We as bloggers and artists, despite what many people think, put a lot of strain on our bodies in our line of work. The strain comes from hours hunched over our desks, over-working our wrists, and sitting all day in a chair. Pain may not be an immediate result from this type of lifestyle, but over time, it will set in and take a toll on our bodies. Below are the four most common health problems bloggers and artists have, and solutions to fix, or prevent, the damage they cause.
Carpel TunnelI've had carpel tunnel since I was about twelve years old. It came after too many art and writing projects and got progressively worse as my school career went on. When we spend years typing, drawing, painting, carving, sculpting, and doing other such creative activities, we can cause damage to our wrists and hands. There are special tools that can help prevent discomfort.
Ergonomic tools are a go-to for helping people with carpel tunnel syndrome and even arthritis. If you're a blogger, you need an ergonomic keyboard wrist rest to take the strain off of your wrists from typing. If you're an artist, you need an ergonomic grip for your pencils and pens. There are specially made paint brushes with this feature. These tools are created to distribute pressure more evenly across your hand.
Another very simple way to help deal with the strain is taking quick breaks a couple times an hour to stretch your wrists and hands. Roll your wrists in both directions, stretch your fingers forwards and backwards. Do this for a few minutes to get the blood flowing in your hands.
Combining stretching and ergonomic tools will help greatly with the discomfort that comes from working with your hands.
Neck strain is another common problem for artists and bloggers. Our workspaces are below eye-level and require us to look down, hanging our heads, adding strain to our necks. There are two simple fixes for this problem.
The first is to take frequent breaks. Roll your neck side to side and stretch your shoulders. The second is to raise your work surface closer to eye-level. By doing this, you'll not have to hang your head as low, therefore taking strain off of your neck. You can raise your computer by setting it on a small, sturdy box or even a few books. If you're an artist and don't use an easel, invest in a art desk that has an adjustable surface angle. Or, if you can't invest into an entire desk, you can get a portable desk box easel. By simply raising your work surface, you can relieve neck strain.
Circulation problems are probably the most common issue for creatives. We're most often sitting, working tirelessly without a thought of standing up, only finishing our projects. This inevitably leads to a lack of proper blood flow to our legs and feet. There are two things I do to combat this.
The first is stretching (see a theme here?). Get up frequently with an emphasis on stretching and moving your legs. Yoga is great for this; a gentle workout that provides great benefits. Or you can just turn up the volume on your favorite song and jam out for a little while. It's up to you, just get moving!
The second thing I do is use a foot roller. Whenever I'm sitting down to write or work on my art, I just place it under my feet and roll it back and forth. The way it works is by stimulating the pressure points on your feet. The one I use can also be frozen or heated to add extra therapeutic power. You can find it here.
Sitting all day also can lead to back pain. And, if you chronically sit with poor posture, it can lead to a misaligned spine. I've found three things to help prevent this. The first you've probably already guessed.
Stretching. Yup, you guessed it! Stretching and yoga will promote proper blood flow to your spine and create a strong core necessary for a healthy posture. If you're having trouble sitting up straight, you may need to get special tools to help you do that.
A posture corrector will help you sit up straight by pulling your shoulders back just enough that you can't hunch over. Or, if your lower back is the problem instead of the shoulders, you can use a tailbone pillow. This will help with hip pain as well as back pain. Yay for added comfort!
The final thing is to see a chiropractor. Many people don't like the thought of going to one, but I have had a good experience. Not only has my back pain decreased, but my neck pain as well. I highly recommend it!
There you have it, four common blogger and artist health problems and ways you can fix them. Make sure to keep your health a priority so that you can keep creating and doing what you love!
Have you experienced any (or all) of these problems before? What did you do that you found helped? Share in the comment section below and don't forget to subscribe at the top of the page to stay up to date with artist and blogger lifestyle tips!