Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Good Posture

I just read a book about people who choose to live almost completely in a virtual world.  (It's an awesome book, by the way, and you should definitely read it as soon as possible:  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  Trust me, it's a geekalicious dream come true.)  The main character makes several reference to the brutal effects on the body that all that visor-time creates.

And as epic as the Oasis sounds in Ready Player One, and as much as I'd love to see it and hang out there, I did find myself wondering about what would happen to my body.  Lord knows my regular old laptop has it's own nasty effects.

As writers, we're all at risk for Repetitive Stress Injuries, from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, to potentially career-ending neck, back, and shoulder injuries.  Now, if you're anything like me, you're willing to put up with some minor aches and pains if it means you get to put words on the page, but I know that minor aches and pains can become much more serious over time.

So, I've started taking active steps to prevent those kinds of injuries.  One happy thing I learned recently is that reclining is one of the kinder postures for computer use, and I loves me some reclining.  In fact, if I could get paid to recline, I think I could go pro.

But it's not enough.  So I'm also using my husbands pull-up bar to do some standing rows every day.  I learned some wonderful, simple exercises for the neck and shoulders from a Physical Therapist.  I try (try, mind you) to stand up straight.

Theresa Walsh, at Writer Unboxed, wrote a fantastic post about ergonomics for writers.  I'm not doing enough, I know it, but it's better than doing nothing, right?  If you're serious about a career of this, I would definitely recommend looking into ergonomics.  Heck, if you're getting paid, you're going to need some write-offs anyway!


Francene said...

I must look into ergonomics. I think I'll check out the one you mention as soon as I finsih this comment. I've noticed latley my neck arches forward. Some of the effect is due to the aging process, and we're all aging no matter how young (although I'm actually OLD)byt the other part must be influenced by the constant craning to concentrate on the screen. Right, shoulders straight -- recline.

Liz Czukas said...

Thanks for stopping by Francene!

Leslie Rose said...

I will find myself all cramped up after a writing session. I need to be more "posture aware." I did buy a new desk chair recently that has really helped.