The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Tax Preparation Health

Taxes are due April 15th. Piles of papers, forms, schedules, receipts. Readers have asked how to be healthier while working at the desk, and how to keep their cool during tax preparation.

Several readers asked how to stop neck pain when looking down over deskwork. Reader John M, specifically asked "How do you suggest someone look down (to look at a chart etc at work) without pushing the (herniated neck) disc out more (or aggravating symptoms)?

Three photos above show tilting the neck forward and/or jutting the chin forward. Holding the head forward of the neck and body is a major source of upper back and neck pain. The "forward head" is hard on the soft tissues, the joints of the vertebrae called facets, and the discs of the neck, and is a major overlooked cause of "upper crossed syndrome." The forward head is just a bad posture, and easy to stop. It is not necessary to jut the neck or chin forward to look downward.

Check how you are sitting right now. Are you letting your neck hang forward, are you jutting your chin forward, or are you pushing or rounding your neck and upper body forward? Instead, keep chin in, loosely and gently. If needed, bring your chair closer in closer to the desk and lean the upper body back instead of rounding your lower back against the chair back and leaning the upper body forwad.

To look down comfortably - tip chin down in relaxed straight position instead of jutting the head and neck forward. That is healthy positioning for everyone - injured or not. No need to lean or hang the head or neck forward, or round your upper back to look downward.

More Fitness Fixer with quick techniques to feel better during desk work:


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Forward head photo 1 by Kevin K. Luu
Forward head silhouette photo 2 by äÁǻǵ
Forward head writing at desk photo 3 by My Hobo Soul
Straight good cooking posture photo by Presta
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.