Monday, December 09, 2013

Writing May Be Harmful to Your Health

Writing seems like a fairly harmless activity. When you think about it, you aren't climbing mountains or running into burning buildings to save small children. No...all of that action is saved for the fictional characters you're creating.

But writing comes with its own set of risks. There are the many health issues associated with sitting all day--in fact, a recent study found that sitting too much doubles your risk of dying. (Although I'm pretty sure we all are going to die...eventually...right?) Standing desks have been thought to alleviate this risk, but no scientific proof exists that it does. So to lessen your immediate risk of dying, experts advise to stand up every 15-30 minutes or so and walk around. For a writer, getting up mid-thought can easily mean taking a wrong turn in your carefully crafted work of art.

I learned last week there's another risk associated with writing too much. It's a risk I never thought of. A ganglion cyst on the inside of my palm. It's a little lump you can't see but you can feel. When I first felt a lump on my hand, I thought what every writer thinks...


But I did what everyone does these days. I Googled "lump on hand" and found out about ganglion cysts, which in traditional days were cured by slamming a bible on the affected hand. Today, doctors just leave it alone and eventually it goes away. That's what I learned when I went to the doctor. I also learned that ganglion cysts are often caused by overuse. Typing can definitely cause one...especially if you're writing 1,000-5,000 words a day as I often do.

So...the moral of this story? When you write like this...

There WILL be consequences


  1. The biggest issue with me is my eyes. I think computer screens have dulled my vision...

    Hey Stephanie, you commented on my blog a while back. I have a horror thriller out in e reader format that I'm looking to get reviewed. If you're interested, I can send it to you for free.

  2. The other risk of sitting down a lot? Your butt spreads, lol! But I do spend quite a bit of time snuggled into the corner of the couch tapping away at the keyboard. =(

  3. Oh gosh! My carpal tunnel gets inflamed from writing. My doctor said he suggested writing less. I said there's no way that can happen! So I just live with it! Sitting down doubles my risk of dying?! Hmm...does working out for an hour reduce that risk? LOL.

  4. I actually read that working out once a day doesn't combat the negative effects of sitting all day. From what I read, you need to get up and walk around at least once an hour, maybe once a half hour. It has to do with the way the tissues and muscles settle around certain parts of the body. But I don't think standing all day or even walking all day would be good for the body, either. Maybe what we need is a combination...somehow... When I had a job where I didn't sit all day, my job involved crawling under board meeting tables to lock down laptops and that wasn't good for me, either. Life is rough on the body, I guess!

  5. These days, you could use that voice program to talk type while you are peddling along on your Exercycle or jogging on the treadmill. Although, I have that program and found that I write far differently than I speak.

  6. Definitely my eyes. And probably my shoulders. I have to actively remember not to slouch during the day lest I turn into Quasimoto!

  7. I knew typing a lot can cause you arthritis in your hands or carpal tunnel. Never thought about it giving you cysts. That's kind of scary. (Still going to write.) Still a frightening thought of what else can come from typing a lot.

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  9. Yes, writing is bad, studying is bad, reading is bad. To much blog
    of them, I want to say. That is just because we put too much pressure on some systems of your organisms.