Have you ever experienced soreness and discomfort in the neck, shoulders and upper back areas?

People are forced to work at home, using the computer for hours, especially during these days under the influence of COVID-19. Have you ever experienced soreness and discomfort in the neck, shoulders and upper back areas? If you have, the following tips will be helpful for you.

1. Elevate the Monitor

Most people are using laptops these days. It is convenient and is small to carry around. However, when you place it on a table, the position is so low that you subconsciously draw her head forward and downward to accommodate it.

Tip: Placing the laptop on a pile of thick books will greatly reduce the strain on the neck muscles. 

Ideally, the top of the monitor should be at your eyebrow level, especially you are using it mainly for browsing.

2. Position the Computer Directly in Front of You

It is not uncommon for people to use more than one computer at the same time. If you are in this highly engaged group, try to narrow your work to one computer.  Frequent and sustained rotating the head to one side puts a lot of unnecessary stress on the neck muscles.

Tip: Working with one computer which is placed directly in front of you is a must for people working with computers.

3. Look Down with the Chin In

If elevating the laptop is not possible and you have to look down to get the work done, please look down with the head and not the neck.

What does this mean?

Let’s do an experiment. Do a nodding motion as if you would say “yes.”  That’s a head motion. Now try to read the small print on a paper place on a table. Right. You notice that you start to move your head and neck or just the neck forward and downward. In another word, it is like a “goose-neck motion.” It is a bad habitual neck movement pattern leading to a lot of neck problems.

Tip: Tucking the chin in whenever you look down will prevent a lot of long-term problems in the neck.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Give it a try. Happy working at home.

Peggy Hau, PT, MSc PT,  DPT  is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy at Mettler Center. 

Call 217-398-9800 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a physical therapist.

Share This