Monday, 7 March 2011

Keep Fit for Writers (2) - a guest post by Alexandra from Chicklish

So in the last article we considered how eyes can be affected by sitting there thinking too much about typing the next sentence and not enough about our health.

What about the rest of the body?

The truth is, typing extensively, writers can fall into some really bad habits. You may notice how you tense up as you furiously type an exciting chapter. Test yourself – half way through your next explosive paragraph, stop typing and freeze. How are you sitting, what is tensed up in your body and what is relaxed? If you’re a huncher – (you’ll know if you are) your back rarely sits straight and rarely gets to use its muscles correctly. This means other parts of the body take on the tension.

Think about your habits. Whilst you feel good now, will you in five years? Remember to stand up and do some stretching in your short breaks and long breaks.

Posture – probably all of us have looked up good posture before or had it demonstrated in our jobs. Most people at some stage have gained some knowledge of the best way to sit. As well as stretching, posture is very important. I’m not a doctor so I will leave you to research the best way to sit, and yes it may take some adjusting to but is your body worth it?

Also interesting is that if your muscles are out of tone, then you might be using the wrong muscles when you sit and stand. The worst thing with posture is that when you’re fit and healthy you ignore the small niggles, shake it off that you slouch in your chair or maybe simply think you’re not doing anything wrong. But it can catch up on you and not only lead to back pain but also neck pain and RSI symptoms.

If you have any niggles in your back, arms, neck then it might be time to look up some strengthening exercises. If you don’t like going to the gym then some simple hand weights or home videos can help. One of the easiest DVDs available is this one . The work rave software mentioned in the first post is also relevant for reminding us to take breaks and stretch.

However if you have had pain for some time, it’s probably time to go to a physiotherapist. Ignoring writer-related injuries may make them harder to combat rather than them just disappearing. All of us deserve to spend some money and time looking after the vehicle we spend the most time in: our bodies.


Alexandra reviews for Chicklish, the teen books website, works in financial services and writes in her spare time. She has zero tolerance for slouching and bad posture in front of the computer...

7 comments:

Caroline Green said...

Thanks Alexandra. You're so right about that furious typing when you're writing an exciting bit! All good advice here.

Luisa Plaja said...

This is brilliant! Thank you very much, Alexandra.

Neezes said...

Good stuff, thanks! Yes, when writing at home many of us probably do things that emplyers would be slammed for - bad seating, monitors small/at bad angle etc. And breaks!

Taking time out to do some stretching/yoga/running about is probably really good for the creative process too - I find that I think better when I move! Unfortunately I have the ubiquitous caffeine habit too.

MorningAJ said...

I blame laptops!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the comments.

Neezes, good point, indeed some time out is also good for many reasons!

Alexandra

Leila Rasheed said...

I've been getting up and doing a hundred skips between writing sessions. It's easy and quick, no equipment to set up, and it burns calories and gets the circulation going (good if you get cold hands and feet when sitting and typing for too long).
Leila

Peter said...

This is something so important for those who sit long hours.
Always good to move around one in a while to get the circulation going.