Resistance training can reduce neck and shoulder pain in office workers

Musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders affect many office workers and there is strong evidence to suggest that workplace-based resistance training can prevent several upper extremity MSK disorders (Saeterbakken et al, 2020).

A recent study published in BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation examined the dose response relationship between resistance training frequency and pain relief among 30 office workers with moderate neck and shoulder pain.

The study participants attended a 16-week intervention, which started with an eight-week control period followed by an eight-week training period. After the control period, the participants were randomized into either a once-daily 10-minute or twice-daily 10-minute workplace-based, high-intensity neck and shoulder resistance training programme, five days a week. 

Four exercises were carried out within the 10-minute sessions, using elastic bands: one-arm row; upright row; one-arm reverse flies; and one-arm lateral raise. Each exercise was conducted with two sets. Measurements were taken for pain, health-related quality of life, and isometric strength of the neck and shoulder region. 

The results of the study showed that “daily bouts of specific high-intensity resistance training of the shoulder and neck region at the workplace reduced neck and shoulder pain and improved quality of life of office workers. However, 10-minute bouts were equally effective as 2 × 10-minute bouts per day. The authors recommend office workers to perform daily neck and shoulder resistance training to possibly prevent and/or decrease pain in the neck and shoulder area.”

Click here to access the full study

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