Freelance Writing And Your Health

by WorkFromHome on June 8, 2011

Freelance writing is a very lucrative way to earn a living from home. However, there can be some draw backs to this type of work if you are not careful to take care of your health. You can avoid these health issues by taking a few precautions every day. This will ensure that you remain happy and healthy and able to continue working from home.

Posture

One of the worst things that can happen to a freelance writer is to come down with a sore lower back, restless legs or sore wrists associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. The good news is all of these problems can be avoided completely.

To start, make sure you have an ergonomically correct chair to sit in when you are writing. The chair should be adjustable for height, seat tilt, back tilt and have adjustable arm height. Every person is built different, so your chair should be adjusted to your exact proportions.

The seat height should allow for your feet to rest comfortably on the ground. The seat cushion should be tilted to meet the back of your knees without creating pressure. If the seat does not meet your knees, it should be adjusted forward until it gently meets them. Arm height should be set at no higher than your waist. The seat back should have the lumbar support tilted to meet the curve of your back. This is proper positioning to work at a computer and will make a significant difference on your health. Poor posture will lead to aches and pains, making creativity a chore.

Move Around

It is very easy to become so engrossed in your work that you do not leave your chair for hours. This is not good for your body. To ensure correct circulation and to avoid restless or sleepy legs, you should rise from your computer at least once every 20 minutes, even if it is simply to walk around your desk and seat yourself again.

Take a break from your computer for at least half an hour once every 3-4 hours. This will give your eyes time to focus on something other than a computer screen. It will also keep you from becoming too lethargic from sitting for long periods.

Avoid Mindless Snacking At Your Screen

One of the drawbacks of working as a freelance writer is the access you have to your snack cupboard. Mindlessly snacking while sitting in front of the computer will lead to a larger waist line as well as take away from meals enjoyed with family and friends. When you are hungry, get up and make yourself lunch. Eat it away from the computer and enjoy your meal.

Dealing With Seclusion

One of the hardest parts of being a freelance writer working from home is seclusion. Being by yourself for many hours a day, several days per week, takes its toll on your health. While there are ways to communicate from home, such as social networking sites, it does not provide the same health benefits as human interaction.

At least once a week, in the middle of the day, make it a habit to go out of your home and do something that allows you to interact with others. A trip to the local café, a visit to the park, or even a grocery excursion will help break up the monotony of being at home and writing.

Many freelance writers often return to office work because they miss the human interaction. While the freedom to work from home was very beneficial to them financially, it was not enough to conquer the loneliness. Taking the time to meet with friends will help you stay on track.

Coping With Workaholic Syndrome

The last health issue that many freelance writers face is the tendency to over work. This can quickly lead to burn-out, although many writers do not see this until it is too late. It is very important that you set guidelines for yourself regarding the amount of time you work each day and how many days per week you are willing to dedicate to your profession. At home writers often find themselves sitting in front of a computer for 18 hours a day, simply because it is there.

While it is not uncommon to have to put in extended hours occasionally to meet a deadline on a project, which happens in the regular workforce also, it should not become a common occurrence. You must tell yourself just because the keyboard is there does not mean that you should be using it all the time.

You will know when you have been putting in too many hours when the creativity stops flowing and you find yourself mindlessly staring at the computer screen. Often this is the death of a writing career.

You must remember that you decided to work from home as a way to be able to enjoy more time with your family and pursue the things you love.

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