neck pain work from home

Working from Home Doesn’t Have to be a Pain in the Neck


When trying to meet that deadline or sit through another Zoom meeting, there’s nothing worse than dealing with neck pain… and likely a not so perfect workspace.
We understand, working from home.. it ain’t easy.
At Bodywell Healthcare we see many people experiencing neck pain, but never fear we are here to help!
There are some simple steps to follow to help you take a load off.. Your neck that is.

1. Set Up Your Workspace

Say the magic word with me… Ergonomics! Hold the eye roll. We’ll make it easy for you.
Finding the correct way to set up your laptop at home can be difficult, especially when you have other family members fighting for that highly desirable study.
If you don’t have access to a desktop computer, here are some tips for using your laptop at home:

Short term use (less than one hour):

  • Prop up your laptop on a book if using it on your lap, this helps keep your wrists straight whilst typing.
  • Use a chair that supports an upright posture
  • Use a towel roll or lumbar pillow for extra lower back support
  • Tilt your laptop screen to maintain a neutral posture

laptop at desk

Long term use (more than one hour):

  • Set up at a desk or table
  • Sit in a chair that keeps you back in a relaxed but supported posture
  • Elevate your laptop using a stack of books. The top of the screen should be at the level of your eye line.
  • Use an external keyboard and mouse to keep your elbows close to the body and bent at roughly a 90 degree angle.
  • Your wrists and hands should sit straight

Having correct posture at your workspace means less strain on your back, neck and shoulders. Just remember, prevention is always better than a cure.

2. Take A Break

…But hold the Kit Kat.
Ever find yourself so enthralled in your work that you realise you’ve been sitting in the same spot for 4 hours? Us too, guilty as charged.
Make sure you are scheduling breaks for yourself throughout your work day. For every 30 minutes you spend sitting you should spend 30 minutes taking a break. These breaks should focus on you moving away from your workspace for a breather. No, sitting on your phone scrolling facebook doesn’t count.

take a break


  • Getting a glass of water
  • Going outside for some vitamin D
  • Having a healthy snack
  • Getting active

Taking a break to move and offer yourself a small dose of self care will be well worth your time, trust us.

3. Stretch

Stretching, we know it’s good for us but we rarely find the time to do it. When we spend all day at the desk tension slowly builds up through the muscles in our neck, shoulders and upper body. 

Here is how we often end up looking by the end of the day.

poor posture

Yikes! So how can we combat these tired and sore muscles? You guessed it stretches.

Trapezius stretch:

trapezius stretch

Pectoralis stretch:

pectoralis stretch

Towel stretch:

towel stretch

towel stretch

So next time you take a break from the computer make sure to add in a few stretches before you get back to work. But, if you want some extra help, you are in luck! Check out our Facebook page for the video of Sarah doing a stretch session for the neck and upper back.

4. Apply Heat

It only takes a nice hot soak in the bath or a beach vacation to realise our muscles love heat. In fact when we apply warmth to our muscles, the muscle fibres natural reaction is to relax.

After a long day of putting up with deadlines, cranky kids and bad wifi. Try a heat pack or hot shower to melt the muscle tension away. Pun intended!

neck wrap

Wili Heat Bags, (2020), Neck wrap Heat Bag – Summer Garden. Available here. 

At Bodywell Healthcare we stock these amazing Wili Heat Bags, available in a number of beautiful prints and sizes. However, if you do need more assistance our knowledgeable osteopaths will be happy to help.

To make a booking you can call us on (03) 9717 1200 or book online.