Before the pandemic kicked in, I feel that we all moved a lot more. Daily commutes to and from work, walking from desks to meeting or even this staff room, our leisurely movement was more naturally embedded into our workday. Now when most of us work constantly at home, the movement is greatly reduced and some of us start to develop odd pains.

Decreased movement and therefore increased sitting time, compounded by the stress that often comes with a work-day, can take a massive toll on our bodies. To be more specific, prolonged sitting can be the culprit behind neck and back pain. While all the discomfort might not seem like a major red flag to begin with, over time it can really damage our spinal structures and contribute to prolonged and even permanent pain in our necks, shoulders and backs.

Here is the list of some tips and tricks you can implement to stay comfortable during your workday and combat neck and back pain and associated long-term damage:

  1. Verify your workstation ergonomics

If you are currently working from your sofa or sitting room table of your home, you are probably not getting the appropriate support for a good postural position. Even having dedicated setup, you could still be putting a lot of pressure on your back and neck with structure that is not suited for your body. To relieve strain and prevent insure, use the head to toe reference when considering your body placement on your desk area and overall work setup. You can find many pictures in google showing you the right position you should be copying while sitting at your desk.

  1. Remember that you have to move

Sitting for long periods of time can often lead to muscle and joint stiffness in your neck and back causing you to develop discomfort and often a pain. Frequent stretching not only prevents from discomfort, but also improve range of motion and posture, as well as provide a really good stress relief. To promote this healthy circulation throughout your workday and keep your body moving try to:

  • move every 30 minutes. Break up your sitting time by getting up and moving for one to five minutes every half an hour and periodically working from a standing position, using either a standing platform desk or a high counter, I found a breakfast table being adequate at time too!
  • Stretch out ! During these quick breaks, try a variety of stretches that will target your neck, back, shoulders, legs as well as your knees. Some of these can be even done at your desk !
  • Use digital tools. There are certain apps such as StretchMinder for iphone users, Stretching & Eye Exercises for Android platform and Stretch Reminder which is a Google Chrome extension, all of these will remind you to get up, they will also share exercises and activity suggestions for healthy movement

3. Commit to regular exercise.

It has been backed up by researchers that even 80% of adults are not meeting recommended guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. For healthy adults, this includes at least 5 hours a week of moderate intensity or 2.5h per week of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of these two. Regular exercise, especially the kind that involves strengthening the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back, is critical for reducing and preventing neck and back pain. Incorporate a combination of these workouts into your routine using dumbbells, resistance bands and body weight. Don’t forget that in digital era you can always join loads of online classes for your 30minute workout between the meetings or even one hour long Zumba class after the hours !

  1. Explore treatment options

There are massage sessions, visits to chiropractic or even acupuncture visits available, all of these will involve a third party who will guide you on what to do if you are developing any problems due to no mobility.

  1. Look after your mental health

Outside of the physical causes, neck and back can could also be related to psychological stress. While exercises can be a powerful stress reliever, making time for activities that bring you joy (this even includes laughing) can help reduce stress. Activities like yoga, mindfulness and meditation in particular are also beneficial. You can joking free mindfulness sessions up to twice per week through Harvard Pilgrim’s Living Well at Home Program. Also, members have access to accredited mental health professionals, in hiding through online therapy. It is great American plan you can join even if you are from the continent!

In summary, a sedentary, work from home job does not have to be a pain in your neck. By implementing these tips and strategies long term, you can help your body stay mobile, more flexible, and stress free as you continue to work remotely or chose to head back to your office.

Are there any tips you’d like to share with readers of this BLOG? If so, please feel free to comments in the section below.

All the best,


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *