According to the British Psychological Society, during the working week we spend an average of 5 hours and 41 minutes every day sitting at our desks. Add to this the amount of time we spend outside of work on our phones, tablets or laptops and it’s no wonder so many of us have aching necks, heads and shoulders and are aware of pain in our arms and fingers before the end of the day.
Paying attention to our posture and taking some corrective action may not resolve all our aches and pains but can help – not only to relieve tight muscles but also to increase our productivity and creativity.
Try a combination of the following 4 tips regularly throughout the working day:
- Consider your posture – when we work on our laptops or phones we can constantly be straining our neck muscles by looking downwards. Bring your phone up to eye level or raise your laptop when reading, although obviously don’t keep it at this level when you start typing again!
- Set a 30-minute alarm – to alert you to get up and move around, it’s too easy to sit in the same position for a long period of time when we’re concentrating on the job in hand.
- Look away from the screen – it’s recommended that we take our eyes off our screens every 20 minutes to focus on something at least 6 metres away for 20 seconds. This not only helps reduce eye strain but also gives us a reminder to correct our posture and flex our neck muscles.
- Stretch regularly – simply turning your head 90 degrees to the left, holding it for a few seconds and repeating to the right can help stretch your neck muscles. You could also try some of these stretches which can be done at a desk.
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