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IS HYBRID WORKING A PAIN IN THE NECK?Posture Specialist HEALTH SHAK Wants to Help Returning Office Workers Get Back To Their Postural Best…

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Posture Specialist HEALTH SHAK Wants to Help Returning Office Workers Get Back To Their Postural Best

As workers return to offices in their droves, West-London based posture specialist and chiropractor HEALTH SHAK is expecting a surge in patients seeking bespoke help for neck and back pain, caused by working between home and in offices where many will now be sitting in a variety of non-customised seats ‘hot-desking’.

According to a 2020 study by the Institute for Employment Studies*, there was a ‘significant increase in musculoskeletal complaints’ during lockdown. More than half of those surveyed reported new aches and pains: 58% in the neck, 56% in the shoulder, and 55% in the back. As many as 7 in 10 Brits said they’d experienced more aches and pains since working from home.

HEALTH SHAK launched a year ago in the middle of the pandemic and has seen a steady stream of customers from all over the UK looking for help with back pain caused by working at kitchen tables, sofas or desks not fit for long hours of screen time. New hybrid working patterns may exacerbate this trend further as many office workers are not clear how to sit properly, whether at home or away, or what to do when the pain in the neck becomes a frequent work companion.

HEALTH SHAK Co-Founder David Harvey, DC MChiro explains; “Lockdown happened so suddenly that many people weren’t ready or properly equipped to work from home. In the office, many had some kind of occupational health assessment at their workstation, to ensure that desks, chair, screen and keyboard were all positioned properly, to optimise posture. Many had their own ergonomic office chair specifically to tackle problems they had. However, studies reveal these important pieces of furniture were not transferred from the office into employees’ homes. As workers return to offices and shared workspaces, hot desking at different workstations is likely to mean that these old office best practices may be a casualty of post-lockdown work life.”

So what to do? David Harvey shares four top tips for an optimum work posture, though if you are experiencing frequent neck or back pain already it’s probably time to book a posture consultation with HEALTH SHAK or another General Chiropractic Council (GCC) Registered Chiropractor.

HEALTH SHAK’S TOP 4 Tips For Optimum Posture While Working:

1. Make sure the top of your knees are slightly lower than the mid-point of your hips: If you are ever sitting with your knees higher than your hips, you will be creating a posterior (backwards) tilt of your pelvis. This will cause you to slump and slouch, forcing your body into a position it doesn’t want to be in.

To achieve the knees being lower than the hips, you may need to raise the height of your chair, or sit on a taller chair.

2. Check that your pelvis is in a slight anterior (forwards) tilt: When you create a slight anterior (forwards) tilt of your pelvis while sitting, you allow your lower back to maintain its normal curve and your body will maintain an upright position with less effort.

To do this, you will need to lift the back of your seat – the part you are actually sitting on, not the backrest – relative to the front. This can be done in a few different ways:
• Use a seat wedge
• Fold a towel to create a wedge shape
• Some chairs may have an adjustable seat pad, which you can tilt forwards

3. Make sure the top of your screen is at or slightly below eye level: Even if your pelvis is in the perfect position, you will end up slouching if you’re looking down at a screen which is too low. To get your screen to be the right height, you may need to:
• Put your laptop/monitor on a stand or box
• Get yourself a monitor and keyboard if you are predominantly using a laptop

4. Get up and move often: As perfect as a sitting position may be, there is no substitute for movement. Try to get up every hour or so to move, whether it’s to stretch or walk around. Taking some time to move will aid blood flow around your body and will help refresh your brain to stay sharp and focused while you work.

An initial 3-part consultation with HEALTH SHAK costs £120, comprising one Zoom consultation followed by two in-person sessions.

To book a postural consultation or for further details about HEALTH SHAK, visit

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