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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How often should I stand up and move/stretch if I suffer from stiff neck at work?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Tim Shackleford


    At Back in Motion Campbelltown we want to help you find long-term solutions to your problems. We'll assess your problem for free, so it costs … View Profile

    The best step is to make sure that your workstation setup is the best it can be for your position, your height and so on. That will help to reduce the amount that you need to stand up and move around. However, our bodies are designed to move and they respond best and maintain health when they are moving.

    So, if you stand every half an hour to move around or if you find that you become sore in less time than that then you may need to stand up more often. If you notice when you start to feel sore, you need to stand up more often than that point. Don’t wait until you’re sore before you move.

  • 1


    Jane Watson


    Jane Watson is a leading physiotherapist based in the Upper North Shore servicing locations like Wahroonga, Pymble, Turramurra, Gordon, Thornleigh and surrounding suburbs. Jane's approach … View Profile

    I would recommend standing every hour to bring the head into a more neutral position (head retracted over upper body) so that the soft tissues get a chance to recover from being in the flexed position. Some quick stretches at the same time would also be helpful, but the most important thing is good sitting posture while sitting.

  • 1


    Ian Montgomery

    Exercise Physiologist

    Experienced exercise physiologist specialising in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. With over 10 years experience working with clients returning to work after injuries I offer specialised physical conditioning … View Profile

    I am studying ergonomics and have done numerous workstation assessments with pain in neck and shoulders the most common complaint. Obviously ensuring the workstation is set up correctly is important although the best designed workstation will be useless if a person sits statically or with poor posture for thei entire work shift. A combination of standing up to take a break from sitting (prolonged sitting has been linked to increased risk of a number of chronic diseases as well as shorter life expectancy) as well as postural adjustment/correction - head retraction exercises and most importantly any movement is crucial. These activities need not be done in a group and don't need to interupt a persons work - simple shoulder rolling, neck rotation and lateral flexion of the head all promote increased circulation, release static muscle contractions and encourage range of movement and can be done while continuing to work.
    Keep moving as often as possible using all the methods described above and in the previous posts (every 15-30 minutes would be ideal)

  • 1


    Dr Marco Makari


    Dr. Marco Makari is a chiropractor and a qualified AFL sports trainer who specializes in rehabilitation therapy and musculoskeletal injuries. He graduated from the prestigious … View Profile

    This is a great question and it’s probably the most common question I get asked when I visit a business office. The short answer is every 30minutes. All it takes is a 30sec walk around the office.
    I also recommend getting a correct sitting posture chart to put at every workstation. These are very informative and will demonstrate the best way to sit when you’re on your desk. You can download a good one at:
    A physical health care professional such as a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist can recommend some stretches which will help overcome the discomfort caused by prolonged sitting. 

  • Helen Potter


    As a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, with extensive experience and highly advanced qualifications, as well as excellent communication skills, I can help you to: Become informed … View Profile


    I believe that the latest research shows that getting up and moving every 20 minutes reduces the risk of all health problems associated with sedentary work. Not just your stiff neck but also bowel cancer and hypertension.

    It is not enough to have an ergonomic chair - you need to know how to use it to help you maintain your lower back in a gentle curve so that your head sits naturally over your trunk and you drop your chin slightly to ensure your eyes are on a horizontal plane.

    An experienced Physiotherapist can  help you  with this and also with improving your neck motion and relieving pain. Helen

  • Rodney Grof


    I am a Senior Physiotherapist working in inner Melbourne and am passionate about ensuring that all my patients are safely able to return to the … View Profile

    It is recommended that you should stand from a seated position every 45 minutes for an interval of two minutes.

    You may have a workstation that is set up correctly with a well fitted ergonomic chair, table etc.  however this won't stop neck/back pain rather provide additional support and comfort. Hence it is strongly advised that you break up your day by moving!! After all humans were made to be bipedal.

  • Sandra McFaul


    Do you suffer from chronic lower back pain or neck pain? Based in SYDNEY, Sandra is 1 of ONLY 15 Physiotherapists in Australia with ADVANCED … View Profile

    Every 40 mintues to 1 hour is a good idea to stand and stretch.  It's also good to give your mind a rest from the task you are doing….

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