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6 Health Risks That Being a Writer Puts You at and How You Can Prevent Them

23 February 2023

If the sound of tapping on the keys of the keyboard feels like music to your ears, we can tell that you're a writer. Writing is an art, and writers are artists who know the game of expressing their thoughts and opinions through words in a truly impactful way. Many people may think that they can write, but they don't know that writing is so much more than writing college assignments.

If you're passionate about writing, you're among the lucky few who get to earn from something they're truly passionate about. Writing is one of the best skills to help you make good money.

However, like with every profession, consistency is the key. If you fail to get fresh, high-quality content regularly, you may not be able to make as much money as you would like. And when you're writing every day, you spend a lot of time sitting in front of your keyboard or laptop, typing away at your keyboard for several hours every day!

Now, look at it this way – you spend a lot of time indoors, sitting in front of the computer, doing little to no physical activity, and having absolutely no physical interaction with people. Does this routine sound healthy? Well, not to us!

Being a full-time writer puts you at risk of numerous health conditions. There are many risks involved with being a professional writer. But hey! Don't worry. There's a way around it. This blog post will explain all the risks that come with being a writer and how you can prevent them.

Health Risks Associated with Being a Writer

Many people may see a writer's job as 'pretty simple and basic,' where they don't have to do anything much. After all, it's just writing, right? Wrong. As much as a writer's job may look simple and easy, not only does it exhaust one mentally, but it's also physically risky as a writer's job puts them at risk of numerous health conditions.

Below is a list of the biggest health risks associated with being a writer:



1. Posture-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders

One of the biggest risks that a writer is at is the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. If you're a writer, you might be spending many hours a day sitting in front of the computer with absolutely no physical activity. When you're in a flow, you may lose track of time and may not realize that you've spent several hours writing. Now, being seated in the same posture for several hours puts you at risk of getting your back, neck, and shoulders strained. You'll first experience pain in the lower back, neck, and shoulders, and if you don't address these problems on time, you may end up with long-term complications.



2. Weight Gain

When you've got tight deadlines to meet, you may not have the time to take lunch breaks even. You may be having your meals at your workstation. This means you're consuming calories but not burning any, which can lead to weight gain. Burning calories is important because if you don't, it won't be long before you start heading toward being obese.



3. Chronic Diseases

Lack of physical activity also puts you at risk of developing long-term chronic diseases. Since you spend most of the time sitting in front of your computer, the blood circulation gets affected due to immobility which puts a load on the heart and puts you at risk of heart diseases like hypertension and stroke. Lack of physical activity also reduces insulin sensitivity, increasing the risk of type-2 diabetes.



4. Eye Strain

As a writer, most of your day is spent typing away on the keyboard while you stare at the computer screen. Looking at the computer screen for extended durations causes eye strain. The computer screen emits blue light, which is extremely harmful to the retina. Prolonged exposure to blue light can lead to macular degeneration and cataracts. And when you're typing, you blink less, which can dry your eyes and worsen the damage. Moreover, the screen brightness and flicker fluctuation can also cause headaches and migraines. If you don't take it seriously, you may suffer from blurred vision and weakening of eyesight.



5. Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive motions such as typing put you at risk of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Being a writer means typing for hours at a stretch every day. You strain the same place when you use your hands to type continuously. Now, look at your hands when you're typing. Do you rest your wrists on the keyboard and rub it across as you type aggressively (as the creative juices flow)? If yes, know that you're at a high risk of compressing the nerve that passes through the wrist and developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This condition is characterized by a numb or tingling sensation in the hands and fingers, making typing uncomfortable and painful!



6. Mental Health Problems

Writing is one of those jobs that doesn't require much human interaction. Even if you go to the office, you'll be pretty much seated at your workstation most of the day. The lack of human interaction, physical activity, and exhaustion can all result in severe mental health problems like stress, anxiety, and even depression.

How to Protect Yourself from Risks Associated with a Writing Job?

We, in no way, mean to tell you to stop writing. Writing may be your passion, a job, or a hobby. Whatever you take writing, you can't deny the fact that you spend a lot of time in front of your computer and are at risk of developing health conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle and excessive computer usage.

But the good news is that you can protect yourself from all these risks and ensure your health, safety, and well-being. This is how:



Setup an Ergonomic Workstation

Setting up an ergonomic workstation should be the first thing you should do if you're a full-time, professional writer. An ergonomic workstation will encourage you to sit in the correct posture, which will reduce the risk of posture-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Start with investing in an ergonomic desk such as Pro Plus Standing Desk (E7). Even if you use a laptop, an ergonomic desk will ensure that your laptop is placed at the right height for you so that you don't have to sit with your back curved, head bent, or shoulders slouched when you type. The reason is that the ergonomic desks come with an adjustable height feature that allows you to lower or raise the desk's height as per your preferences.

The next thing that you need is an ergonomic chair. If you use a laptop to write, the chances that you're working from your couch or bed are high, which will cause you a lot of harm in the long run. An ergonomic chair will ensure that you're seated at the right height with adequate support to the back.

Your best friend here would be an ergonomic keyboard. Using a regular keyboard will increase the risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome massively! A regular keyboard isn't designed to encourage a natural placement of hands on the keyboard. An ergonomic keyboard features a unique design that makes way for the natural placement of the hands. You're able to place your hands at angles that don't strain your wrists. Another good thing about ergonomic keyboards is the padded wrist support that prevents strain on the wrists and also prevents the compression of the nerves passing through the wrist region.

The next thing you need to do to ensure good ergonomics is to position your computer screen at the right height, distance, and angle. You can ensure this by installing an adjustable monitor mount. This would reduce eye strain and also cut down the risk of retinal damage and weakening of eyesight.



Wear Glasses

Wearing glasses will protect against the blue light from the computer screen, which is responsible for eye strain. With the eye strain reduced, the chances of headaches, migraines, and weakening of eyesight will be significantly reduced.



Meet Friends and Spend Time with Family

Not interacting with people will affect your mental health, as we've already explained earlier. It's important to set a routine and set a day or two for family and friends. Take a break from writing, go out, laugh, talk, and have fun. Keep the human interaction element alive in your life!

Closing Word

As much as it's hard to take a break from the computer screen when you're in a flow and deeply immersed in writing, you must make it a practice to take breaks every few hours, even if it requires you to set alarms. With a proper ergonomic workstation and regular breaks, you can ensure that your love for writing doesn't cost you your health and well-being!