Category: Work Place Assessments in Covent Garden

Neck pain – The 5 BEST ways to avoid neck pain

Neck pain can be the bane of our lives for regular computer users so we have thankfully got Veronica Swainson (Specialist Occupational Health Occupational Therapist) joining our team and here to share some simple tips to help you at work.


Here is what she had to say…


Neck pain is a common problem, in fact 2 out of 3 of us will report neck pain at some stage in our lives.  Computers have revolutionised our workplace and eliminated many inefficient duties such as collecting the mail.  The downside of this is that we can spend all day sitting at our desk typing away without a break.  Our bodies are stuck in one fairly static position all day. It’s no wonder that when we get up to go home at the end of the day we end up feeling stiff and sore.


Here are 5 simple ways to avoid neck pain when working at the computer:


  1. Supportive Chair


Make sure that you have a chair with a seat that is long enough to provide support to your bottom and thighs without pressing on the back of your knees.  A good chair should have a comfortable backrest supporting from the curve of your back to your shoulders.


  1. Sit tall


Remember to sit your bottom into the back of your chair seat and move your chair in close to the desk.  This will enable you to make the most of the support from your seat and from your backrest. When sitting in your chair your hips should be slightly higher than your knees to support the curve of your lumbar spine. Your feet need to be flat on the ground or supported by a footrest.  Your forearms should be parallel to the desk.


  1. Position your computer screen


Ensure that you are facing directly towards your computer screen and not twisted left or right.  Sit within arm’s reach of your screen and with the top 1/4 of your screen at eye level.


  1. Move regularly


It can be difficult to always remember to get up and move around when you’re busy at work.  So another way to build in a little bit of movement to your day is to do a little stretch after each block of work e.g. after reading a long email.


Firstly roll one shoulder then the other.


Followed up by lifting one hip and leg off the seat and then the other.

Image result for hip flexion chair


Finally complete a gentle neck tuck and gently turn your head from side to side.



  1. Stay hydrated


Keep a water bottle at your desk and drink small amounts regularly throughout the day.



When should you worry?


Most neck pain isn’t caused by anything sinister. However, if you have any of the following symptoms please get them checked out with your GP:


– You also have weakness, numbness or persistent pins and needles in your arms or hands

– The pain is getting worse rather than better

– You feel generally unwell, feverish or have rapidly lost or gained weight recently

– Other medical problems such as cancer, arthritis or a history of a recent accident

– The neck bones (rather than the muscles) are very tender

– You experience other symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, double vision, drop attacks or problems with your speech or swallow


Still can’t get comfortable at your desk?


Click here to find out more about work station assessments or feel free to contact us here at Bespoke Physiotherapy and we can visit you at work and help you set-up your workstation.

The most comfortable seat in the office

Sitting uncomfortably at your desk at work can lead to you developing work related upper limb disorders (WRULD’s) or spinal pain which can be tricky to shift once aggravated. Many patients we see think the chair is often the culprit but it is isn’t always the case. We have found that as long as your chair has all the basic functions recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) it is actually more about how you set up and use the chair you have that really counts!

Here are our 5 top tips for getting the best from your office chair:

1. Adjust the seat height so your elbows are at the 90 degrees when using your computer – if you feet no longer touch the floor comfortably then invest in a foot stool.
2. Check the height of the back rest suits your stature! The built in lumbar support should sit in the arch of your lower back and the top of the back rest should be level or higher than your shoulder blades.
3. Position yourself right into the back of the chair so you can make full use of the back rest and support.
4. Pull your seat in nice and close to the desk to avoid ‘perching’ on the front of the seat.
5. Fix the back rest in position during typing and clicking activities but change it to free flow movement when you are talking on the phone, to colleagues or thinking of the next big idea!

For more information on what basic functions all office chairs should have and why work station assessments are required then visit the HSE’s website here.