Calling all writers – are you sitting comfortably?

back pain,stiffness,computer,exercises,writing,working,osteopath

Do you spend most of your working day hunched over a computer?

How many times have you stood up from your desk after a long work or writing session and groaned from a sore, stiff back? I do that several times a day and was delighted when new guest poster Aaron Hopkins offered to to share his advice with us on how to overcome this pesky problem…

Firstly I want to thank Suzan for allowing me to contribute to her site and hopefully help our fellow writers keep fit and healthy so you can do what you do so well. I would like to give a shout out to my osteopath Michael, he is a great osteopath and if you live in or around Watford or Bushey in Hertfordshire, UK, and have back pain I would encourage you to visit his clinic.

Are you a sitting duck for an attack of back pain?

If you’re anything like me, you will spend most of your day sat hunched over staring at a computer screen. I work part time for an IT company and spend the rest of my time indulging in my passion for writing. Combined this means I spend most of my day sitting and inevitably I am rarely sat in a way suitable for my back.

A few months ago I was getting a little pain in the centre of my back so I searched for back pain remedies online and after some reading ended up going to see my osteopath Michael in Watford, Hertfordshire, UK. He took one look at me and advised my continued sitting in a hunched position was the root of the problem and gave me some exercises to do which I want to share with you today as I am sure I am not the only one to have back pain.

When we writers sit down to write our next masterpiece rarely do we think about how we are sat, how far away is the keyboard, is the seat the right height, are we sitting with our backs into the chairs or leaning forward. These are all questions we forget to ask ourselves when we’re up against a tight deadline – however they are so important to remember.

I can’t stress this enough: take a break.

The best piece of advice I was given was to stand up at least once an hour and with your arms outstretched in front of you, turn to one side to stretch out your spine and lower back. Hold the pose for the few seconds and then repeat 3 to 5 times each side.

Next raise your right arm over your head to the left and lean to your left side, then do it the opposite way with the other arm. This will stretch all sorts of muscles in your back and alleviate some of tension that will have arisen while you were sitting down.

back pain,stiffness,computer,exercises,writing,working,osteopath

Back stretching exercises like this are good to do when you finish work

When you are done writing and finally put the laptop away (because you have to do that, regardless of how hard it is to do and trust me I know) it is a good idea to get a yoga mat out and do some full back stretches, like in this picture on the right. The key is to stretch out the muscles that have been kept tight all day.

Swiss Ball exercises are a favorite with many of my writer friends, if you’re not sure of the name you will have almost certainly seem them, they are the big balls you can sit on. They are perfect for exercises to stretch out the back and re-align the spine. This site has some good tips for using a Swiss Ball.

Lastly if you’re like me and really struggle with lower back pain, I would encourage you to take a look at these Youtube videos. I do these exercises regularly and they work well.

blog,writing,news,blogging,posts,articles,Suzan St Maur,,how to write betterI hope these tips have given you some ideas and moreover have shown you that as a writer you’re not alone with your back pain. Keep well and keep on writing, everyone.

Image source.
photo credit: vasilisvg via photopin cc