Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

How To Be A Happier, Healthier Blogger

158962685 7D88120C2A BCan Blogging Be a Health Hazard? If so, how can you prevent it happening to you? In this guest post Lea Woodward from Location Independent explores how to be a happier and healthier blogger.

Ok, so you might not think that blogging is a health hazard but it’s not so much the act of blogging itself that can cause health problems – it’s more to do with the fact that sitting for hours on end in front of your computer blogging or reading blogs, can play havoc with your health.

Some of the more common problems experienced by bloggers (and anyone who spends hours at a computer) are…

  • Eye strain – from tired eyes to those whose eyesight has deteriorated noticably from spending hours in front of the computer screen (perhaps similar to Darren’s problem a couple of years ago)
  • Structural or muscular problems – such as chronic neck ache, increased back ache and RSI.
  • Energy slumps – from needing several hours and multiple cups of coffee to get you going in the morning to those pesky mid-afternoon dips when all you feel like doing is taking a nap.
  • Disrupted sleep patterns – for bloggers who burn the midnight oil blogging late into the night or can’t get to sleep and spend time surfing the blogosphere into the wee small hours.

Whoever said blogging was good for you, eh?

So, if any of these problems sound familiar, here are some things you can try to help you become a happier and altogether healthier blogger:

  1. Always take time to look away from your computer screen regularly. There is a fantastic exercise from the field of natural vision correction which I personally use, called “palming”. It can help ease the chronic strain in your eyes and is great for relaxing tired eyes. Here’s a guide of how to do it.
  2. Regularly stretch your body if you spend long hours sitting at a desk. When some muscles become stronger and tighter than others from being in one position for hours at a time, this results in the postural imbalances that can cause rounded shoulders, hunch backs, tight hip flexors (the ones used when raising your knees up to your waist) and problems with tight lower back muscles. Aim to stretch any muscles that feel tight on a regular basis at intervals throughout the day – it may well be worth consulting a qualified trainer to design a proper stretching protocol for you, especially if you have back, neck, shoulder or other long term problems and chronic pain.
  3. Energy slumps are usually caused by blood sugar imbalances. Typically, too many carbs (bread, fruit, veg) at lunch in proportion to protein (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) intake can cause a spike in your blood sugar leading to a drop – the energy slump you feel. If you feel drowsy 1-2 hours after your meal, this could the likely cause. Try playing around with the ratio of your meals – so if you normally have a heavily carb-based lunch, try adding a bit more protein and see how you feel. Protein helps slow down the absorption of carbs and can help stabilise your blood sugar. Similarly, if you eat too much protein and feel sluggish, try adding a few more carbs to your meals.
  4. Sleep is crucial to good health. Numerous studies have shown how disruptions to sleep patterns can cause long term health problems – and these include going to bed too late, getting too little sleep and generally any disruption to your natural circadian rhythms (sleep patterns). An ideal rule of thumb is to aim to get to bed by 11pm every night to maximise the time your body has to regenerate and heal itself (typically between 11pm and 2am). Whilst the odd late night won’t hurt you, on a long term basis it can result in niggling health problems that never go away, an inability to lose weight, increased stress levels and impair the body’s ability to heal and recover.

As a former health coach and personal trainer, I can’t say I always follow my own rules (I’m writing this at 11pm!) but health is just one of those things…you don’t miss it until it’s gone; so get into some good habits now and see how much more of a successful blogger it makes you!

Lea Woodward is a location independent business coach & consultant. She runs her businesses whilst traveling the world and can currently be found sunning herself on the Caribbean island of Grenada. Next stop? Party time in Dubai. Read more about Lea on her personal blog, or find out more about her location independent lifestyle here.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I try to stretch every hour. It takes me about 30 seconds but afterwards my mind is more clear and I feel better.

    After a stretch I get a lot more done.

  2. One extra important tip.

    If possible, blog by a window.

    The natural air that trickles in does wonders for your lungs.

    Also the natural light is more harmonious that just florescent or incandescent.

    If there is too much sun, just pull down the shades , you will notice a nice glow that even makes your screen look better

  3. This is a very good advice Darren. Bloggers have the liberty to work at the any hours they want. Chances are they have an rratic work schedule and can get into a habit of erratic sleeping hours.

    Lack of timely sleep screws the body natural rhythm and cause various other problems like backache, something I experienced myself.

    After I palnned a proper schedule and took enough sleep, this issue disappeared automatically. So come what mey, dont ignore the beauty sleep! :)

  4. Very good advice on a very important topic, Lea… and something I would like to see discussed more often.

    I remember too well working at my computer for 8, 12 or more hours a day when I was just starting out in this business and then having a doctor suggest that I would need carpal tunnel surgery for the damage I’d done to my wrists.

    That smartened me up! I did everything I could to avoid the surgery – massage, stretching, ergonomic keyboard and mouse – and got lucky.

    I no longer take those chances and have built an ergonomically friendly office and much healthier blogging / business routine… ’cause there’s not much point to working that hard if your body is wrecked and you can’t fully enjoy your time off.


  5. These are great advice but I believe that the biggest problem is in concentration.
    We all get so involved in blogging and reading that we lose track of time and we fail to do any of those healthy things we could do… I sometimes even find myself in cramps because I forgetting to go to WC…

    so I decide to put my alarm clock to ring every hour and then to force myself to take a break, drink a glass of fresh water (very healthy!) do some exercise and all other things my body needs… I hope it will work!
    I’ll include your suggestion for sure!

  6. Much needed post for full time bloggers. I take a short 5 minute walk every now and then. When i work long hours i go for a sleep.

    But I will never miss my post lunch sleep and that’s my real boost

  7. I eliminated caffeine and am much happier for it.

    Tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks and chocolate share the same nerve toxin (stimulant), caffeine. Caffeine, which is readily released into the blood, triggers a powerful immune response that helps the body to counteract and eliminate this irritant. The toxic irritant stimulates the adrenal glands, and to some extent, the body’s many cells, to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream.

    If consumption of stimulants continues on a regular basis, however, this natural defense response of the body becomes overused and ineffective. The almost constant secretion of stress hormones, which are highly toxic compounds in and of themselves, eventually alters the blood chemistry and causes damage to the immune system, endocrine, and nervous systems. Future defense responses are weakened, and the body becomes more prone to infections and other ailments.

    The boost in energy experienced after drinking a cup of coffee is not a direct result of the caffeine it contains, but of the immune system’s attempt to get rid of it (caffeine) An overexcited and suppressed immune system fails to provide the “energizing” adrenaline and cortisol boost needed to free the body from the acidic nerve toxin, caffeine. At this stage, people say that they are “used” to a stimulant, such as coffee. So they tend to increase intake to feels the “benefits.”

    Since the body cells have to sacrifice some of their own water for the removal of the nerve toxin caffeine, regular consumption of coffee, tea, or colas causes them to become dehydrated. For every cup of tea or coffee you drink, the body has to mobilize 2-3 cups of water just to remove the stimulants, a luxury it cannot afford. This applies to soft drinks, medicinal drugs, and any other stimulants, As a rule, all stimulants have a strong dehydrating effect on the bile, blood, and digestive juices.

  8. That’s a long first sentence. lol
    Good tips, but you left out depression. :p

  9. Let’s not forget proper supplementation, which can do wonders for overworked bloggers.

  10. The eye-strain is the biggest problem for me. I tend to get so focused for so long, I find my eyes starting to water and problems seeing clearly.

    This forces me to back off for a while. But I’m getting smarter. I’d thought maybe my eyes were just drying out, and remembering to blink often seems to help quite a bit.

    Also, getting away from the screen by taking short breaks is good. I used to have a built in timer for doing so as I used to smoke and would be compelled to step outside on the porch for a cigarette every hour or so.

    Now that I’ve quit, I’ve lost my break timer. Maybe I’ll try setting the alarm clock like one of the commenters recommended.

  11. Great post! This is one of those topics that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. With people spending more and more time in front of their computers (blogging and otherwise), the health effects can be damaging.

    Personally, I’ve noticed that I have a harder time reading what’s on my computer without my glasses, something that didn’t bother me a year ago.

    I guess blogging can really be hazardous to your health! :-)

  12. Re: Sleep is crucial to good health


    What a good warning. In the past few weeks I’ve been working very-very late and I’ve been completely energy-less by 1pm. I’ve certainly been making a crucial error and that’s to sleep at 2am. Now I know why I was feeling the way I was. I was completely drained.

    For years, I’ve been trying to reverse my sleeping pattern and go to bed at 11:30-12:00 and get up earlier, but I’ve really not been committed to making the changes. The fact that I know have read from you point #4 that the body heals between 11pm-2am … I really need to get serious about this because if we’re not healthy and happy…we cannot blog effectively.

    That’s another point … the lack of sleep really made me grumpy and moody and I’d even say that it coloured the way I saw challenges.

    Thanks for a great warning.


  13. at the moment I am spending all day at work on my computer and then I come home to work on stuff. So as I am going full-time online next week I am writing myself out a day plan with multiple rest breaks, and a lot of exercise to make sure I don’t get any of the things you have mentioned.

  14. Meditation is a great way to bring back mental balance and relax the mind. I think it helps improve sleep.

  15. Great guest post Lea. I agree with you that blogging disrupts sleeping habits but it really depends on the blogger. We have to be patient in taking enough time to get a break just to rest our eyes.

  16. I get up and walk around the house every 20 mins or so of working in front of the PC. Either to get a snack, some fresh air or just to break the blogger’s bloc.

  17. Great tips here, Unfortunately, circumstances dictate that 10pm-1am are my most productive times. The last child is asleep by 8:30-9PM, then an hour of house cleaning. Then my time begins. Around 1AM the little ones tube feed is done. Then bed time. Of course that is an average night, some are worse.

  18. Thanks for all the great comments everyone – and other helpful suggestions and tips.

    Health is such an important, complex and sometimes intimidating issue that it can be hard to write about in a way that is useful and positive to as many as possible (without also sounding preachy!) – we’re all individuals and we are all the experts on our own body….we just need to listen to what our body is telling us and then take action.

    (Un)fortunately, we’re all such passionate bloggers that we sometimes ignore the warning signs and put the blogging first. Keep your own personal tips coming!

  19. Oh dear, and as I type I’m sitting in bed with my laptop at close to midnight eating mini cheddars.

    I actually think that laptops are hazardous to your health. At least with your desktop you inevitably get tired of sitting upright, and start to feel lonely by yourself in your office.

    With a laptop you can easily rejoin the household and not feel lonely any more and then find yourself working silly hours because you can lie down when doing it!

    I do have a great tip though for introducing regular breaks. Get two young children to constantly interrupt you ;-)

  20. Great post. Eye strain is a big problem for me. I tend to get those red veins in my eyes when I have been on the computer for a long time.

  21. Very good tips and interesting blog

  22. I can attest to the value of eye exercises and occasionally getting up from the desk/laptop.

  23. This is an excellent advice !

    This morning at around 9:00 a.m. my daughter came to my room and said, ‘Daddy, today is Sunday, you should spend more time enjoying the sun and good food outside with mom. You have been working long hours with your blogging in front of the computer since 6:30 a.m. Go out stretch yourself, have a very nice breakfast and have a good time.’

    Upon her advice, I went out with my wife going to the church, seeing some new model homes and have a very good lunch together.

    My daughter reminded me of what my family doctor told me yesterday Saturday about symptoms such as stiff neck and tennis elbow pain recently developed in my body. For sure they are associated with my blogging in front of the computer. In the daily blogging as blogger we are so much involved and we are carried away…. simply forget the time …… hours and hours. Sometimes, from morning to dinner time or even deep into the night . It is the passion over what we are doing that have made us working so involved. In our situation it is blogging. We blog the things we love.

    At times, I remind myself to think outside of the box. Get the mind think beyond the computer may make our work including blogging more productive and efficient. After all, our health body and mind is the most important.

    Thank you for the excellent post.


  24. I might add a bit to this conversation.

    Get out and hit the gym a few times a week. I noticed that when I started blogging full time, that I started to gain weight. I put on about 15 lbs. in a span of 3 months and that certainly could lead to potential problems later.

    Just recently I purchased a subscription to a local gym and have no cut back about 7 of the 15lbs. I’ve also noticed an increase in my energy, mood, and have even picked up a few blog ideas while working out. It seems that exercising your muscles may indeed exercise your brain as well.

    Get up, get out, and get active!

  25. Blogging is addictive. It’s even worse for those of us who have a full time job and suddenly find that blogging is taking most of our free time. Not good… We all need to put together a schedule that includes exercise and time with our family, and then stick to it. And avoid at all costs the most time wasting activities: checking stats and endlessly tweaking the blog’s template.

  26. I start my morning off with a couple 8 Minute Workouts to get my blood flowing (after chasing my toddler around and getting the baby changed). Also, I find that my kids keep me looking away from the computer constantly and I spend less time online with them begging me to play with them.

    As for the sleep thing . . . I usually surf at night because the baby is up . . . so that´s more of a parenting hazard than a blogging one!

  27. I find that some of my best blogging work is actually done away from the computer. Taking a walk and just thinking about all the ideas you have can help them come together better than sitting in front of the computer screen. My best posts always come after walks – not after having been in front of the computer for hours.

  28. I spent alot of time on computers. From few days, I have a problem of Backpain.I will follow your tips, it will surely helps me alot.Thanks for giving us wonderful tips. Keep going on

  29. If you are working on a computer you will unfortunately suffer from back pains or neck pains. You can’t do much about it. But your useful tips will slow them down. The time you spend infront of the computer shouldn’t be more than 6 to 8 hours per day in my opinion. (i spent much more though)

  30. Let’s see…eye strain? Check. Disrupted sleep pattern? Check. Back pain? Check. Yup, guilty as charged. Hopefully, I’ll get a decent computer desk and chair in the next few months. Until then, I’ll need to stretch every once in a while. =)

  31. I think a nice thing is to switch from a chair to one of those big balls on a regular basis, you sit different, are always moving and train your back muscles in the meantime.
    There are plenty of things you can to for let’s say 3 or 5 minutes that will greatly reduce your stress level while improving your health.

  32. I was just thinking about that the other day – how blogging or sitting in front of a computer for so long could have an effect on my overall energy.

    One of the commentators above mentioned blogging by a window – that’s a good one. My computer sits right next to a window and so I open the blinds the minute I start blogging to let the light in.

    I also go to the gym in late morning to take a break and recharge myself (though I don’t do it enough).

  33. I don’t agree that spending lots of time in front a pc has to equal some element of back or neck pain.

    I spent at least 8 hours a day in front of my machine and then often I swap to my laptop for a couple of hours also.

    In over five years I’ve not once had a back ache or neck ache.

    Maybe regular breaks are the key…as mentioned I have two young children (3yrs and 6yrs) and therefore I have to constantly take breaks all day long.

    I only work 8 hours a day, but that time is spread between 9am and 10pm, so you can see how many times I’m getting breaks to do other things during the day to split up the sitting/working time.

    I also feel that exercise will have a substantial effect ….I should imagine that good supporting muscles along with good posture will go a long away to avoiding issues.

  34. @Graphic Designer – you are right, I don’t agree either that spending time in front of your computer therefore means that you will inevitably have back pain/neck pain.

    The key to prevention however, is exercise/movement in the form of stretching and multi-joint exercises.

    Back pain is typically caused by chronic muscle imbalances – the only way these can be corrected is by stretching the tight ones and strengthening the weak ones. If you do this before the problem gets chronic, then back pain can usually be avoided – and of course, good posture is then maintained.

    Using a swiss ball for a chair is, at times, a good way to help improve posture but only for short periods.

    Because it’s neurologically very challenging sitting on a swiss ball (your brain is having to send so many signals to so many different muscles just to keep you upright), you may find it more difficult to concentrate on the work whilst on a swiss ball.

    As others have mentioned, stretching and regular breaks along with a good exercise program are the best things you can do to prevent back pain/muscular problems if your work involves sitting at a desk for long hours.

    If you’re reading this now…get up, have a stretch and go for a 10 minute walk :-)

  35. I wondered this morning if blogging could be hazardous to my health. :) I didn’t wake by my alarm clock. Instead, I awoke with a feeling of anxiety. LOL. I was actually dreaming that there were links on my blog that wouldn’t open. In the dream, I was virtually devastated by this. LOL.

  36. Ever since I started blogging for money, I’m really a slop..

    My sleep time has totally changed – i sleep during the day while i blog at night

    I don’t like the day time now and it hurts my eyes..

    Hmm.. It’s good that you mention about this.. i should change my blogging lifestyly :)

  37. Thanks for this post. I discovered yesterday that I have developed “blogger’s elbow.” It has set in over the past 4 days. I have been working feverishly for more hours than I can calculate. My right elbow is my slightly achy reminder that having my arm folded at the elbow for endless hours, is part of my life as a blogger.


  38. I spend over 10 hours looking at the computer screen. I sometimes have my first meal around 5 pm hahaha

  39. This hit home as I used to play live poker for 25 – 50 hours at a time for over 5 years. It ruined my health (weight, lungs from the smoke, eating unhealthy, etc.) and it took years to get back to somewhat normal.

    I would come home, fall asleep, and feel like I was having a seizure or dreamed I was having a seizure. I never new which one it was.

    Now I see the same thing happening to me being on the computer. I better change and follow some of these tips or I can see myself in trouble again.

  40. What a very useful post. Getting away from the computer can be difficult if you have multiple blogs or make posts on websites other than yours, so it can be tiresome for the body. Having a good light source may help a lot for bloggers who work at their computer. It is times like these where laptops may be a better choice because you can work on your blog (or blogs if you have more than one) outdoors. Your diet tips are especially noteworthy. I just had some candy, and wonder how that will affect my productivity at the computer!

  41. The problem of “sick buildings” is underestimated! You should change out the air in your house every so often, even in cold weather.

  42. I dont think that sleeing in 11pm is best time, it depnds on habbits, if someone is used to go sleep at 1am he can still rest fine.

  43. After reading your article ,I do believe ……. more and more people will become a happier,healthier blogger!

    haha ….. it is very kind of Uuuu to share your experiences and feeling for Ussssss ….(U said:U can’t say U always follow your own rules ( You’re writing this at 11pm!) )

    I also believe ……..more successful bloggers will be present because of your article …. in some way or another way!

    Best wishes

  44. It’s the little things that we do that matter throughout each blog. The happier we are the more our writing will excel. I’m a big fan of Yoga and stretching on a regular basis. By forcing small breaks we are also slowing down and taking the time to appreciate where we are and how lucky we are to have an audience.

  45. Eye strain sounds innocent enough, but it’s a real beast!! I can add a bit on helping your eyes out with this post:


  46. The only thing I’ve had before in the past is elbow pain.

    That is from my elbow constantlyrubbing back and forth on my hard chair arm if I’m doing a lot of designing compared to customer communications; where more typing compared to mouse work means that my elbow isn’t on the arm so much.

    A few days with a pillow under it and it’s usually back to normal. Plus a few days of less design work, and it’s usually back to normal :)

  47. Only major problem I ever had was wrist discomfort. I bought a nice wrist pad and that cleared all my problems. My fingers hurt from typing too much sometimes too :).

  48. Make time for a decent workout. Hit the gym, lift some weights, and hit the cardio machine. Find a great indoor pool and swim laps.

    When you stay in great shape you enhance your blogging health.

    Workouts ramp up your endorphins and give you a natural “high”.

    After a good workout you’ll find that you think better and blog better.

    I work out five day a week and I am a much happier, healthier blogger. I love to workout for a healthier life and I love to blog!!

  49. I will never miss my post lunch sleep and that’s my real boost

  50. I stretch all the time and try to step off the computer regularly if I am going to be there for long… though I dont blog for hours I have been sitting in the computer for hours all together lately

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…