Pain in the Neck

By John Rutherford

The global prevalence of neck pain each year is approximately 37%, but this jumps to around 50% for those who work in an office environment.  Typically office environments create postures with high amounts of flexing the head/body forwards, and can involve staying in the same position for a long time.  These ergonomic issues each raise the likelihood of neck pain by a factor of more than 2.5 times.

There are a number of other recognised risk factors for developing neck pain, such as female gender (2-3 times more likely) and being in your 40’s (3.5 times more likely).  Mental health is also a definite risk factor in a lot of studies, including things like ‘getting annoyed at others’ or ‘mental tiredness at the end of the day’.  Even a mild elevation in stress levels increases neck pain prevalence by a factor of 1.6.

One of the easiest ways to reduce neck pain is to exercise more throughout the week.  This has been shown to reduce the risk by 1.85 times, even with as little as 3 exercise sessions per week.

Good ergonomics, plenty of movement, and good management of mental health were the take home points to avoid neck pain.


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