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Tech Neck – How to stand at your desk: 3 of 5

Our series continues with a third instalment. We are taking a broad look at why standing can be more painful that walking or even running for a prolonged period of time. The good news? It doesn’t have to. In fact, it shouldn’t. We just need to identify key problematic areas, and be mindful of how we stand.

This post focuses on a plague of our time, the third of five tips:

Tip 3 of 5: Avoid Tech Neck

Easier said than done, but posture whilst using a phone or computer is something we all will have to learn, especially as the necessity of looking down at devices is only going to increase (that is until we invent some retina implant or Google Glass makes a triumphant return from the ashes… my money is on the retina implant!)

The broad principle here is not to let your shoulders round. Victoria Lyon, MPH is a research scientist at Washington University in St. Louis has written about this unhealthy body position (called kyphosis), the general advice is to elevate the position of your devices , so you are not looking down at them. Shoulders should not be unnaturally scrunched up as a result of keyboard location or small text on your phone, in addition, when at your sit stand desk, try and pull your lower back/bum slightly under yourself (the aim is not to end up in some radical yoga position, often just thinking about this is enough to alter your posture).

If you are taking a rest from standing, does your chair have a head rest? Resting your head against it is a good reminder of where you posture should be, if you notice whilst working you are not using the rest, try and readjust; you are likely in an unhealthy position! Dr K. Daniel Riew, an orthopaedic surgeon, recommends reclining when on your chair. Leaning back maintains good lumbar support, and the neck should be in a position where if you fell asleep, your head would fall backwards, not forwards.

If you are standing, still pay attention to your neck and shoulders, for a handy guide on how to set up your desk whilst standing, take a look at our post from April 2019.

Click here if you missed part 2 (Movement breaks), or keep reading for part 4: Stretching exercises.