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5 Desk Job Strains and Their Remedies

03 November 2023

Did you know that the average person spends more than half their life sitting down? That's a lot of time spent in one position, and it's no wonder that many people suffer from health problems.

If you have a desk job, you're probably all too familiar with the aches and pains that can come from sitting at a computer all day. Here are five of the most common problems caused by desk jobs and what you can do to alleviate them.



1. Neck Pain

One of the most common complaints among people with desk jobs is neck pain. This is often caused by poor posture and spending too much time looking down at a computer screen. Your neck comprises of vertebrae, which are supported by muscles and ligaments. When these muscles and ligaments become strained, you can experience pain in your neck.

The vertebrae must remain aligned and in their natural position most of the time. However, sitting at a desk, people become so intrigued by their work that they hardly pay attention to their posture. As a result, the muscles and ligaments supporting the vertebrae get strained, causing neck pain. Most often, this pain will radiate towards the trapezius muscle, and you may feel knots forming in your muscles.

What You Can Do

To help ease neck pain, practice good posture by keeping your head up and shoulders back and take breaks every 20 minutes or so to move your neck around and stretch. Make sure that your computer screen is at eye level and that you're not hunching over your keyboard. You can also try placing a small pillow or rolled-up towel behind your lower back for added support.

Neck Stretching Exercises

You can also use some neck stretching exercises to ease neck pain.

The Extreme Stretch

Begin by sitting up straight with your shoulders, back, and neck in the idle position. Turn your head to look right, and push it as far as it will go. Do not force it. Hold the position for 10 seconds and return to the idle position. Repeat on the other side. Then look up and tilt your head as far back as you can without forcing it too much. Hold it there for a count of ten, then bring it back to an idle position. Repeat in the opposite direction by looking down and touching your chin to your chest.

The Jaw Opener

Sit with your shoulders back and down, and place your index fingers on your jaw just below your earlobes. Gently apply pressure and open your mouth as wide as you can. You should feel a stretch along your jawline. Hold for 10 seconds, and then release.



2. Shoulder Pain

Like neck pain, shoulder pain is often caused by poor posture and sitting in one position for too long. Sitting with your shoulders rounded forward puts extra strain on the muscles and ligaments in your shoulders and can lead to pain and stiffness. The pain will often radiate toward your arms, and you may even feel numbness and tingling in your fingers.

What You Can Do

To help ease shoulder pain, practice good posture by keeping your head up and shoulders back, and take breaks every 20 minutes or so to move your shoulders around and stretch. Make sure that your computer screen is at eye level and that you're not hunching over your keyboard.

Shoulder Exercises

If you're looking for exercises to help ease your shoulder pain, here are a few that can help.

The Wall Slouch

Stand with your back flat against a wall and your feet about shoulder-width apart. Slowly slide down the wall until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for 30 seconds and slowly slide back up the wall.

The Pendulum

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Let your arms hang down at your sides. Bend forward at the waist and swing your arms in a circular motion, gradually increasing the size of the circle. Reverse the direction of the circle and continue for 30 seconds.

The Arm Raise

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Let your arms hang down at your sides. Slowly raise your arms out to the side until they are parallel to the ground. Hold for five seconds, and then lower them back down. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Roll

To do a shoulder roll, sit up straight with your shoulders down and back. Slowly roll your shoulders forward 10 times and then backward 10 times.



3. Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is another common complaint among people who sit for long periods. Your spine comprises of around 33 small bones or vertebrae stacked on top of one another. The spine allows you to bend forward, backward, sideways, and even twist. The discs between the vertebrae act as shock absorbers, and the muscles and ligaments around the spine provide support and stability. Over 40 muscles control the movement of your back.

When you sit or stand in the same position for long periods, the muscles and ligaments can become tight and uncomfortable. The discs can also become compressed, leading to pain and stiffness.

What You Can Do

Lower back pain can be prevented and alleviated by proper back support. Use a pillow or lumbar support to maintain the natural curve of your spine. Avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes at a time, and take breaks to walk around and stretch every 20 minutes or so.

Back Exercises

If you're dealing with lower back pain, here are a few exercises that can help.

The Cat-Cow Stretch

Start on your hands and knees with your back in a neutral position. As you inhale, arch your back and look up towards the ceiling. As you exhale, round your back and tuck your chin towards your chest. Repeat 10 times.

The Child's Pose

Start on your hands and knees with your back in a neutral position. As you exhale, sit back on your heels and lower your forehead to the ground. Reach your arms out before you and rest them on the ground. Hold for five deep breaths.

The Superman

Lie down on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Slowly raise your arms and legs off the ground, keeping them straight. Hold for five seconds and then lower back down. Repeat 10 times.



4. Wrist Pain

Wrist pain is another common complaint among office workers. When you type, your wrists are slightly bent, which can put pressure on the nerves and tendons in your wrists and lead to pain. The pain is often worse when you first wake up in the morning because you've been sleeping in the same position all night.

A condition known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common cause of wrist pain. It occurs when a nerve running from your forearm to your hand, known as the median nerve, becomes compressed due to inflammation. The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include numbness, tingling, and pain in the wrist and hand.

What You Can Do

There are a few things you can do to prevent wrist pain. First, ensure your hands align with your forearms when you type. You may need to adjust your chair or keyboard. This can cause your wrists to bend at an uncomfortable angle and lead to pain. You should also take breaks often to stretch your wrists and hands.

Wrist Exercises

Here are a few exercises that can help relieve wrist pain.

The Prayer Pose

Sit in the prayer position with your palms together in front of your chest. Gradually increase the pressure as you hold for five to 10 seconds.

The Finger Stretch

Extend your arm in front of you with your palm facing up. Use your other hand to gently pull back each finger, stretching them as far back as possible. Hold for five seconds, and then release. Repeat 10 times.

The Wrist Curl

Sit with your forearm resting on a table and your hand hanging off the edge. Use your other hand to curl your fingers towards you as if you're picking up a piece of paper. Hold for five seconds, and then release. Repeat 10 times.



5. Leg Pain

Believe it or not - you can get leg pain from sitting in a chair! This usually happens when your feet are not in the correct position and your legs are not supported properly. This can cause the muscles and tendons in your legs to become tight and uncomfortable.

What You Can Do

To prevent leg pain, ensure your feet are flat on the floor and a footrest or stool supports your legs. If you can't reach the floor, use a pillow or blanket to elevate your feet. You should also take breaks often to walk around and stretch your legs.

Leg Exercises

Here are a few exercises that can help relieve leg pain.

The Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back with one leg straight and the other bent, with your foot flat on the ground. Slowly raise your straight leg until it is parallel to the ground. Hold for five seconds and then lower back down. Repeat 10 times.

The Calf Raise

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on a wall or chair for support. Slowly raise onto your toes, hold for two seconds, and then lower back down. Repeat 10 times.

The Quad Stretch

Stand with your feet together and bend one knee, bringing your heel towards your butt. Use your hand to grab your ankle and pull it closer until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold for five seconds, and then release. Repeat 10 times.



E7 Pro

As you know, posture plays a vital role in preventing desk-related injuries. One of the best ways to attain proper posture is to use a height-adjustable desk, which ensures you can keep your focus areas at the correct height at all times.

The E7 Pro is BIFMA-certified and is renowned for its exceptional stability. You can adjust the height even when it is loaded at full capacity without worrying about tipping over.

The E7's base structure is made entirely of carbon steel of automotive-grade material quality. This ensures a sturdy and durable experience. The desk has thick legs and a precisely controlled gap of .05 mm between the stages, allowing for stable and smooth movement. FlexiSpot proudly offers a 15-year warranty on this durable desk.

Final Thoughts

While desk jobs have many perks, they can also lead to serious health problems if you're not careful. The good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent these issues, such as often stretching, using a height-adjustable desk, and taking breaks to move around.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort while working at a desk, be sure to see a doctor or physical therapist to find the best treatment.