Friday, August 12, 2016

Health Issues related to Writing

New writers beware, writing does come with some risks. :-)  Okay, this is not to be doom and gloom and no, I'm not sick, but I have noticed changes in my health mostly due to my long hours spent on the computer so I thought I'd outline them here as a warning for others to take precautions.

1.  Posture.  I used to have really good posture, a trait I acquired from four years of choir where we were required to sit up straight and on the edge of our seat. Alas, hours bent over the computer have caused me to be lazy with my posture. To rectify this, I'm trying to do stretch exercises. I'm also going to be looking into Yoga. Mainly, I just need to train myself to be more aware of the situation.

2.  Dry eyes. So I go to my optometrist and ask her about the fact that my eyes burn a lot. She put some sort of dye in them and then asked me to blink. The moisture on a normal eye evaporates in about 10 - 11 seconds. The moisture on mine evaporated in 2. People who stare at the screen for long periods of time, tend to not blink as often as they should and eventually, this will lead to dry eye. So now, I try to force myself to blink more often when I'm on the computer. I also put ointment in my eyes and I take a daily supplement of fish oil made especially for eye health. So far, I think my eyes are getting better but still....

3.  Blood clots. I don't know if I have blood clots yet, but I know that sitting for hours on end can lead to blood clots in the legs. Now that I'm out in the country, I try to get up every 30 minutes, go outside, and walk around for a few minutes. My husband got a computer stand for his desk that allows him to stand when he works. I've been considering this but I'm not sure I could type so well standing.

4.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Nope, I don't have this but my mom got it. She used to type a lot. In fact, she could type over 70 words per minute on a standard typewriter while carrying on a conversation. Me? I'm happy to type 40 words per minute on a keyboard. There's no real prevention for this but again, they say frequent breaks help and not working in a cold environment.

I'm sure there are more but this is a good start to a list. For those of  you new to writing, seriously, it's okay to take frequent breaks. Also, go outside and get some sun. Lack of vitamin D is also not good for you.


Linda LaRoque said...

Interesting post, Ciara. Did you go ahead and retire from teaching? I got one of those desk exercisers where you pedal away while typing.

Ciara Gold said...

Hey Linda, I wanted to reply but Blogger won't let me into my own account. So frustrated right now. I think I hate google with a passion but alas I'm stuck for now.

Nope, still teaching. So cool about the bike.

Ciara Gold said...

Now I really do hate google. It made me give them a phone number which I generally don't do so now, I guess I'll get lots more spam. About to consider a different blogging set up.