As I can attest, sitting at a computer all day can be a real pain in the neck. Although I try to get up hourly and strive to keep an eye on my posture, by the end of the day my neck is often aching. And I’m not alone – statistics show that 85% of us will experience reoccurring neck and back pain throughout our lives.

A new study from Denmark shows that there may be a simple and effective way to combat this, though. In a randomized controlled study of 94 women, researchers Sjogaard and Andersen found that targeted strength training effectively eased neck pain.

The women were divided into three groups: one that participated in neck and shoulder strength training exercises, one that took part in general fitness training on a bicycle and a control group who received only health counseling. While those who bicycled did report a small decrease in pain following exercising, only the strength training group experienced significant and prolonged improvement.

Based on the results of the study, the researchers recommend 20 minutes of targeted strength training three times a week. In the study simple hand weights were used to target the trapezius and surrounding muscle groups. Body Rolling is another excellent option as is both strengthens and lengthens the muscles while also helping to release tension from the muscles.  

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