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www.ProHealth.com • May 7, 2003


Ideally, your head should rest on top of your neck like a golf ball on a tee. Usually it doesn't. Your eyes, your ears — the way you perceive your environment — are all focused forward. Whether you're reading a book, sitting at a desk or even just walking, your head is usually tilted forward.

And with the weight of your head more like that of a bowling ball than a golf ball, holding it forward, out of alignment, puts a strain on your neck and upper back muscles. The result can be muscle fatigue and — all too often — an aching neck. Proper posture is key to staying pain-free.

You can prevent neck pain if you pay attention to what you do during the day. Follow these tips:

-Avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder when you talk. If you use the phone a lot, get a headset.

-Take frequent breaks if you drive long distances or work long hours at your computer.

-Use good posture if you sit for long periods.

-Set your desk, chair and computer at the proper height and distance.

-Stretch frequently if you work at a desk. Breathe deeply while extending your arms straight up over your head.

-Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Use a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck.

(Source: Mayo Clinic website at www.mayoclinic.com)



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