Welcome to The Blog Report

I'm so glad you stopped by and hope you find this blog an interesting read. I've been blogging since April of 2006, currently the author of six public and two private blogs. In the beginning I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. Over the years through trial and error, frustration and elation, and a few tears I've learned a lot. However, the learning process when it comes to blogging continues to evolve. Here you will find a hodge podge of my blogging experiences, useful codes and how-tos, sprinkled liberally with my opinions. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blogging and Blogging Related Injuries

Can blogging cause physical injuries?  The answer is a resounding yes!  The issue of repetitive stress injury is seldom discussed when it comes to blogging but if you think about it bloggers are very much prone to suffering repetitive stress injuries affecting their wrists and hands.  The repetitive movement of typing alone can trigger or worsen carpel tunnel syndrome.  Bloggers are also prone to other blogging related injuries such as eye fatigue and/or strain from spending so much time in front of a computer screen, neck and back aches and pains due to extended periods of sitting quite of with poor posture, as well as leg problems from sitting too long.  Surprisingly, blogging can really increase your stress level resulting in stress related problems such as poor digestion, irritability, and stress headaches.  In addition to these potential health problems, blogging is a sedentary activity that promotes a sedentary lifestyle through prolonged periods of physical activity.  A sedentary lifestyle is fraught with all kinds of health related problems including obesity and heart disease.  With this in mind there are several things you can do as a blogger to minimize the risk of blogging related injuries:

  • repetitive stress injuries - Any time you are repeating the same movement over and over again, you run the risk of incurring a repetitive stress injury.  Blogging by default uses a lot of repetitive motions through the use of keyboard and mouse.  The key is to minimize possible strain while using both keyboard and mouse.  There are special keyboard pads to support your wrists to minimize strain.  Of particular concern is if you are a blogger participating in any ad networking requiring a large number of clicks per day (eg. Entrecard) the muscles and tendons in your wrist and most likely pointer finger depending on how you click your mouse is going to get a real work-out that can result in soreness, redness from inflammation and possibly a tingling feeling signalling this activity is irritating nerves as well.  At the risk of permanent damage, you are further off to stop the clicking activity entirely however, there are ways to do this type of clicking activity while minimizing the problem.  Use a brace on your wrist and keyboard support.  Don't try clicking all 300 at one time.  Break it up throughout the day so as to give your hand and wrist a rest.  Try using your other hand for some of the clicks.  Take frequent breaks from typing and clicking as well.
  • eye strain - Use an anti-glare shield on your computer screen.  Adjust your computer screen to reduce glare.  Take frequent breaks.
  • back and neck strain - Reduce both back and neck strain while at the computer by using good posture.  Take frequent breaks.  The human body was designed for movement!  I take a break every 15 minutes and quite often an extended break where I'm away from the computer for several hours at a time doing other activities.  I also do stretching exercises throughout the day to help prevent muscle strain.
  • stress -  Stress when blogging is going to come from a few sources all of it manageable.  For example you sit down to blog knowing you need a blog post that day and your blog host is down.  The bottom line is you can't do anything about it and while it is annoying move onto something else blog related like editing pictures or do something entirely different.  Another example of stress is when you've been doing a fair amount of work on your blog design and you just can't get it right.  Stop what you are doing and walk away.  A fresh set of eyes in the morning will likely help and if you are still having problems do a Google or ask another blogger for help.  The third type of stress will come from others leaving comments.  First always moderate your comments to prevent spam or any nasty comments from being posted.  If the comment is hurtful, nasty or in anyway stressful to you, hit the reject comment and move on.  Finally coming up with blog fodder can be stressful itself but if you just relax and don't force it the blog fodder will come to you.
  • sedentary lifestyle - While blogging is a sedentary activity it does not mean you have to live a sedentary lifestyle.  For example, you could blog for a couple of hours in the morning then go for a 30 minute walk as well as doing a lot of other activities throughout the day that do not involve sitting for long periods of time.  Again, break up your blogging sessions so you aren't sitting for more than 15 minutes at a time.
A special note on pain killers:  The tendency for many including bloggers is if pain starts take a pain killer.  This is the wrong approach!  Pain is your body's signal that there is something wrong.  Pain killers mask the pain causing you to continue what you are doing actually causing more harm.  The best strategy is to stop what you are doing.   Rest awhile or do a different activity and relieve the pain using non-medicated means.  When the pain has diminished resume what you were originally doing prior to the onset of the pain.  If the pain returns, troubleshoot to get to the source of the pain.


2 comments:

Chick Geek said...

I'm myself used to think that "repetitive stress injuries" and "carpel tunnel syndrome" are both myths. I'm using a computer since 1993 -m aybe i'm just too your for any syndromes, but that's 17 years and a lot of typing included... I remember my hands getting a bit numb when i typed like 20-25 A4 pages a day during high school, but my legs or arms would get into the same condition if i went on a hike or something. When muscles are bulding up due to repetitive activity, they hurt. Hands do absolutely the same.
And eye/back/neck strains, don't have any of that either. Currently i'm spending like 6-8 hours per day working with computer. It's just a matter of a comfortable chair and often shifting a position you sit in helps too.

Garden Gnome said...

I don't think either is a myth as there is medical evidence supporting both. It stands to reason if you are doing the same thing over and over it could cause injury. Some may be more prone to repetitive stress injury as well. I personally have an injury that causes my pinky and ring finger to be tingly or numb quite often so can relate to others having similar type injuries. You are right that shifting position helps. Frequent breaks helps prevent strain as well.

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