They say that sitting is now the new smoking and as writers – we sit! It may be in front of a screen or jotting down scenes in a notebook, but the majority of our writing time is ‘bum on seat’. As with any job, there are health pitfalls, but the most common for writers are:
- Musculoskeletal Disorders. Poor posture, and lack of exercise and movement. Get moving!
- Eye/Vision Disorders. Too much screen time, a back light engages your brain but also burns your retinas. Look away regularly or switch off.
- Headaches. Excessive screen time, or reading find print. Ensure you have regular eye tests.
- Obesity. Lack of movement and too much snacking. Limit sugary and salty snacks and exercise.
- Repetitive Stiffness Injuries. Attributed to mouse holding cramps and also typing/writing for long periods. Wrist, arm and shoulder exercises can help.
- Stress and Depression. Working to a deadline, revisions and editing – the list is long. Set realistic goals and create step by step targets.
- Hearing Damage. This may not be for everyone, but having music or back ground noise at too high a level can harm your hearing. Invest in good headphones for noise cancellation or music and keep the volume at a comfortable level.
- Lower Body/Foot Swelling. Sitting for too long can result in swelling and numbness, especially if your chair position leaves your legs dangling, or footwear is not supportive. Ensure your chair is positioned for your height so your feet are firmly on the floor and wear supportive footwear.
- Blood sugar. Remember your brain needs ‘food’ as well as rest. Don’t get to the ‘hangry’ status. Set a timer for meals and drink plenty of water. Hydration is vital.
Be conscious of what your body is telling you.
The healthier you are the better your writing will become – a health body is a healthy mind after all.
Do you have any health tips to share?