Writing is a dangerous business. And I don’t mean dangerous in the fact that you have to know all sorts of weird, random facts, like how long a person could be knocked out, or that you might have to ward off crazy fans. I mean that writing is dangerous because it can be physically dangerous. There are a few ways that writing can be dangerous to your health.
1. Sitting Too Long
Lots of studies done nowadays have shown that sitting for extended periods of time is unhealthy. The Mayo Clinic wrote that sitting for too long can lead to increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased body fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels, as well increasing the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer (the full article).
Clearly, sitting, as almost silly as it sounds, is dangerous. So what is a writer supposed to do? After all, to type on a computer, you have to be at a desk.
True, but you don’t have to be sitting. One solution to extended periods of sitting is to use a standing desk or higher counter space. My dad and I made me a standing desk, and it is super cool!
If you want to know what we did, just comment and I’ll share with you!
When using a standing desk, make sure that you use it properly. Otherwise, you can mess up your back, neck, and such. Your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle when you type, and your eyes should look at the top 2-3 inches of the screen without looking up or down. This does mean that you need an external monitor or keyboard.
I read somewhere that your sitting to standing ratio should be 1:1 or 2:1. So, I’ve also invested in a chair high enough for my desk. There are lots of different chairs out there, some of which are designed more ergonomically than others.
Another solution is to periodically, such as every half hour, take breaks and intentionally move around.
2. Eye Problems
Writing can cause damage to your eyes. When you look at a screen, you’re eyes aren’t moving or blinking as much. This lack of motion and blinking can lead to eye strain and other problems.
A solution? Practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes, look twenty feet away for twenty seconds. I set a timer on my laptop for every twenty minutes and then stop and look away when it goes off. If you try that and find that you just stop the timer but don’t look away, there are programs you can install that “freeze” your computer every twenty minutes for twenty seconds to force you to stop writing and look away. You could also combine with this the problem of sitting too long make sure that you move every twenty minutes.
3. Sleep Problems
Writers often write before bed. And as I’ve stated before, writing involves computers and computers emit blue light. Blue light affects the body’s melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep, and sleep cycles.
Not sleeping is a serious problem. And not getting quality is a serious problem as well.
What is the solution for this?
Well, the easiest would be not write near your bedtime. Try writing in the mornings or afternoons instead. Another solution is to turn up the night light setting on your computer, which causes the computer to emit more orange light rather than blue light. You could also invest in blue light filtering glasses.
Something I do want to note quickly is that blue light isn’t entirely bad. The Harvard Medical Journal noted in their article about the affects of blue light on sleep that blue light is helpful during the daytime hours.
So, writing is dangerous. Not only do we writers have to know how to defuse bombs (it’s for our characters of course), we also have to be aware of our own health. Writing can be dangerous, but there are simple, easy plenty of ways to avoid the dangers of writing.
Stay safe, friends! Until next time!