Does Blogging Give You a Stiff Neck?

Filed as Features on April 13, 2008 12:19 pm

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Repetitive strain injuries are perhaps common for folks whose work involves staying in front of a computer screen for extended periods of time, among other health concerns. My most recent injury would be a stiff neck. Perhaps if you blog (or design, or write code) for a living, you would know what I mean.

The other day, I woke up feeling heavy and disoriented. And I couldn’t move my head much. I knew it was one of those bad days because I don’t remember getting into bed the previous night. That usually happens when I fall asleep too tired. What’s worse was that I had a stiff neck. And it was probably work related!

So why should I relate getting a stiff neck with blogging? Well, people who spend all day or all night doing work on blogs–which may include writing, managing, or doing back-end fixes–are likely to be prone to this. Here are some scenarios:

  1. I fall asleep on my keyboard. This usually results in me (or my keyboard) spewing out indecipherable garbage. It’s even worse if I was in the middle of an IM conversation or if it’s an email and the send button gets pressed as my head hits the keyboard.
  2. I may not hit my head on the keyboard or desk, but I could just doze off, with my head unsupported.
  3. I’m too tired to get into my usual comfortable sleeping position after a long night’s work, so I just plop into bed and fall asleep.
  4. I’m too preoccupied and focused with what I’m currently working on that I’m no longer minding my posture.
  5. Or maybe I’m taking photos to blog about, and the sheer weight of my dSLR + Speedlite + superzoom lens hanging from the neck strap is killing my neck and back.

In all these cases, it’s a matter of improper posture or positioning. I guess this is one disadvantage when you work just next door to your bedroom. The risk could even be higher during those times you decide to bring your laptop to bed to do some late readings, or maybe to save up on airconditioning costs.

I could try some of Ryan’s tips for bloggers. But the best solution here would probably be better time management. That’s one thing I really have to work on.

Any other blogging-related injuries you’ve experienced?

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  1. By GoingLikeSixty posted on April 13, 2008 at 2:06 pm
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    Related to blogging: reading RSS. Unless I catch myself I will lean forward and prop my head on my chin. About 30 minutes of that and next day stiff neck.

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  2. By Big Fella posted on April 13, 2008 at 5:45 pm
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    Mouse Finger: the last two fingers on my right hand (my mousing hand) went numb about two months ago. I figure it may relate to the hours a day I am “mousing” and my work surface and chair heights. Actually going to ask the doctor about it Tuesday.

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  3. By SEO hosting posted on April 13, 2008 at 9:06 pm
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    Two thing you can do;

    buy one of those special supported pillows for your neck. They work great.

    Second thing is try to spend sometime sitting on one of those exercise balls when you are at the computer. Maybe when you’re just reading stuff and not writing something. It’ll help your posture and strength. I’m serious.

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