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Hand and Wrist Health for Bloggers and Freelancers-Guest Post by Susan Smith-Grier

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Hand and Wrist Health for Bloggers and Freelancers {Guest post by Susan Smith-Grier}

Anyone whose work depends on their hands needs to take special care of them. Great musicians, artisans, even some doctors and surgeons, dentists and others take out insurance policies on their hands in the event that some unforeseen catastrophic event should render them disabled. In these cases, even a sprained finger can be a catastrophic event. As a freelancer, you too need to take special care of your hands as they are the tools of your trade. True, you can depend on one of the many dictation programs to do the writing for you, but those can be very cumbersome and learning how to use them efficiently can be a pain.

hand exercises for bloggers

Repetitive Strain Injury
Did you know that improper technique in using the keyboard, mouse or clicking can cause Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) which can be incapacitating? This condition can lead to tissue injuries affecting your muscles, tendons and nerves not just in your hands, but also in your
forearms, shoulders, and neck. Untreated RSI can cause weakness, numbness and possibly affect your motor control. And you thought carpal tunnel was bad!

Musculo-Skeletal Disorders
There are a wide range of Musculo-Skeletal Disorders(MSDs) associated with computer use.These include RSI, Cumulative Trauma Disorders, muscle sprains and strains, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. In fact the list of MSDs is quite long encompassing a great variety of painful conditions. Muscle fatigue, spasms, numbness and pain are indicators of a problem.

Prevention is Possible
Consider yourself a good candidate for any of these maladies if you are dedicated to your work, i.e. you work long stretches of time with few breaks, your posture leaves much to be desired or your technique is lacking. The good news is, you can prevent them or at least mitigate problems by taking a few precautionary measures. If you take the time to make a few changes in a routine that is unhealthy, you can save your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck and back from unnecessary pain and strain.

Practice good posture. It’s never too late to learn to correct your posture and this will make a big difference in how you feel at the end of your work day.

Take frequent breaks.You’ve heard this time and again. Unfortunately we get on a roll and don’t want to take a break. Take the break anyway. Your hands and the rest of your body will thank you. By the way, staying at the desk and surfing the net or playing video games does not count! Get up and move.·

Learn proper techniques. Well, if you’ve been working on a computer for a while, you may have already developed some bad habits. Still, it’s worth the effort to relearn how to do it correctly if you want to save yourself some pain.

Invest in ergonomic equipment. You may not be able to start out with the optimal setting for your workstation. You may be relegated to a TV tray and your laptop, but as soon as you can, make the investment in a setting that is ergonomically sound even if it’s only piece by piece. You’ll be glad you did.

Exercise your hands. You’ve probably seen people joking around doing finger exercises in lieu of sit-ups. It turns out that exercising your fingers and hands will help keep the MDSs at bay when used in conjunction with the other preventative suggestions. Anyone who works with tools is wise to take good care of them. You protect your computer and do everything you can to make sure it stays healthy and in good working order.

Your hands are your tools so taking good care of them is crucial to your success as a freelancer

susanFreelance Writer, Speaker and Storyteller. Susan Smith-Grier is a stay at home daughter helping to care for her aging mom. She is also staking her claim in the world of freelance writing which affords her the freedom to be a caretaker. She enjoys the variety of assignments from articles to poetry. Susan is also working on a novel, a book of short stories and a compilation of poetry. Connect with Susan on LinkedIn.

About Becky Flansburg

Becky Flansburg is freelance writer, blogger and virtual assistant living in Northern Minnesota. A dedicated mom to two beautiful kids, her veteran blog Franticmommy.com is filled with laughter and love about the joys parenthood. Becky is also committed to helping women realize their work-from-home dreams, enjoy life beyond the cubicle and find clarity in the work/life/family balance. Connect with Becky via her website, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest



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