What your neck gets up to at work

Does this giraffe remind you of anyone?  When we work at a computer, check our phone for messages or use a tablet we often hold our heads forward.  Our heads weigh around 4 ½ kilos (10 lbs) and when we hold it forward the muscles at the back of the neck are taking the load, like a construction crane without any cantilever.

Try this for yourself

You’ll get a totally different understanding by physically doing this experiment rather reading about it!  So I encourage you to have a go. 

1.    Get a weight, a book or file or hand bag are all easy options. 

2.    With a straight arm, hold this weight over your head directly above your shoulder.  You’ll feel the weight of down your arm but it will probably feel quite stable.   

3.    Now, bring that weight 30 degrees forward and hold it there for ten seconds. 

As you hold it, you’ll probably notice it’s as if the weight has got heavier.  That’s because the downward force of the weight is now transmitted along the length of the arm which acts as a lever.  So the arm is working harder to still keep the weight in the air.  That increased work by your arm holding the weight forward is the same as the work your neck does when you hold your head in front of your shoulders.  Watch the video here.

Imagine doing that for eight hours a day

You held that weight for ten seconds, imagine holding it for eight hours a day.  That’s probably how long your head is held forward as you work at the computer, or while driving, or writing at a desk for school work.  This can cause a sore neck, headaches or achey shoulders.

Not sure that applies to you? 

Get a work colleague to take a picture of you when you’re in the midst of your work, have a long look at yourself.  One tell-tale sign is:  if your nose is pointing downwards, then it’s likely your head is in front of your shoulders.

If this definitely applies to you, here’s what you can do:

  1. Set an alarm on your phone or computer every 45 minutes to remind you to get on your feet, have a whole body stretch.  Gently stretch your neck forwards, backwards, side to side, turning like an owl both directions.  Shrug your shoulders up to your ears a few times.
  2. Book yourself a Posture Consultation for a

·       Full assessment of your current posture

·       Advice on ergonomics

·       Personalised exercise programme – simple activities that you can do every day that will make a BIG difference.

Call 07985 310401 to book your Posture Consultation at Vibrant World Chiropractic, in Guildford Town Centre.