Have long hours spent slumped over your computer turned you into the office hunchback? Here's how to work out the kinks.
Amy Markham was once an endurance athlete, running marathons and cycling long distances. Then, at the age of 37, she took a new job as director of admissions at a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts. Her new sport was hunching over her keyboard. At first the pain barely registered, but the tension in her neck and shoulders eventually became so severe that it was sometimes impossible to turn her head, shrug on clothes, or even type. While Markham's pain was extreme, the circumstances that led to it are not uncommon.
As many as 63 percent of all office workers will suffer from neck pain sometime this year, with women at particular risk, according to a recent comprehensive review of neck pain studies. Poor posture is partly to blame; the ever-increasing dependence on computers doesn't help, either. Happily, some relatively simple exercises can help. 5 moves that reduce neck pain and increase neck strength