My Back and Neck Hurts When I Sit At My Desk !

Let’s start with some trivia:

Did you know the average weight of the human head weighs anywhere from 8-12 lbs.?

Over hours sitting at a desk, the weight of the head is compounded 3-5 times!

When we sit down, we burn 1 calorie per minute, after 2 hours, we increase the risk of diabetes by 24%, while also having a 20% drop in good cholesterol. Okay enough of all these numbers, I think you get the point.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people had to transition from their usual work offices to instead working from home. You probably had to roll up your sleeves and turn into the next home makeover extraordinaire and convert what home space you have to be more accommodating to your occupational needs.

At least in your normal work office, you were moving from point A to point B throughout the day, whether on a lunch break, going from meeting room to meeting room, or catching up with the employees on different floors – BUT NOW you’re stuck at home, sitting in front of your computer for even longer, with less of a need to get up and walk around, and if you do it’s within the close quarters of your own home.

Now you’re stuck sitting all day, and this can lead to increasing your back pain!

You may have heard the sentiment: “Sitting is the new smoking.” But this notion is not necessarily the case. Rather than associating sitting as a negative, it is best to say: “being SEDENTARY [in any position] is the new smoking.”

A meta-analysis review performed by Rezende et al 2014, found that sedentary behaviors are associated with an increased risk of mortality causing diseases like diabetes. Sedentary behavior may include sitting, standing, or lying down, the point is it may be detrimental to your spine to stay in one position for hours on end in a day.

 Is there an ideal ergonomic setup?

Adequate lumbar support is key


You’re probably asking yourself:

“Should I buy the most expensive ergonomic chair online?” (such as Herman Miller, ErgoChair 2, Kinn chair, just to name a few) “OR “Should I buy a sit-stand desk?

First thing, let’s talk about sit-standing desks. Desks facilitate and enforce the idea of switching between sitting position and standing position. However, although you may be changing positions, it is highly likely you will be standing for more than a few hours, and that takes you to square one!

To provide you with more evidence-based insight, a 2018 study by Baker et al found that prolonged standing may be associated with venous insufficiency, atherosclerotic progression, as well as back and lower limb discomfort. Furthermore, it reported that bouts > 2 hours of uninterrupted standing resulted in decreased cognition.


Whether sitting or standing, good or bad, staying in one position for hours on end could be a bad thing!

To quote an excerpt from JOSPT on Sitting Posture: “Professor McGill (a renowned spine biomechanist) makes 2 key points: (1) sit in intervals, and (2) change positions/switch chairs. These strategies are better for pain prevention and rehabilitation. To illustrate the fact, as a professor who often sits in the workplace, McGill would move between 3 different sitting arrangements throughout the working hours of his day (e.g., sitting on a regular desk chair, a kneeling chair, and a gym ball). All postures have some benefits and disadvantages, but switching postures can help to reduce the pain and stress provoked by any single or static posture.”

Postural Corrective Exercise 

Follow this link to view the exercises- 

Curious if therapy can help your posture? Contact us to schedule a complimentary 15-minute injury screening and get started on your road to recovery.