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San Francisco Health Network

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Stretches for neck and upper back

Neck Stretch

Standing or sitting, curl your neck so that your chin lowers to your chest or when you feel a stretch in your neck. Turn your chin toward your shoulder, and then tilt chin back toward the chest.

Shoulder Squeezes


  Shoulder squeeze pic  


With your arms at your sides, while standing or sitting, move your shoulders down and back, pinching the shoulder blades in the back together and expanding the chest. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.


Occupational Safety & Health

Setting Up Your Monitor

Do you ever experience neck soreness while viewing your monitor? The proper placement of your monitor may help improve your comfort.Try making the following adjustments to your monitor.


Monitor Position

Position the mouse on the same surface as your keyboard to reduce over-reaching with your arm. Continuous over-reaching may lead to shoulder discomfort.

Position the monitor so that it’s directly in front of you. Avoid placing the monitor where it causes you to twist your neck or upper body.


Monitor Height

Align the top of the monitor so that it is at or below eye level. This applies to people with normal eye vision and those that use monofocal eye glasses. This may be difficult to assess this yourself so ask someone to assist you in checking the height. Your goal is to keep your neck from tilting up or down to view the monitor.


Too High or Too Low?

  • If the monitor is too high because it’s sitting on top of the CPU, then remove the CPU and place the monitor directly on the desktop.
  • If the monitor is too low, then raise the height by placing old telephone book(s) beneath the monitor.

Bifocal and Trifocal Wearers

  • For bifocal or trifocal wearers, the height for the monitor should be low enough so that your head does not tilt backwards when viewing the screen.
  • You may want to consider getting monofocal glasses that are specially designed for computer use.


Monitor Distance

Move the monitor away or towards you until a comfortable viewing distance is found. The best distance is as far away as possible while still being able to read the screen clearly. Usually the distance ranges from 18"-32".

If you catch yourself leaning forward to see the characters on the screen, simply increase the font size or the zoom under the View menu.


Monitor Angle

Try positioning the monitor screen so that it is at a comfortable viewing angle. Most people prefer tilting the monitor slightly back. But if glare appears on the screen, then reduce the amount of tilt.


Do You Need to Look at Hard Copies?

Position your hard copies on a document holder near the monitor. To reduce discomfort to your neck, avoid looking at copies placed on a flat surface such as on top of the desk.