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Combating Desk Disease

Combating Desk Disease

With working hours getting longer, people are spending more and more time seated at their computer.  We are seeing an increasing number of people complaining of headaches, as well as neck and back pain.  So, what can you do to limit these problems?


Drink more water.  Dehydration can be a cause of headaches.  Increasing your fluid intake can decrease your risk.  Working in an air-conditioned work place can make it easy for you to become dehydrated.


Schedule regular breaks.  As a minimum each hour take a five minute break to get up, move around and stretch.  You can set a reminder on your computer to move.  Standing to talk on the phone is another idea to get you out of your chair.


Check your desk set-up.  Below are a few simple guides to follow to ease the strain on your body.  If unsure most workplaces have an Occupational Healthy and Safety Officer to assist you.

  • The height of your chair should allow you to sit with your feet flat on the floor, or foot rest, with the angle at your hips and knee at about 90 degrees.  The height of the back rest should be adjusted to support the curve of your lower back.  There should be no arm rest as these stop you getting closer to your desk.
  • The top of the desk should be just below elbow height.
  • The top of the screen should be level with, or slightly lower than eye height when sitting upright.  Stands, or books can be used to raise the monitor.  It should be placed about an arms reach away and directly in-front.
  • Desk layout. Things used a lot should be placed close and within reach.  The keyboard should be placed close to the edge of the desk with the mouse next to it.  If the mouse is used a lot, try swapping sides occasionally to avoid overuse injuries.
  • Document Holder. Takes the strain off your upper back and neck by bringing the document you are referring to or, reading closer to your eye level decreasing the need to look down.
  • Head-set. Frees up your hands to take notes when on the phone, instead of tightening up muscles by holding it between your cheek and shoulder.


Get out and exercise.  Find a sport you love and stick to it.  The fitter and healthier you are the better you will cope with the daily grind.  Swimming is a great form of exercise to free up the joints and muscles.  To keep you motivated get a friend to join you.


Seek treatment.  Too many people go day to day with pain and discomfort.  So, don’t wait until it gets worse, call us at Croydon Osteopathy to book an appointment.