If you suffer from neck pain, you're not alone. Spinal pain is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and its occurrence has increased dramatically over the past 25 years.
While most episodes of neck pain are likely to get better within a few months, half to three-quarters of people who have neck pain will experience repeated episodes of pain.
It's often said there are "good and bad postures" and that specific postures can contribute to spinal pain but this belief is not supported by scientific evidence.
Indeed, research shows that poor sleep, reduced physical activity and increased stress appear to be more important factors.
So despite attempts by health professionals to correct your posture and the use of "ergonomic" chairs, desks, keyboards and other gadgets chances are so-called "lifestyle factors" – such as getting enough sleep, making sure you exercise and keeping stress to a minimum – seem to be more salient in relieving and preventing the pain in your neck.
The flip side of this is that having a stronger neck, enjoying exercise – even simply walking a greater number of steps each day – have all been shown to protect against getting neck pain.
This, along with making sure we don't become sleep deprived, less physically active and stressed will hopefully manage and prevent neck pain more successfully.
So feel free to sit how you want to at your desk. If you find yourself sitting for long periods in one position make an effort to switch it up – as one of the key things to avoid getting pain in your neck is to change positions frequently through the day.
And if you do have neck pain, get a few early nights, consider doing something relaxing – and why not go for a walk at lunchtime. Importantly, you also need to stop worrying about how you sit or walk, because science seems to show that there may be no such thing as a "bad" posture after all.