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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WRITERCARE: Sitting is a Pain

By Elizabeth Knowles Palladino



As a writer, it is probably a given that you sit for hours in some kind of office chair. This can definitely cause low back pain or worsen back problems you already have. It is no secret that pain or discomfort lowers concentration. Obviously this will impact a writer’s ability to turn out a decent manuscript.

Sitting in general, especially if you slump or slouch, increases stress on the back, neck, shoulders, arms, and legs. It adds large amounts of pressure to your back muscles and spinal discs. What is a writer to do?

First of all, stay active and generally fit. Do exercises that strengthen your core—your abdomen and back. Always use good posture when sitting. Distribute your weight evenly, keep your feet flat on the floor, and do not slouch. Change your position often. At a bare minimum get up and stretch once every hour. More often is better—try adjusting your position every 20 to 30 minutes.

Make sure your chair, desk, and monitor are ergonomically adjusted to improve comfort and minimize lower back issues. Just purchasing an ergonomic chair is not enough. Visit www.spine-health.com/print/wellness/ergonomics/office-chair-how-reduce-back-pain for specific guidelines.

Low back pain is a leading cause of employee sick time. Don’t let pain make you call in sick for your writing career.♥



Elizabeth Knowles Palladino lives in Kingston, New York, where she works in health care and writes medieval romance. She writes a monthly WriterCare column for the RWANYC newsletter.

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