You could be a graphic designer for some good reasons – personal reasons, freedom of creative expression or as a casual career in a creative supermarket – but one thing you must never overlook is the health expense that comes with it.
It seems easy being a designer, once you have stablished your creative experience with flowering portfolio and clients start pouring in. But as they say, if graphic design is getting the best of you, instead of you getting the best of it, then it might be high time for you to pay attention to your corporeal aspect which is the only one that connects you physically to your creative tangible world – your body.
Common health issues confronting creative individuals, more in particular, graphic designers are the tango of two things, sitting and staring. Sitting for long dragging hours for others and staring at the computer monitor for a very long time. Check out below for common health issues associated with this creative discipline.
1. Back Problems. Around 10% to 15% percent of reported back strain due to wrong sitting posture, long immobile sitting position and lack of exercise.
2. Eye Strain. Long and enduring creative warfare might not be conquerable with eyes being unguarded and not given enough protective arsenal. 13% percent of those at the creative market complained for eye strain.
3. Headaches. This is concomitant with eye strain, wrong sitting position and some other factors. Blood circulation needs to as effortless to the body as possible. But with prolonged sitting position, air supply to the brain is hampered.
4. Obesity. As obvious as it seems. You won’t be burning that much calories pressing your nose against a monitor and heating up you butt at a regular eight hour daily interval.
5. Stress. Dealing with fastidious client, or fastidious self, will definitely let the stress bug crawl up and munch on your happy bones. Besides, doing the same charade 8 to 10 hours a day seems to give you some emotional rust.
6. Sleep Disorder. Blue Light it seems to give you the blues of your off hours. Studies have shown that continual exposure to bright light of a screen tricks the brain into thinking it is still a big day light for you.
Because we like what we do as designers, but more often, creativity absorbs us like a blackhole that nothing escapes away and pull our attention towards the center of our computer monitor. Bad thing, because we forget the essential things in between – good posture, proper breathing, healthy meals and perking up.
We’re so passionate that we make every bit of our creative salad bowl gets absorbed and become part of every fiber of our emotional and physical being. Unfortunately, some toxic elements gets absorbed as well.
No worries, we’ve got some troubleshoot to loosen up some rust and shake off the stress bug out of your day.
Exercise, eat well, good posture, proper lighting, proper equipment such as ergonomic mouse, keyboard and chair. Above all these, exercise is prime. Take time to move your body. 8 to 10 hours of sedentary lifestyle on a daily basis is a new smoking as they say. Thank yourself of a 30-minute brisk walk daily.
You have to do something about this. Because this is one of the lingering issues with long-term graphic design gig. Having your back comfortably rest on an ergonomic chair is good enough. It lets the weight of your upper extremities be distributed and shared by the backrest. You may want to juggle up between working while standing or be at your best posture while working.
Being yourself while working is good, but being with perks that gives you a lift is better. Talking to someone after a long while of creative battle is a great psychological breath of fresh air. So, get social – I don’t mean social media – don’t get me wrong, its quite different. But be sure to put people back into there box after few breaths of fresh air.
We all know that everything is in vain without this single thing – purpose. Have you experience staring at your computer monitor not knowing what to do? You feel like there is nothing at the end of the balance to catch your hard work? Purposeless, drifting like a piece of log in river current. This thing might rare it’s ugly head once in a while.
This might be placed at the shape-up in this series, but I would like to put a good emphasis on eye care and protection. Believe me, in graphic design or in whatever design you are in, your eyes is your best bet. So, gear up your eyes. Put on glasses that blocks significant amount of bright light, especially blue light as they say without compromising your design visual requirements.
Remember, being a designer might not be the most hazardous among any other jobs in the industry. However, the problem with things that is not so obvious is its subtle effects on your mind and body as time goes by. And at the end of the day, the life you save maybe your own.
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