My work involves a lot of sitting at my desk peering into a screen. This results in tension around my shoulder and stiffness in my neck. Do you have any hints to avoid this – or exercises I can do to help make me feel more comfortable?
Christine Breckon… Caernarvon
Our daily routine should be a mixture of sitting, standing, moving and some moderate exercise. The pace of life makes it difficult, tension builds up quickly causing stiff necks and aching shoulders. The sheer pressure of work causes poor posture and tension headaches and we appear to carry the world on our shoulders! Check your chair, desk and worktop is at a good height and in sufficient light. Now check your posture, sit with bottom well back on the seat and support your back with a cushion or towel if there’s an arch. Have legs slightly apart, knees bent to an angle of 90 with feet flat on the floor (if you’ve short legs a foot rest or block solves the problem.
To relieve tension headaches take a break from the screen and look straight ahead. Without moving head, look eyes right and focus, now eyes down and focus, then left and focus and finally eyes up and focus. Repeat 6 times to relieve tired aching eyes.
To mobilise neck turn your head to look over your right shoulder (chin parallel to the floor). Drop chin to chest (feel stretch) and slowly roll head to look over your left shoulder. Roll chin back to chest and head on over to the right again. Repeat 8 times with control. (Don’t roll head backwards) To relax shoulders simply lift alternate shoulder to ear level and press back down again. Repeat 6 times. (Don’t take ears to shoulder)