The cure for back pain for authors

5 Posture Tips for Writers

This guest post was written by Dr. El-Hayek, a chiropractor and content manager at spineandposturecare.com.au whose passion is helping people solve their back and spine issues.

Writing is always easiest when you are free to focus on your ideas, and there is nothing more distracting than an achy back or neck. It is easy for authors and freelance writers to develop back and body pain as a result of their writing posture. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are a few writer-friendly posture tips that you should follow to stay ache-free when writing.

Having The Right Chair

The first tip of sitting well actually has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the chair you are sitting in. Comfort is important but so is the angle in which your spine is sitting. You are looking for a chair that offers lower back support while also allowing your spine to sit straight. But even with a great chair, it can take practice to learn to sit straight. Strive to have your back rest directly on the chair and your feet flatly on the floor.

If your chair comes with an attached armrest it’s best to not use it.  These armrests tend to alter the placement of your hands and contribute to shoulder and neck misalignment.

Taking Intermittent Breaks

Just because you enjoy what you are doing and the ideas are pouring out on rapid fire doesn’t mean you should sit for hours on end. Your blood needs to adequately circulate through your body and sitting for extended lengths can result in tightened muscles and further aches and pain.

By taking breaks, you also help yourself to remember to sit properly once you’re ready to write again. So stand up, take a stretch, move around and loosen up your muscles, as it will actually help you think clearer. If you are under a deadline and have no way of taking a break, then finding a way to occasionally stand while working can help straighten your muscles as well.

Listen to Your Body

If you are writing and feel a surge of pain in a particular area, don’t take it lightly. Tend to it immediately by resting and gently massaging the affected area. When getting ready to go back to work, analyze how you were sitting and adjust to prevent your body from sending pain signals down your spine.

Your body can also tell you when you are doing things right; make sure you listen!  You might notice that you actually feel great after a day of rigorous writing. If you feel no pain and no stress after a long writing session then take the time to think about how you were sitting and try to adopt that posture for future writings sessions.

Keep a Lookout

Another important positioning tip is to position your eyes correctly. You should be eye-level with your computer screen. If your computer is too high or too low you will find yourself hunching over, which leads to all sorts of back and neck pain. For the same reason, it is also essential for writers who normally make use of glasses to write with them to prevent from from leaning in and hunching over to see the computer screen.

Hand Positioning

When sitting in your chair, your elbows should be positioned at 90 degrees with your desk. Constantly reaching out to type can cause aches to the arms, the chest and even the shoulders. This is as a result of the stress that is being put on the muscles. Having a desk and chair that work well together to make sure that you won’t have to over-extend your arms to reach your keyboard.

Conclusion

You’ll be amazed at the amount of relief you’ll get by applying these simple tips during your writing routine. The goal is to stay relaxed and focused. When we deviate from correct posture our body tenses and our focus decreases. So do yourself and your writing some good. Your body deserves it.

Dr. El-Hayek is a chiropractor and  content manager at spineandposturecare.com.au and his passion is helping people solve their back and spine issues.

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