Skip to main content

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


  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.

  3. I just came across your blog, and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed i was with the information you have posted here.
    Please, keep up with your good writeups.
    Thank you

  4. Thanks that was very encouraging.

  5. Hi,
    This is your great post.You have done brilliant piece of work.Writing the great content of blog just read these ten points.I like the people those who share the information with others.Thanks


Post a Comment

Comments are moderated very strictly

Popular posts from this blog

What Is the Difference Between Hardcover and Paperback?

Today, my reader, Rahman contacted me with a doubt:

Dear Lenin, would you explain why there are two types of books: hardcover and paperback?
This is quite a simple affair and there are explanatory articles to be found at various places on the Net. Here is my addition.


A hardcover aka hardback is a book bound with thick protective cover, with usually a paper or leather dust jacket over the main cover. The aim of hardcover is protection and durability. These books are mainly for long-term use and collectors’ editions. Hardcover books last far longer than the corresponding paperbacks. They do not get damaged easily thus making them perfect for reference guides, great literary works, etc.

In addition, there is a difference in the type of paper used to print hardcover books. The paper used is long-lasting acid-free type. Acid-free paper has a pH value of 7 (neutral) which makes it highly durable. The papers are stitched and glued to the spine.

Hardbacks are prepared for commercial …

En Dash, Em Dash, and Hyphen

We have three types of dashes in use: The hyphen, En Dash, and the Em Dash. In this post, we will see how to use them all correctly.

Hyphen (-)

The hyphen is the minus key in Windows-based keyboards. This is a widely used punctuation mark. Hyphen should not be mistaken for a dash. Dash is different and has different function than a hyphen.

A hyphen is used to separate the words in a compound adjective, verb, or adverb. For instance:

The T-rex has a movement-based vision.
My blog is blogger-powered.
John’s idea was pooh-poohed.

The hyphen can be used generally for all kinds of wordbreaks.

En Dash (–)

En Dash gets its name from its length. It is one ‘N’ long (En is a typographical unit that is almost as wide as 'N'). En Dash is used to express a range of values or a distance:

People of age 55–80 are more prone to hypertension.
Delhi–Sidney flight was late by three hours.

In MS Word, you can put an En Dash either from the menu, clicking Insert->Symbol or by the key-combination, Ctrl + Num…

What Is the Meaning of the Word 'Ghajini'? Story and Trivia of Aamir Khan's New Film [Special]

[Special Entry]

Aamir Khan's latest film is titled a little weirdly for the taste of Hindi filmgoers. 'Ghajini': They have never heard of such a name, and such a word never existed in Hindi or in any other Indian language.

The name Ghajini is the name of the villain of the film. In Tamil version, the name of the villain was Laxman.

As a Tamil moviegoer, I have already watched Ghajini and know the story in full.

So, What Does the Title Mean?

In Tamil, the title of the film is inspired by the story of Mahmud of Ghazni, an ancient invader of India. This person was so persistent in invading India that he continued trying after several failures. In the film too, the protagonist is such persistent in finding out and killing the villain of the film, who had killed his girlfriend, Kalpana (played by Asin). Aamir's Character (named Sanjay Ramaswamy in Tamil), is a short-term amnesiac, who cannot remember anything more than fifteen minutes.

You may ask then how the Ghazni became…