5 Frustrating (but Fixable) Pains of the Deskbound
3. The ache that persists even when you exhale.
What you feel: The area between your neck and your bra strap is a wall of tension.
What it might be: You know what we're going to say—you sit too much. Holding any position—but especially a seated one—for eight or more hours a day tires your core muscles (especially in back). Yet standing for long stretches isn't comfortable, either. Alternating between sitting and standing during the day, says Rempel, prevents the kind of stiffness that results from holding the same position. (Strengthening your shoulders with hand weights can also help.)
The surprise threat: Part of the problem could have to do with your ramrod-straight posture while sitting, which, Rempel says, can put extra weight on your spine and tire your trunk muscles. When you aren't standing, lean back in your chair. It may look a little slouchy, but it gives your back a break.
4. The pain that strikes on the commute home.
What you feel: Sore wrists or elbows at the end of a long day.
What it might be: Sounds like tendonitis—again, but this time, the version most commonly suffered by desk laborers. Most types of this condition can be treated—or even "cured"—by making simple changes to your workstation or computer, says Rempel. Your keyboard should be at elbow level or slightly higher, and your arms should be bent at 45-degree angles while you type. Forearm supports can be helpful, Rempel adds, and can also help reduce neck and shoulder pain.
The surprise threat: Holding your tablet for too long (say, an entire bus ride) can bother your wrists. Try using yours vertically, in portrait orientation to better distribute the weight, and place the tablet on a stand when you're not commuting or Sunday couch-surfing.
Next: The pain that strikes when you least expect it