For several weeks I’ve been feeling the reality of being over 60. My neck and shoulders have been tense, to the point of being debilitating. I’m not sure if it’s a combination of stress, neck and shoulder tension from working at home on my computer, and sinuses. My nose hasn’t been stuffy but every so often, I have a sneezing fit. The billion or so butterflies that flew over Los Angeles pollinated everything in sight. It makes my ears pop which makes me feel spaced out.
Stand up and work
I work at my computer most of the day and I’m sure that my neck and shoulder tension has been caused by sitting too long with my head in the wrong position. Sitting for long periods of time is the worst thing you can do at any age, let alone over 60.
According to Harvard Health, spending too many hours sitting is hazardous to your health. Habitual inactivity raises risks for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, and metabolic syndrome. It also scrunches up your organs.
The idea of a standing desk has always seemed like a good idea so I purchased a Homdox portable foldable laptop stand to raise my laptop to eye level so I’ll get off my butt and not strain my neck.
It wasn’t expensive at all. The ones I’ve seen on TV are around $200 but mine was under $40. I didn’t have to put it together either. I’m sure the fancier ones are sturdier, but mine isn’t bad. It even has a perch for my mouse pad.
It doesn’t move up and down, like the more costly models but you can adjust the height by using dials that set the position of the legs. You can adjust it to use when you sit in bed, to tilt your laptop on your desk, or even as a book holder. I have two computers, a laptop, and a standard PC. If I get tired of standing, I can sit down and work at my other computer.
Shoulder tension affects your balance
Sometimes when I sit too long at my computer or get out of bed too fast, I feel like the Earth is moving. I don’t feel dizzy, just a little off center. I’m sure it’s because my body is a little out of alignment because I feel fine otherwise. That’s something to watch. If you’re over 60 the last thing you want to do is lose your balance and fall.
Heated neck pillow
Another item I found useful for my neck and shoulders is a Sonoma lavender neck pillow that you can heat up for 1 minute in the microwave. Neck and shoulder tension is often caused by stress. The scent of the lavender alone helps me relax. The pillow is also slightly weighted and pushes my shoulders down. As a kid, I walked around with my shoulders wrapped around my ears when I was nervous. It’s always been a problem for me.
One of my guest posters, Ann Merle did a video for Baby Boomers where she demonstrated an exercise for sore shoulders on my blog. You can watch it here.
Another exercise I like is sitting on the edge of a chair and then reaching back and grabbing the back of the chair. Pull forward arching your back. It really releases any shoulder tension you may be feeling.
Both sitting or standing have their issues
Even after the first day of standing at my desk to work, I could tell that my shoulders felt much better. When my feet get tired from standing too long, I sit down for a minute or two. Getting up and sitting down are exercises in themselves, so it’s not all that bad. When you’re older it’s not a good idea to sit or stand too long. Instead, mix it up. Try doing deep knee bends or wiggle your hips so you don’t strain your feet.
Other ways to relax your muscles
I’m one of those people who hates taking medication unless I absolutely need it. However, I’ve found that a little CBD oil under my tongue helps my shoulder and neck muscles relax. It’s all natural and really works.
Another thing you can do for neck and shoulder tension is to book a deep muscle massage. That’s always a wonderful way to relieve aching muscles and you’ll feel amazing afterward.
Do you suffer from neck and shoulder tension when you sit at your computer too long? What do you do to find relief? Please leave a comment below.