Day 3 – neck and shoulder care

Theme – too much sitting/being static can lead to stiffness and discomfort in the neck and shoulders 

If you are experiencing stiffness and/or discomfort in the neck and shoulders, the following recommendations will be worth considering:

  • Minimise the amount of time that you spend looking down at mobile devices or at written material – consider the use of stands and supports for your devices, books and papers to allow your head to stay in a neutral position
  • If commuting or travelling for work, try to carry as little as possible, ideally in a bag which can be carried on two shoulders with adjustable straps to distribute the weight evenly. Try to avoid carrying anything in hard copy and where possible look at ways to transfer the resources that you need electronically from one site to another rather than carrying a laptop
  • Keep hydrated to support the health of your muscles and joints
  • As with day 2, ensure that you adopt a balanced seating position when working at the desk, and don’t work from the sofa or in bed. Ensure that your screen is at eye level when your head is in a neutral position

Working set up

When working at the desk, make sure that your working set up facilitates a healthy alignment of your head and neck.

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Neck and shoulder release

As recommended on Day 2, take regular breaks from the desk, ideally at least every 30 minutes or so and including some stretching and mobilising exercises.

The following neck and shoulder release sequence can be done all in one go, or one or two poses/exercises at a time, in any order, focussing on the ones that you feel are most beneficial.

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Making a habit of it

The stretches/movements suggested here can be done in very little time while at the desk or during micro breaks from the desk. Try them all and then build your favourites into your day when you feel the need, say after a period of concentration on a desk based task – some may become automatic.

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