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  • If you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you’re not alone. These days, just getting through the day can feel like a significant accomplishment. But if you’re letting life’s burdens affect the way that you’re carrying yourself around – in other words, your posture – then you may be asking for even more trouble. You may think posture only affects the way that you look, but it can cause you real pain in the form of neck and shoulder strain, as well as lower back problems and eventual damage to your joints. The good news is that it’s never too late to fix the problem. 


    The first thing you need to do is to recognize what needs to be fixed. If you’re experiencing aches and pains in your neck or back and you’re sitting at a desk all day, take a minute to examine the way that you’re sitting. If you can, ask somebody to take a photo of you while you’re immersed in your work. Are you hunched over instead of sitting up straight? If you are then you’re asking the muscles in your neck to do work they weren’t made to do. And that’s an invitation to physical problems in the future.


    To help yourself get out of a slouching habit, take a good look at how you have your desk set up. Since the pandemic a lot of us are working from home, and do not have the same ergonomically appropriate setups that we did while we were in offices. You want your laptop or computer monitor to be at eye level and your shoulders and arms to be at 90-degree angles. If you are sitting with your laptop on your lap or at a coffee table, then you’re ending over too much and putting strain on your neck. It’s the same effect as the “text neck” that many teens suffer from after staring down at their phones for an extended period of time. Your goal is to keep your spine upright and relaxed with your head positioned upright. If you’re bending forward you’re adding an awkward angle to the already-difficult job of holding your head up and still.


    If you find yourself getting tired or experiencing stiffness while you’re working, give yourself a break. Stand up, take a walk, or better yet – do some stretching exercises. Not only will doing so make you feel physically better, it will also clear your mind and help you focus on the task at hand.  Some of the most effective posture exercises can be done while seated at your desk.


    If your back or neck problems are related to your posture, taking these simple steps and developing better habits may be all that you need to address the situation. But if your neck or back are bothering you on a consistent basis it’s probably time to call our New Jersey spine specialist to make an appointment to come in for an examination and consultation. 


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