Do you consider yourself a healthy blogger?
How long have you been blogging?
I’ve been blogging for two and a half years.
In that time, I’ve experienced health trouble and I’ve read about health trouble other bloggers have experienced.
I believe, as do others whom I will cite in this article, these health concerns are a direct result of blogging.
This post will list some of those conditions both physical and emotional, why they are caused by blogging, and explain how you can avoid being affected by them.
I am certainly not a doctor. However, in this article, I will explain what helped me return to being a healthy blogger and what has helped others.
If you want to be a healthy blogger, read on.
Do you have any of these physical or emotional conditions?
Blogging Causes Health Problems
Blogging Causes Physical Problems
First, obesity can be a problem. If people are intensely focused on the article they are composing, they may not realize how much they’re eating while sitting at the computer.
Prolonged sitting, of course, means less calorie burning which can also lead to increased weight gain.
Also, blood circulation can be a problem. I’ve read about bloggers who had poor blood circulation due to sitting at the computer too long blogging.
Bloggers have reported eye strain from staring at the computer too long or the smartphone performing blogging-related tasks.
In the time I’ve been blogging, these are the health problems I’ve experienced:
- sleep deprivation – Okay, I admit it. On many occasions, I had so much fun blogging, I didn’t stop until late into the night even when I had to go to work the next day.
- dehydration – A water break? Don’t be silly. I’d have to take my hands off the keyboard and stop blogging!
- poor posture – I am always hunched over my laptop.
- backaches – I get these when I sit too long.
These are health problems the following veteran bloggers have experienced:
(When discussing burnout) Walking away may not be appropriate for everyone but I find that if I don’t, I start to get physically ill from being in front of the screen too much. Sitting for hours is so bad for us and I feel health has to come before anything else. – Source: Gilly Madison
Bloggers don’t bathe, get dressed or see sunlight… for days. Straight up. I am pasty white from lack of sunshine, I smell because I haven’t bathed and I am not sure how many days I have spent in my pajamas…
Bloggers have trouble sleeping at night. You wake up at night with a new idea or you are too excited about a new project or you are checking to see how your latest post is doing. Source: Elena Peters
A long-awaited specialist appointment (now waiting for more, er, stuff and trying new, er, stuff) opened and reopened my eyes. No worries, it’s not fatal, to the best of my knowledge, it just feels like it’s killing me… I need to take a break and focus on my health. I need to find new ways to de-stress. I’m just not well enough to continue now. Source: Donna Parker
(Note: While doing research for this article, I asked Donna if blogging caused her health condition. While she didn’t indicate it was responsible, she admitted blogging may have exacerbated her condition.)
Blogging Causes Emotional Problems
Bloggers report that emotional health suffers as well as physical health when you blog.
Blogging is addictive. When you first do it, you feel like you’re standing naked (sorry for the visual), exposed… You have to silence your inner critic (she’s just jealous). Source: Donna Parker [So Long and Thanks for All the Fish]
Bloggers are constantly having to fend off bloggers’ envy. Everyone else has awesome blogs… but you, you, will always feel subpar. Source: Elena Peters [The Ugly Side of Blogging]
It’s really hard to stay motivated when you don’t get in return what others get, every like and comment at times can raise your heartbeat or ease the pain… I will be lying if I say it’s all that rosy, it’s not for faint-hearted people. When you open up about your life to people, they have their own views, interpretations, and, at times, criticisms, and if you can’t handle them, it’s not a place for you. Source: Chhiti [How to Have a Popular Blog, and Should You?]
For many of us, our business is about putting others first; helping them to fulfill their needs and achieve their goals. There are few feelings better than knowing that you have helped another person in a huge way. But when this becomes the norm, when our own needs take a back seat, so to speak, how can we avoid the feeling of constant burnout? Source: Elizabeth Bradley [Self-Care for Entrepreneurs]
Solutions: How to Be a Healthy Blogger
How I changed my behavior and became a healthy blogger:
- I asked for an Apple watch as a gift. It tells me when to stand and breathe and how to meet other fitness goals.
- I set a reminder to hydrate on my iPhone.
- I routinely stretch many times a day.
- The Pomodoro Technique says to stand 10 minutes per hour. I used to set this time on my phone until I received the Apple watch. Now the watch tells me when to stand.
[Related: 19 Strange Ideas That Will Amplify Your Productivity gives more information about the Pomodoro Technique.]
How other people changed their behaviors and became healthy bloggers once again:
- A tip from my husband was that I stand up on my toes and lower my heels back down again to tone leg and calf muscles and to keep the blood circulating in my legs. I do 50 repetitions of the toe-heel exercise every 30 minutes unless I get up for other reasons. Some people hold the back of a chair to do this exercise, a better way is doing it without holding on so that we improve the very important ability to balance.
2. Another tip I read was to drink more water so that you have to get up and go to the bathroom more often.
3. If you are watching TV, use the commercial breaks as your cue to get up and move.
4. You could schedule some household chores in between blogging ones to keep you moving.
5. My best days for not sitting are the days that I cook my blogging recipes.
6. Of course, the usual activities like use of the stairs and not the lift is a good one for me as I live on the second floor and I never use the lift.
7. Office supply companies are now making desks that can be lifted up so the worker can stand to do their work. Others are combining desks with treadmills.
Source: How Blogging Relates to Our Health by Kathleen Aherne
The DivasRunforBling blog has solutions to many of the medical concerns listed in this article:
8. Water is so important to help keep your body functioning and I always make sure to have my water bottle handy so that I can be sure to drink enough each day. Also, a lot of times we think that we are hungry and eat some snack when we are really just a little dehydrated and need to drink water.
9. Whatever it takes to get away from the computer, even if only for a few minutes at a time. This means that I have to make myself get up and move every so often (usually once an hour or so). Source: 10 Smart Strategies to Stay Healthy at Work
The Listiller blog suggests,
10. If you sit in front of a computer most of the day, or you’re always looking down at your smartphone, you should stretch or do yoga regularly to correct the issues that extended periods of sitting can do to your back, neck, and legs.
According to Katie Hanes, a health coach,
11. It’s so easy to push that workout off the schedule when life gets busy. Perhaps you need to get that blog posted, and that spin class is one of the first things to get cut. But, regular exercise is one of the most important habits you can cultivate as an entrepreneur.
12. The INC blog recommends putting a single post-it note in front of you when you blog that says, “20-20-20.” This is a reminder to stop work on your computer every 20 minutes and stare 20 feet ahead of you. The blog insists this technique will stop eye strain.
How to Be a Healthy Blogger
If you are a blogger who has not experienced any of these health problems, you might one day.
If you already have health problems caused by blogging, you are in good company.
However, while blogging can cause health problems, they are easily rectified.
Are you ready to be a healthy blogger?
For example, you can set an egg timer to make sure you don’t sit too long, get in a water break so you stay hydrated, stand and walk around so you don’t wind up with blood circulation problems.
Other than the minimal cost of an egg timer, these are all free tips.
Even the emotional problems described here– blogging envy, burnout, and low morale– are at least eased when you realize you are not alone in these emotions. We have all experienced them. I have quoted some of the most successful bloggers I’ve met, bloggers with longevity. They, too, have experienced these emotions.
Readers, please share so other bloggers know how to remedy any health problems that arise and can become healthy bloggers.
Have you experienced health problems caused by blogging? How did you solve them? I look forward to your answers in the comment section.
More information on healthy living can be found at Digital Health Post.