A rise in office-based working in recent years has seen more people than ever suffering with work-related neck and back pain. In this blog, our physiotherapy team offers six solutions to help reduce these aches:

Rise of the office job

More jobs than ever across the world involve long hours spent sitting down, normally looking at a computer screen.

And Dubai is no different than any other country in this respect.

In-demand roles at the moment are in sectors including IT, accounting and finance, recruitment and law. And some of the common industries for those moving into Dubai include accountancy, cybersecurity, web development, digital marketing and human resources. These are all roles likely to be office based.

“According to the Hays GCC Salary Guide 2023, a fully office-based working model is most common in the UAE, with 50 percent of UAE-based employers offering no remote or hybrid working options.”

WFH, hybrid or office-based – which workforce trend remains in the UAE in 2023? (alarabiya.net)

Problems caused by sitting for long periods

Wherever you work, if you are using a computer for the majority of the day then you may be slouching.

The adverse effects of poor posture are well known. Even still, it can be very difficult for people to remember to sit up straight for hours every day.

Sitting in one position for too long, and having your screen and seat at the incorrect height can also contribute to neck and back pain.

Six ways to reduce neck and back pain

1. Assess your posture:

Stand against the wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Ensure your shoulder blades and tailbone are touching the wall but your feet are about six inches away from it. If your posture is good then your ears should be vertically in line with your shoulders, and your head should be no more than three finger-widths from the wall.

2. Lower back support:

Sitting in a chair which does not support your lower back is a common cause of pain. Investing in an ergonomic, height-adjustable desk chair with lumbar support is highly advisable. The chair should curve slightly forward at waist-height to mirror the natural curve of your spine. Placing a small pillow behind your back, if sitting in a regular chair, can help. And ensure both your feet are resting flat on the floor.

3. Relax your shoulders:

Holding stress and tension in your shoulders causes many adverse effects – impacting your neck and upper back too. Using a hands-free headset for phone calls and virtual meetings, raising your laptop screen, and using a chair with 90-degree arm rests can all help reduce this tension.

4. Check your screen:

If you are having to hold your neck at an unnatural angle to work, then your screen or keyboard is at the wrong angle. The screen should be directly in front of your eyes when you hold your neck straight and lift your head high. And your keyboard should be positioned at an angle so you can type with flat wrists and shoulders relaxed. A laptop stand, or a standing desk, can help here!

5. Move regularly:

Getting up from your desk once an hour can help ward off any aches and pains. If you are likely to get distracted by your work, then set a timer on your phone so you remember to take a couple of minutes to stretch.

6. See a physiotherapist:

A physiotherapist offering non-invasive treatment should be the first person to call if you have chronic or increasing back and neck pain. They can help you to get everything back in alignment, help with your posture, and offer advice specific to your situation.

For more information about our expert physiotherapy services, click here.

Open WhatsApp
Hello 👋
Please press the button below to send us a WhatsApp message!