As writers, we’re constantly stretching our imaginations, but for as many hours--no wait, days--no wait, weeks--no wait, months-- no wait, years--no wait, decades that we spend at our computers, we really should be stretching our muscles as well. All that typing can lead to tight shoulders, neck and back strain, and headaches (and that’s before we’ve submitted our work and are stressing over what will come of it!). Here’s what I do to help with this problem:
I keep a list of stretches in my computer desk drawer that are good for the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. These particular stretches come from Bob Anderson’s book, Stretching.
I keep a timer nearby, for when I know I’m going to be at the computer for hours. I set the timer for every 45 minutes or so, then I stop and do my stretches (right there at my desk. I don’t even need to get up and it takes less than five mins—no sweat suits necessary).
I know what you’re thinking—it disrupts the creative flow, and yes, it can. However, I find that when I’m more relaxed and take care of myself, the creativity is going to come out anyway. And if I’m right in the middle of something “big”, I can reset the timer for another five mins.
I highly recommend buying Stretching, but if you can’t get a hold of a copy right away, check out this website.