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View Full Version : Writing vs. Your Back



BMoon
11-18-2008, 07:51 PM
Does the act of writing actually hurt your back? I have back issues from time to time, and thought I'd see what kind of advice people have for healthy back care while you are seated for long periods of time. Feel free to add your bits of knowledge to this. Who knows? You might help someone out.

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I find my back hurts a lot less when I sit without relying on the back of the chair. Putting my feet under my chair and keeping from reclining forces my posture to be much better when writing.

kuwisdelu
11-18-2008, 08:10 PM
I tend to write on a reclined chair with my feet up and my laptop on my lap. I suppose that doesn't help if one has a desktop.

scarletpeaches
11-18-2008, 08:11 PM
This is why I could never go back to a desktop. I can sit on the floor, crouched over my laptop, or sit it on the coffee table, or sit the computer on my knees while I'm on the settee, or put it on a desk.

With my Neo I can write in just about any position I find comfortable; same for pen and paper.

As long as you change around every so often, to prevent cramp. And woodworm.

mscelina
11-18-2008, 08:12 PM
Me, couch, heating pad, pillows under feet and legs, laptop computer--two daily doses of morphine, four of percocet, three of norflex.

Yeah. That's how a writer with the world's most expensive spine has to write. Occasionally, I can sit at my desk, but not often.

writerterri
11-18-2008, 09:58 PM
My back doesn't hurt if I have the proper drugs chair. :D

I have terrible back problems! I have recently moved and I have no chairs and am forced to write from a foot stool.

It'll do!

When I do have a chair I usually have to put a small pillow in the small of my back but only if I'm going to be there a while.

If you can afford one, get a custom chair. They're the best.

Oh, and take some motrin to reduce the inflamation.

scarletpeaches
11-18-2008, 09:59 PM
Or get drunk.

writerterri
11-18-2008, 10:02 PM
:ROFL:


You people are funny today!

scarletpeaches
11-18-2008, 10:02 PM
Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.

writerterri
11-18-2008, 10:10 PM
I'm hangin' with the peach.

Clair Dickson
11-18-2008, 10:36 PM
Make sure you're sitting with good posture. When I'm typing, I rarely sit against the chair back. I slide forward on the chair and sit up straight while typing away. A pillow against the chair can help. Think of those ergonomic kneely-chair things...ah, here we go.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kneeling_chair

I'm one of those strange birds that finds curled up with my laptop to be dreadully uncomfortable. I can't stay bent over it,and even the position is wrong for screen viewing.

Good posture may help. And maybe some things to strengthen your back? If nothing else, slowly increase the time your sitting. Don't ignore discomfort. But push yourself a little bit longer, slowly getting your body used to proper posture. (The vast majority of chairs we sit in all day are really bad for posture... and most people even walk around in an S shape-- genitals thrust forward and shoulders hunched.)

seun
11-18-2008, 10:43 PM
I get grief from my neck (which is because my head is weighed down with so much hair). Can't say I have back issues from writing, though.

Shail
11-18-2008, 10:49 PM
I get aches in my low back. Serious suggestion: What I find useful is to get out of the chair, lay on the floor on my back, and stretch. Then I do a few yoga twists, and back arches. Try the cat series. It only takes a few moments, and then you're back in the chair working again. This is also a good time to get a drink and snack. Proper fluids in your tissues will help with the stiffness. Also, use the potty. Waste build up will contribute to stiff muscles. It's okay. I'm a massage therapist. Trust me. ;)

Thomas_Anderson
11-18-2008, 11:03 PM
I've never had any issues. I usually sit with my back to my chair's back, in a reclined position, sometimes resting my feet on the desk or any nearby perch. When I first start a session anyway. Once i get some omentum and really get into the story, I rely less on reclining and sit straight.

Sunnyside
11-18-2008, 11:24 PM
I'm terrible. I sit in a standard office chair -- one I bought at Costco, with the tall padded back and arms -- but then I bend one leg at the knee and pull it up underneath me and sit on it. When it goes to sleep, I switch feet.

But hey, I've never had back problems!

SPMiller
11-19-2008, 12:38 AM
You should take steps to improve your working area to minimize the damage to you in several ways. For example, long periods of time at a keyboard can also cause carpal tunnel. Otherwise, Shail is absolutely correct. To recap:

1) writing can hurt your back, and
2) you should stretch to eliminate the pain.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 01:15 AM
I get grief from my neck (which is because my head is weighed down with so much hair). Can't say I have back issues from writing, though.

Your sudden appearance on AW arouses me.

HeronW
11-19-2008, 02:21 AM
Bungee chairs are expensive but are very good for people with back problems. Having the screen high enough so you don't need to crane your neck alleviates pain too. Ergonomic keyboards that make the hands tilt ///\\\ vs ||||||| are also better for the shoulders. Frequent breaks, non-reflective lighting, & staying hydrated lowers stress and that reduces muscle tension.

Fullback
11-19-2008, 03:47 AM
I have a herniated disc that never seems to get better, so I can appreciate the frustration from the pain. Here's something that will sound completely mad and bizarre, but it works for me.

Find two small empty and capped PET Coke bottles. That well-known Coke bottle shape is important. Have someone slide them symmetrically between your shoulder blades with the small end down and at an angle like this: \ /. You'll know when they are in the right position. They should not be down to your lower back. They are to position your upper back away from the seat back and into a straight posture that relieves the pain in your lower back.

I know it sounds crazy, but you'll be shocked at the relief it gives.

BarbaraKE
11-19-2008, 04:55 AM
I'm terrible. I sit in a standard office chair -- one I bought at Costco, with the tall padded back and arms -- but then I bend one leg at the knee and pull it up underneath me and sit on it. When it goes to sleep, I switch feet.

Sunny - that's exactly how I sit!! Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Though sometimes - like right now - I sit in a yoga position. It's actually very comfortable, forces you to sit straight.

TrickyFiction
11-19-2008, 06:04 AM
Get an office chair with good lumbar support. :) I went to the store and sat in all the pricey ones. The one that felt right on my back happened to be one of the cheaper ones. And when I use it, my back stays mostly comfortable. It also helps to change positions often. Sit at the edge of the chair for a while, then lean back: that sort of thing.