headset as it won’t hurt the neck. But leaning forward to pick up the receiver each time you get a call will definitely hurt.
The way you stand at your standing desk can either relieve your neck pain or can give you some other injuries in addition to it, there is no in-between. Don’t slouch while standing, it will definitely hurt the neck. Keep your head, shoulders, back, and hips aligned. There should be enough distance between you and the screen to prevent eye strain. Don’t rigid your body and stand in a neutral position. While trying to prevent neck pain you might end up putting a lot of weight on your legs. To stand comfortably don’t wear heels and bend one knee slightly. This posture helps in standing for long hours without hurting your feet. Moreover, try to change the leg position from time to time so that weight can be shifted between them equally.
Tips to Prevent Neck Pain
There are some tips other than using a standing desk that can help in preventing or relieving neck pain. Some major ones that will definitely help include:
- Limit phone use while working at the desk. We all use our handphones with our heads bent down to a greater degree. This is a very wrong practice. Try to manage and respond to important emails and messages on the screen you are using at the desktop.
- Stretchingthe body reduces pain and boosts your energy levels. You can do the same for your neck. Try to tilt your head from side to side so that the neck gets to move a bit. Shrugging the shoulders also helps. You can also try holding the hands at the back and opening the chest and shoulders.
- Try to walk and look here and there as soon as you get a break.
Is Prolonged Standing Safe?
No, standing during work for long periods is not a good idea either. It can cause some other injuries including heel pain, varicose veins, and general fatigue. Our purpose is not to exchange neck pain for these. So the solution is a sit-stand desk. It is made in such a way that it allows you to sit as well as stand at the same place as per need. Even while standing you can use standing desk stools that allow you to rest your hips and support some of your body weight. You can also use an anti-fatigue mat that protects heels and soles against the hard floor.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time with a poor posture will give you nothing except neck and back pain. It’s time to improve your lifestyle by buying a standing desk. A standing desk allows you to work in a neutral posture relieving the neck pain. But you need to know the ergonomic desk setup and right posture to get the benefits completely. Moreover, you can minimize the use of cell phones and practice some stretches to alleviate neck pain.