Neck Exercises to do at Work
By Caitlin Violette, DPT
Are you struggling with neck pain while sitting at your desk all day at work or your home office? Do you feel stiff in your neck in the morning when you wake up and get out of bed? This is very common. Luckily, there are some neck exercises to do at work you can do to help relieve some pain.
What causes Neck Pain?
The quick answer, poor posture often times contributes to pain in your neck, especially at work. When you are sitting at your desk all day it is easy to slouch. Doing these neck exercises at work below can also help maintain posture and decrease pain.
How should I set up my Computer to Protect my Neck?
You should set up your computer so that the top of your monitor is at eye level when you are sitting up straight. If you have two monitors, put them next to each other instead of on top of one another. Also, try to put your keyboard so your elbows rest at 90 degrees instead of up high on your desk; keyboard trays are good for this. To learn more about ergonomics read this ARTICLE.
What Exercises can I do at Work to Help with Neck Pain?
- Neck retraction – pull your chin towards your spine. You will feel the muscles in the back of your neck working slightly. Hold for 5 seconds and keep breathing. Do 15-20 at a time.
- Shoulder blade retraction – squeeze your shoulder blades together, down and back. You will feel the muscles in the upper back working. Hold for 5 seconds and keep breathing. Do 15-20 times.
- Sit up straight. This seems obvious, but staying aware of your posture will help your pain during the day.
Neck Stretches at Work
- Ear to shoulder stretch – Sit up straight and tilt your head to one side so your ear goes towards your shoulder. This will stretch the opposite side neck muscles. Hold for 30-60 seconds each side.
- Chin tuck to chest stretch – sit up straight and nod your head yes. At the bottom of this nod, look down keeping the nod so you feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Hold this for 30-60 seconds.
- Chest stretch – stand in a doorway and put both hands on either side of the door about head level. Lean forward until you feel a light stretch in your chest. Hold about 30 seconds and do 2-3 times.
- Neck stretch – look down and towards your armpit. Keep your chin tucked towards your Adam’s apple. You will feel a stretch from the top of your neck to your shoulder blade. You can use the hand on the side you are looking towards for a light pull for an increased stretch. Hold 30-60 seconds each side.
All of these neck exercises at work should help relieve some pain for you. As always, a Physical Therapist can help you with all of these exercises and stretches and to keep your neck pain at work away. If you think you have more than just minor neck pain from sitting at your desk and these exercises don’t improve your pain, the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute can help. We have board certified spine specialists and therapists to help you with your neck pain.
To schedule an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Doctors, call JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.