Trouble-Shooting Guide for Discomfort in Neck

The following lists some possible causes of neck discomfort amongst computer users.  Potential corrective actions to consider are also listed.

  • Static posture and stress
    • Change posture, stretch, move about frequently to perform other tasks
  • Twisting head to the side to view documents or monitor
    • Position monitor and keyboard so operator sits directly in front with documents just to the left or right of monitor, at about same distance; consider placing document between keyboard and monitor
  • Monitor height may be too high or too low
    • In general, the top of the screen should be at about eye level or slightly lower (check this by holding a small mirror against screen to see the position of the eyes on the screen)
  • Documents lying flat or inadequately positioned
    • Use a document holder to the left or right of monitor or try propping document between monitor and keyboard
  • Monitor and keyboard not lined up directly in front of operator
    • Position monitor and keyboard so operator sits directly in front
  • Monitor height incompatible with use of corrective lenses such as bifocals, trifocals etc.
    • Adjust monitor height accordingly or consider a pair of glasses specific for computer use
  • Leaning forward to view screen and/or craning neck
    • Font size may be too small or inappropriate monitor distance (try about arm’s length away from sitting position)
  • Angle of monitor screen tilt is excessive
    • Adjust monitor tilt so that the screen is roughly vertical or bottom of monitor tilted slightly toward the user