Five Ways to Stay Physically Healthy While You Write

The writing life can be awfully sedentary. You sit at a desk, your shoulders hunched, typing, thinking, fidgeting, stressing — sometimes for 10 or more hours a day. If you’re not mindful of your posture, your breathing, your movements and your attitude, this creative act that is so vital to your mental health (writing!) can become harmful to you. And when your body suffers, your creative flow generally slows down too.

Here’s a few tips to help you break bad habits and restore your body to a more balanced state

1. Invest in an ergonomic writing setup 
OSHA’s website is a good place to start your research; you can see what an ergonomic computer desk looks like, as well as the ideal posture to limit joint, tendon, muscle, and eye stress. Once you know what you’re looking for, do some comparison shopping and purchase a desk, chair, and any necessary computer accessories (stands, monitors, keyboards, etc.)

2. Take a 10-minute break every 2 hours 
A longer break would be even better (especially if you can go for a walk, run, workout routine), though I know how it is when you’re really working on something good; you want to stay in the zone. But force yourself to take at least 10 minutes to get up and move your legs. Shake out your arms and shoulders. Breathe some fresh air.

3. Practice seated Yoga 
Yes, seated Yoga. There are a whole range of stretches and postures you can do while at your desk. So if you feel a twinge in your neck, or a strange pull in your back, or your leg cramps up — take 60 seconds to work it out. Yoga also helps you stay mindful of your breathing. Shallow breathing can often lead to lots of other physical stresses — so be alert to how your lungs are functioning.

4. Drink lots of water 
Not soda. Not whiskey. Not Red Bull. Not coffee. Water. Lots and lots of water. If you’ve got to get up to pee more often, great! Extra breaks to stretch and… get another glass of water.

5. Change up your writing routine 
If you’re always in a home-office on your computer, try writing with a pen and notepad while sitting in the park. If you’re always in the coffee shop taking notes on your iPad, go for a walk and record yourself reciting your thoughts onto your iPhone. If you’re used to slugging through a 14-hour writing marathon on the weekends, try writing 2 hours every single morning instead. You get the point. Change it up. Your body will thank you.

Source: Book Baby