Writers' Health: Health Problems, Ergonomics, and Health Tips

Indian Flag Tricolor[Post Commemorating Indian Independence on August 15, 1947]

Recently a WordPress blogger and freelance writer wrote about some health issues faced by writers, including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, muscle cramps, and something very peculiar called broad butt syndrome. She experienced a flattening of her butt due to sitting on her office chair for longer periods.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS in short is a neuropathy of the wrist, in which the median nerve (one of the five major nerves on the arm) at the wrist gets pinched causing muscle pain and weakness. The syndrome is more common in women above the age of forty.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Outline
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Though in most cases the cause of the syndrome is unknown, it is usually attributed to long term inconsistent typing. Physicians also attribute this syndrome to various other things including, obesity, pregnancy, arthritis, amyloidosis, multiple myeloma, diabetes, etc. Usually this syndrome seems to be a come-and-go type.

To avoid the syndrome, physicians recommend writers various courses of action including: wearing splints to keep wrists straight, stretching exercises, taking breaks, etc.


Microsoft has a warning label behind every keyboard manufactured by them against Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). People working for longer hours seem to be in need for specific keyboards, known as ergonomic keyboards.

Ergonomics is a branch of science that deals with designing equipments according to human needs.

Ergonomic outline
Ergonomics outline

In the picture you can see the various Ergonomic guidelines for using keyboards. Purchase an ergonomic keyboard; there are many companies including Microsoft, manufacturing them.

Ergonomic broken keyboard design

Ergonomic keyboard

Kinesis ergonomic keyboard

Ergoflex broken ergonomic keyboard

Ergoflex ergonomic keyboard black

The design of the ergonomic keyboards also vary. Some have two or three rows of keys, enabling the typist to use his hands in the way he would normally. Most of the ergonomic designs also come with a pad to rest your wrists. Check out some ergonomic designs.

Health Tips

* Follow the typing guidelines very carefully. Erratic typing is a major cause of problems.

* Because your job is writing, it doesn’t mean that you should do nothing else. Work out regularly. In fact, keeping your physique is extremely important.

* Don’t ever type for three hours together. Take a break for ten minutes every hour. But don’t extent your break times (a mistake that I do)!

* If possible, change your old keyboard and purchase an ergonomic keyboard

* While sitting and typing, occasionally stretch your hands, and walk around the room while you are brainstorming.

* Follow ergonomic guidelines: sit erect, keep your eyes in line with the monitor, have good support for your back and wrists.

History Today

India, my country, became Independent from the British Empire on August 15, 1947. We are celebrating our Independence with great gusto!

Related Entry:

QWERTY Keyboard Typing Guide

Image Credit: 

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

5 Opinions:

  1. Congratulations to your Independence Day!
    What you wrote about health is very important, especially for people who have already difficulties with their back. Stretching and getting up from the chair will take off a bit the stress.

  2. Ulla, thanks for the comment.

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  4. Thanks that was very encouraging.

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