Office work can be a real pain in the neck especially for women, says a new study.
A research team led by Dr Julia Hush, of the Back Pain Research Group at the University of Sydney has found that working women are three times more likely than their male counterparts to suffer from neck pain.
"Neck pain is certainly one of the big problems in an occupational setting," ABC Science quoted Hush as saying.
"It can impact on the ability to do day-to-day activities and has a substantial cost for not only the individual, but also society," she added.
While 15 to 44pct of people suffer pain in any one year, Hush said recent studies suggest that office-workers are at higher risk of neck pain than others.
During the study, the research team followed 53 office workers at the University of Sydney over a year.
They found that women were around three times more likely to develop neck pain during the year than men.
Moreover, people who suffered high levels of personal psychological stress were over one and a half times more likely to suffer neck pain than others, Hush said.
However, those who exercised three times a week or more were less likely to suffer neck pain, as were those whose neck was more flexible.
"The incidence of neck pain is very high," said Hush.
"Female gender and high psychological stress can increase the risk of developing neck pain, but if you have greater mobility of your neck and if you exercise more, you might reduce the risk of developing neck pain," she added.
The study appears online in the European Spine Journal.