Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Pains of Blogging

The title could be misleading, but I prefer to keep it. Hehe I haven't felt pain in my shoulder - not until I've spent long hours in front of the laptop - blogging. Yup, I'm talking about physical pain, not the agony of waiting for the google check to arrive, site visits to rise, site PR to increase, layout beautification, not-to-mention having to compose entries, review each line for errors, and polish them so they would come out with enough sense to be made available to the public. Now those are really important things and could be painfully time-consuming, but I'd like to talk about physical pain.

Normally, during the day, I merely create ideas in my mind while I'm in the office. When I get home, that's where the execution starts. I spend long hours in front of the laptop before and after dinner - to check mails, visit my social networking sites, and work on my blog. A large amount of time is attributed to blogging.

According to, poor posture is the main cause of shoulder pain. Some of the principle causes are:

* Poor arm support
* Working by keeping your hands away from your body
* Pain in the neck muscles
* Forward leaning
* Sitting too low
* Improper chair height
* Desk or keyboard tray too high
* Poor typing techniques
* No elbow supports

I may have all of the above. haha The workplace that I have in my room needs a heavy dose of some ergonomics make-over... and I need to check my posture. Good thing I read the article, now I can do something about it.

If you're experiencing the same pain, here are the suggested tips to make your blogging (or office) life less painful:

  • If your armrests are too high you will be raising your shoulders up and creating pain. Thus, check to see if your armrests are at the proper level. Adjust your armrest so that your shoulders are completely relaxed and elbow rest comfortably on armrests. Don't set it too low, or you'll create pain in the elbows and lunar nerves.
  • Moving and clicking your mouse frequently when it is too far away can create shoulder pain. So keep your elbows close to the sides of your body. This will reduce the strain on the muscles and relieves you from pain.
  • Sitting too low can cause continuous contraction of the shoulder lifting muscles. This causes disturbance in the flow of blood which in turn leads to more contraction, and the muscles spam and cause pain. So adjust your chair height.
  • Position the keyboard lower than elbow and some distance away from the computer user, tilting the head downward at the monitor and supporting the weight of the arms can lower the risk of shoulder symptoms and disorders.

I am now aware of the real causes of my shoulder pain. I could blame blogging, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to have proper posture in the first place. It also helps if I change my position from time to time. Dr. Shelley L. Jones (PhD, RN, COHN-S [Certified Occupational Health Nurse Specialist]) said it best in these lines:

Many people experience some discomforts as they work. This is usually because they stay too long in one position. It is important to vary your work tasks so that your muscles have an opportunity to recover periodically. Holding a muscle in one position too long allows waste products to build in muscle tissue. This is called static load. Static load is what happens when you carry a sack of groceries out to your car. The farther you have to walk, the heavier the sack begins to get. So it is with any kind of work that you do. The longer you stay in one position, the longer more static load you have. This leads to the aches and pains that you may be experiencing in your office work.

I just hope my shoulder pain will go away now. I'm heading to the gym tonight for some workout. But that's another story. Happy blogging! =)


xgenesis007 said...

I must admit it does demand long hours of sitting watching the screen and checking everything online. But I think a better exercise could help. Trying yoga or pilates.

wen said...

yah, you're right. thanks, xgenesis! :) i actually would like to try pilates... :) i went to the gym yesterday and today, though. did some cardio and 'fought' with the other equipment/machines. it helped a lot. the shoulder pain's gone! :) that, or my body's now numb from any minor pain attacks. haha =D