Do you ever wake in the morning with a crook in your back, neck, or wrists? You think maybe you slept wrong or you lifted too many weights at the gym. Or maybe you blame it on your dog or your cat because they were hogging your side of the bed. Whatever the reason, you’re uncomfortable.
Then it happens again the next day, and the next.
This happened to me and it got me thinking–why? My bed was fairly new and I wasn’t lifting any more weight than I usually do in my exercise routine, so why did my muscles ache? Then I had another idea: I boiled one of those mouth splints thinking I was grinding my teeth at night–which I probably was–but even after wearing it to bed I still had pain the next morning.
What was I doing? All I did most days was sit and write, edit, post, tweet, text, and leave a FB status–how grueling was sitting?
I decided to research the ergonomics of writing posture. It turns out that my POSTURE has everything to do with my problem. No wonder I hurt every morning. Writing is a career I want to enjoy for the rest of my life, so I need to fix my problem. Soon. Maybe you do, too.
Think of how much faster we could write if we were sitting properly.
Here’s a suggestion: Have someone take a photo of you while you’re working so you can SEE your real posture.
This is how I look. It’s scary to think of how I’ll look in ten years or twenty!
This is what I discovered in my research:
Seventeen Things You SHOULDN’T Do When You Write
- Rest your hands on your computer
- Lock your elbows
- Type with your laptop in your lap
- Look down at your computer
- Minimize your font size
- Let your cat lay across the keyboard
- Write for hours with no breaks
- Use arm rests while typing
- Keep your monitor to the right or left while typing
- Cross your legs or ankles
- Sit on the couch
- Use a laptop for long work periods
- Tuck your legs under you
- improperly alignment your arms to the keyboard
- Keep a space behind my back and the back of my chair
- Keep anything less than a 90 degree angle with respect to arms, legs, and shoulders
Twenty Things You SHOULD Do When You Write
- Set a timer so you know when to take a 15 to 20 minutes break
- Do shoulder rolls and neck stretches during the break
- Keep your wrists level
- Keep the monitor at eye level
- Keep your computer screen at an arm’s length away
- Keep your back and buttocks pressed against the back of the chair
- Keep the monitor in the center line of vision
- Keep feet flat on the floor or elevated if possible
- Invest in the proper chair that’s adjustable and fits to your desk
- Sit at a desk
- Relax every muscle you aren’t using
- If you only have a laptop consider plugging it into a different monitor so it can be raised to the right level
- Consider using a mouse instead of the laptop’s touch pad
- Think 90 degree angles – your spine to your bottom, your thighs to your lower legs, from your elbows to your hands
- Keep your back against the seat
- Make yourself a laptop docking station
- Use a different keyboard than a laptop
- Search for the right desk-chair combo that suits your body type
- Keep your tummy relaxed–let it all hang out. (This is the only time it’s allowed.)
- Align wrists and forearms
Have someone take your photo while you’re writing. What does your posture look like? Does it need improvement? Send me your photo. If you dare!