Health Problems of Artists– Symptoms and Preventions


I found this article and it applies to all of us quite well.
Check it out:

“The work life of a designer is often coveted, thought of as glamorous, working at what you love to do, and being creative. However few realise that the life of a designer often entails long hours, and stressful days dealing with difficult clients and briefs, and quite a lot of time spent in front of the computer trying to get the perfect idea to translate on screen. A number of different health problems are the result of this work life, often spent scrutinizing small details on screen, and sitting at a desk, often in poor lighting and in chairs that can create problems.
In this article, let’s take a look at some of the most common health problems of designers along with the symptoms and its corresponding preventions.”


Interesting article.
I’m no doctor, but in my experience, a lot of issues from working at a desk all day and staring at a computer can be (at least) evened out by a bit of exercise.

It’s all about balance for me. If I work a shit ton of hours for a couple weeks and make no time to even get outside and do a jog or something, I feel like utter crap.
I always try to make at least an hour of doing something active and so far it’s been keeping the bad things at bay. fingers crossed.


There’s a pretty good body of evidence saying this isn’t the case. Short periods of intense exercise are important, but they’re not an adequate replacement for long periods of low-level exercise.

From the Mayo Clinic website:

" Any extended sitting — such as behind a desk at work or behind the wheel — can be harmful. What’s more, spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in moderate or vigorous activity doesn’t seem to significantly offset the risk."


" Any extended sitting — such as behind a desk at work or behind the wheel — can be harmful. What’s more, spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in moderate or vigorous activity doesn’t seem to significantly offset the risk."

Well crap, I guess we’re all doomed then.

I can’t speak for everyone of course, and I’m sure as hell not going to debate what Mayo says about it. I was just speaking from personal experience after sitting at desks hours a day for about 12 years.
Long(er) term, I guess I will have to wait and see!


Treadmill desks are probably the best solution (though I’ve never used one myself). If that’s not an option, regular, short breaks to walk around some help.


I read somewhere that what you eat affects you more than insufficient exercise.


It’s not that it hurts that we’re occasionally reminded of the risks and all, but at this point one would hope people would actually have this figured out.
Standing desk, REGULAR high intensity exercise and diet awareness (which has nothing to do with a hypocaloric diet) should all be staples of pretty much anybody’s life who has a sedentary job and can afford it.

I can only feel sorry and sympathize for those who can’t and have to endure horrible work conditions, but anybody else having problems is pretty much his own enemy.

Alternating standing and seating positions at work, or kneeling and seating if you don’t have a standing desk, stretching every few and having a physical regime of some description coupled with a balanced diet is the only way most people will get to 60 without being a F’in wreck, and the usual “but I work too hard” or “it ruins my focus” excuses are just that, excuses. It only takes two or four weeks to train yourself into decent posture and habits becoming natural.

Personally: I have a standing desk at work and spend half or more of the day working standing, I stretch every hour or two, train four times a week and skate (aggressively) once or twice a week and only skate or walk to and from work.
My diet is a million miles from being some gymrat obsessive thing, but I do have better than average knowledge of what I stuff into my mouth and eat healthy home cooked more often than not.

In my mid thirties with not a single nervous or articular problem despite routinely slamming into walls and floors at high speed in carparks (or occasionally trees and guardrails in downhill sessions) on a weekly basis I stand a much better chance of surviving them (my thirties) than most of the chair potatos in their early twnties already complaining about lower back problems do.

With all the info needed well documented and freely available it really is people’s own problem if they aren’t taking care of themselves. When people with intense schedules and families still manage anybody can (again, first world and working conditions allowing).
If you think going to the gym once a week and jogging once on the weekend and stretching when you remember another two days while slouching in the chair the rest of the time is ok, you honestly have it coming.
It’s not doing one of a few things, it’s about taking care of exercise, posture, circulation AND diet. Take any of them away and your chances halve out for every thing you don’t take care of.


Jaco pretty much summed up my thoughts on the subject. I won’t pretend that I manage to keep the level of activity he describes but it really is about making your entire life dedicated to being health-conscious. It’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds but it does take dedication. Being in my late 20’s and seeing many of my peers slowly develop health problems due to drinking too much, a sedentary lifestyle and not eating well… it’s certainly good motivation to put effort into staying healthy.

However, if you’re reading this and are one of those people who wants to start being active, I do have something more positive for you. Just watch this video…

23 and 1/2 hours

Oh, also, one small tip from me… GET OUT OF YOUR CHAIR! Take frequent breaks and walk around the studio. It’s good for your body and good for the mind.


It’s kinda apples and oranges. Diet has a lot of effect on some conditions, and less (though certainly some) on others, and vice versa. Likewise, you can get away with a pretty mediocre diet if you exercise enough, and get away with pretty light exercise if you eat uber-healthy (of course, both is ideal). I don’t think you can really call one more important than another.

I think when it comes to health, in the West we tend to under-emphasize the small things. We spend a huge amount of effort on diets to lose weight, but a lot less on diets to maintain weight. Likewise, we put a lot of attention of running and lifting weights, but not much on the importance of just walking around with regularity. This results (along with other factors, of course) with a lot of people just giving up.


The priority should be to make sure your employer has done absolutely what they can to prevent any health issues at your job. And there are tons of stuff that can be improved upon within reason for any company size. One hour of paid gym, for which you have to get there, get dressed, work out, shower, get back, all within that hour, and then stress back whatever work you failed to do in the process, isn’t really enough.

They wont thank you for sacrificing your neck when they replace you with a non broken one.


I go running for 8km ( in about 35-40 mins) every second day since 1999 . Without that my whole backbone and related muscles and other body parts begin to feel uncomfortable after a week or so during intense work sessions. Of course even without the long sitting sessions i start to feel uneasy without the running. I’m 45 now, turning 46 end of this year and i’m pretty sure the whole running pursuit has saved me from A LOT of problems other people suffer from… I can’t conform the above quote…


People tend to make excuses and blame others for not taking care of themselves. Your job is NOT your life. Anyone who chooses to make it so has made their own bed. When I worked in the studios, there were fguys in great shape and there were guys who oozed out of their chairs. There were guys who brought salads to work and those who chose to go to MacDonalds or KFC everyday. Even in crunch time, some guys left to go to the gym and came back if they had too. It’s all what the artist chooses.


There’s one thing I’ve been wondering, when working in 3D does the room really has to be dark?

I know when I’m working on the computer I like the place to have light or my eyes being to hurt. With sight being the most important thing for us, do people have any tips?

Also what do people think of the Gunnar glasses? Any tried them?


gOT A “GEEK DESK” at the office.I raise it up and try to stand and work at least part of the day. Sitting is the new smoking. It’ll kill you and exercise isn’t going to help. The damage is done with the amount of sitting hours.


I wholeheartedly agree with you on that. I do the same, runnig for ~10km every 2nd day and
i use the bike for almost everything.
And i should have the same health risk than some couch-potato? I don`t think so…


Running every other day will do you a lot of good. It’s not cancelled by sitting all day. Sitting all day will still do damage even if you have a solid cardio routine though. You have to take care of both, that’s what pretty much every half clued research has been spelling out loud for a while.
Of course between someone who has no training regime whatsoever AND sits all day, and you, you’re way better off.


Exercise, eat well, get up often and walk around when at the office, get fresh air, keep things positive even when their are problems at work, drink tea, and take vacations. Oh, and drink lots of water everyday.


Get yourself a standing desk. They are becoming a lot more common in our office with around 40% of people using one. Negotiate it in your contract that you want one, so you don’t have to put up with that HR “we need a doctors note bullshit” to give you a standing desk.



The paragraph I quoted, taken out of context, might give the wrong impression, but the article definitely isn’t saying vigorous exercise is useless. For the study, they controlled for weight and blood pressure. Regular vigorous exercise certainly helps with maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure, which have well-established health benefits. However, if you compare two people who superficially appear to be in similar shape, the one who spends most of their day sitting is going to have far more health problems than the one who spends most of their day doing light exercise, even if the sitting person spends more time on vigorous exercise.

In short, combined bursts of vigorous exercise+lots of light exercise>just lots of light exercise>just bursts of vigorous exercise>small amounts of light exercise>no exercise.


One of the big issues I have heard of is carpal tunnel. This can be corrected by ergonomics and certain stretches. I like to use Blender for everything it can do just as well as the industry software because the UI distributes clicking more evenly between the fingers to prevent carpal tunnel.