T Nation

Office Pains - New Job


I was working as a manager in a fast food joint until gettin fired in January. This ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me. I realized how fat and lazy I had gotten. I started stretching and running the next week in February. I began getting serious in March with nutrition AND exercise. I'm 5'11" and 220...down from 245 in March. I've been living on unemployment and a part time job. I live in Arkansas on about 40 acres of land, so there is a lot of physical work to do in addition to lifting.

I still have a lot of work to do on my body, but I've gotten acostomed to getting up around 9am and working out around 10 or 11 am. This week I just started at a good state job getting up at 6:30 and sitting on my ass at a desk all day. Just two days in and I'm going crazy!!!

There are four things bothering me. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I noticed today:
1) the base of my skull was sore where it meets the spine
2) the middle of my upper back(maybe mid-traps) was sore
3) my shoulders keep popping and feel like something in them are twisted
4) the first three I noticed at work today about 2-3pm. The fourth was this morning while in the shower I noticed my hamstrings were really tight.

The case may be that it'll take some time to get used to, but something feels wrong about getting used to sitting there. #4 went away once I started going to work. 1-3 went away after I got home. #2 was bothering me te most!!!


Forgot to say I'm 29 years old


My advice: quit relying on the government to support yourself. You were on unemployment and now work for the state, so the taxpayers have been supporting you this whole time. Get a job in the private sector, get off welfare, and be a man.


Unfortunately, there aren't many jobs here in Arkansas. I had a part time job and used unemployment to supplement my income because I was wrongly fired from my fulltime job in the private sector. As far as working for the government goes, it pays good, has great benefits, and looks good since I have custody of my kid as a single dad. I'm not worried about your post as it has nothing to do with the subject. Please keep your unrelated opinions to yourself.


I like how this thread got immediately derailed.

As far as your original concerns, it sounds to me like the problem is with your chair. Either play with the adjustment settings of your current chair to get it to work for you (if its even adjustable), or see if you can get a good ergonomic chair. Bad chairs can cause strain like that, and since you sound like you're coming from an environment where you spent very little time sitting in a chair, you're even more sensitive to it than most. You may just want to bring your concern to the HR department there, and see what your options are. Your immediate supervisor/boss may not be helpful or understanding.

Secondly, if you're browsing tnation while working, you should stop. Government internet usage is audited, and taxpayers can request to see logs through FOIA, so you don't want to make yourself look bad.

Finally, I actually spent some time working for/with the government in Ohio, as an on-site consultant. While there, I realized how mismanaged certain things were; things that voters really can't do anything about. Electing a new official isn't going to change how inefficiently an office operates. However, with your experience as a fast food manager (an industry that thrives on efficiency), you have a prime opportunity to make some improvements. Certainly you'll need to establish yourself in your current position first.

Good luck with all of that. Congrats on getting employment and getting off unemployment.


Do you give this speech to police officers, firefighters, and soldiers as well?

They probably enjoy hearing that they are a drain on the taxpayers and aren't real men.


Thanks! I thought about the chair yesterday. I will give it a try. As far as the net goes, I stay off it on the compunters. I use my iPhone when on the shitter and on breaks :slight_smile:


try and get up and move around for a minute or two once every hour.

also consider doing more posture/rear delt work in your workouts


Forensic accountant who logs 10 hrs/ day in a chair checking in.

Breaks every 45 minutes to walk around. I go get water at the kitchenette.

2x as much back work as chest work... every lift I do, I retract my scaps and bring my shoulders back. 50% of my "accessory work" is shoulder work.

Tons of stretching.


Here you go mate, they have an old but excellent series of articles here that deal with stuff like this:


One thing that really seems to help with my own posture / back issues (long story, related to a leg injury) is face pulls - I do these every gym session, reasonably light with a 4 second hold, 3-5 sets of 12.


What a cunt you turned out to be.

@OP: I don't have different advice than anyone else. I can't sit for very long without hurting. I gotta keep moving or at the very least stand around. Stretch, try to walk around, do mobility work. The pains of paleolithic bodies sitting on chairs.


repeat of what louiek & Grumpig hunt said

Work/money wise - you said you own 40 acres of land? how about marketing that for something/someone?


Just wanted to point out that #1 and #2 can be caused by poor posture. I've worked in offices for the last 12 years and I can't tell you how many people I see that are slumped over their keyboards and are always experiencing some kind of head/neck/shoulder/upper back pain. I'll attach a photo to show you what I mean. Most co-workers that I've seen will sit like the person on the bottom left of this picture. Try to be very conscious of your posture, adjust your work station to suit your needs - especially if you share it with others, and try to get some mobility work in (I love Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson's stuff). As far as hamstrings, like everyone else has said, get up, walk, stretch, etc.


Fellow desk jockey here. I get up every 30-45 minutes or so, hit the head or go get water from the cafeteria/bubbler down the hall.

The posted article series above (Neanderthal No More) is really good. Posture is important so always try to bring your shoulders back and push our your chest. Don't worry you don't look like a douche for doing this :).

One good thing I do if I'm sitting for a while is a quick stretch to pull my shoulder blades together and stretch out my back/chest and just hold it for a few seconds.

As for your chair, if you can't seem to get it to work out for you, try the medicine ball as a chair. It helps your posture, keeps you focused and gets you in tuned with your body position over all (something good to develop that will help with your lifting/workout routine.)

Hope this helps :slight_smile:


Check out OSHA guidelines for proper seating: