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June 28, 2011

Healthy Writing

Don’t move. Stay exactly where you are. Take a stock of your posture right now as you read this post. Are you sitting on your bed hunched over your laptop? Sitting at a desk but slouched down in your chair (my personal favorite)? Or sitting upright, weight equally distributed on both hips in an ergonomically-designed chair? If you are like me, you seldom find yourself in the third position. Your spinal cord is a bundle of nervous tissue. It has several functions but the main one is that it transmits neural signals between the brain and the rest of the body, including pain signals. The spinal cord is encased in and protected by the spine. No wonder that, if you don’t take care of your spine your general health can be adversely affected, not just by chronic back pain but general malaise and even depression. This is a bit of a departure from our normal discourse but still very important to all us novelnauts. As writers we spend a lot of time behind our computers or over books and if we don’t pay attention to our posture our health will be affected. Here are a few tips. When you sit: Your back should be straight and your buttocks should touch the back of your chair. Your weight should be distributed equally between both hips. Your knees should be bent at right angles. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Finally, be sure to get up and move a bit every 30 minutes. Best wishes for a healthy back!

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