Posture: for writers
Writers spend a lot of their time sat down – I do at the very least. Sat down at their computers, laptops, with their note pads.
According to some research done and explained to us via the BBC it’s not a good thing to be sat at your desk for too long. No surprise there really. We knew that it wasn’t good for you, for your posture, your health or your waistline, but findings reveal that office workers are ‘too sedentary’ and are particularly prone to sit for long periods of time without moving – only getting to their feet to visit the bathroom or make a cup of tea/coffee. Many office workers even eat at their desks.
Writers like office workers are prone to suffer for these long hours of sitting. True writers can be more flexible (they can pace the floor while thinking or editing even); and they may not sit down for hours on end day in day out. A lot of research is done out and about, a visit to the library, museums or the place where your novel is set. There’s also times when you meet and greet fellow writers like yourselves. And we have the tendency, especially if we work from home, to procrastinate and do that little bit of housework that needs doing. Or more positively when we take a break we can do some housework or whatever, to get our bodies moving.
However, we must and do spend a large amount of time sitting at our desks with our computers (or note pad depending on how you like to write) actually physically writing. Putting words on the page. And when you really get into it, time easily gets away from you and the next moment you look up hours have flown by with you just sitting.
What’s more where we sit can have a huge effect. Office workers have to sit in chairs at their desks. But writers working from home well we can write from wherever we want. At our desks, on the sofa, in bed. Wasn’t it Marian Keyes who used to write everything snuggled up in bed? So for writers it can be more than just sitting down for long periods of time which can affect our postures, it’s also where you sit and therefore how. On the sofa/couch or in bed you naturally slump. At the desk you are forced, I feel, to sit up straighter.
For the past few days I’ve been sitting on the sofa, as primarily I’m making notes and doing research, but my back now is hurting, so I’ve brought myself to type at the table.
What can we do?
Have a break. We all know how important it is to take a break, but it’s equally important to take a break from sitting. Get up, stretch, move around.
Stretch. A couple of stretches every now and again even while sitting can help posture.
Posture. Sit up straight.
Stand up when you can. When you’re on the phone, making brief notes etc.
Go for a walk. I know we’d all love to have the time to go for a walk, but time doesn’t always allow us to. Even if you just walk around your house or around the local area for ten minutes or so can work wonders not just for your posture or waistline but also for your creativity.
Split up your chores. So you have to go the library, to the shop, to the dentist, whatever. If you can split these chores up and try to do one a day rather than all in one afternoon. This then doesn’t take up a whole afternoon, and it gets you away from the computer (great), standing up (great) and moving around, burning calories and improving posture (great). It can even be household chores, like the ironing or vacuuming.
If nothing else think of this: “It’s about changing attitudes to how people behave at work and changing the culture of the workplace that just means moving around at little bit more, even just standing up can make a big difference to calories burned and how alert, creative and productive you are.”