How to Avoid Occupational Injuries as a Translator: Lower Back

As is the case with most mental labor today, translation work is mostly done sitting in front of the computer. Sitting for such a long time is a huge burden to the muscles that support our sitting posture, so our body twists inadvertently. Our bodies do this to try to distribute the muscle fatigue at least a little. If a stupid translator (like me) continues to sit in front of the computer even after the body takes such an emergency measure, back pain will start to occur because of that twisted posture. Back problems should also be prevented because it takes a long time and a lot of money to deal with once a problem occurs.
 
Here is how to cope:

 

Reducing the amount of translation you do or working on a project in parts

Please refer to my previous posts about this.

 

Stretching

 

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These pictures show stretching motions and are up on my closet door. I do the stretches frequently. There are various kinds of stretches such as stretches to do in the morning, in the afternoon, while sitting, lying down, standing up, etc. and while I can’t do all of them every day, I pick a few that I want to do during my breaks and do them. It’s hard to share those pictures with you as I can’t attach files to this blog, but if you search for them on the Internet, you will find lots of similar exercises. [These days, I follow a stretching video.]
 
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This is the rubber band-like equipment that I use to strengthen my muscles during stretching. It will help you augment muscle tone because using it requires you to use some force in your stretching motions.

 

Back exercises

These are some exercises that an Oriental medicine doctor who treated me picked specifically for me. My main problem is that the muscles supporting my lower back are weak, but I doubt I’m the only one with that issue. My guess is that anyone who sits at a desk at work has the same problem. I’m going to introduce to you two exercises to strengthen the muscles in my back as a whole and my lower back in particular.
 
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The character in the image is a little weird-looking, but it’s a picture that my daughter drew with me as the model and not an alien creature. 😀 As you can see in the picture, you have to lie flat with your hands on the ground and then raise just your back, and I do this exercise (hold this pose) for around 40 seconds. I would like to do it for longer, but it’s harder than it looks. You’ll agree when you try it.
 
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The opposite of the previous one, this exercise requires you to lie face down with your hands on your butt and then to raise your head as much as possible to curve your back like a bow. My back doesn’t really look like a bow in the picture, but that’s just because I was tired and didn’t have enough strength. 😀
 
I do these two exercises whenever I’m getting up from my bed. They take less than two minutes to do. I mean, it’d be nice to do them for longer, but I don’t have the energy. However, doing these exercises that take so little time for a few months improved my back so much. The power of habit is truly amazing.

 

Alarm clock

The back problem is a problem of absolute time, but I think what’s more important is the length of time for which you’re sitting continuously (session). The human body would quickly recover if you got up and walked for a bit, lay down, or did some brief stretching, but the problem is that we don’t do that and just continue to sit and work. I don’t think this is due to good concentration, but is rather from greed and stupidity. I am repenting of this as well.
 
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I bought an alarm clock to solve this problem. You can also use other methods, but I thought it’d be nice to have a clock specifically for this purpose, so I bought one. I keep it in a corner of the room so that when it rings, I’m forced to get up to turn it off. I actually no longer use this method. I got a little less stupid and I learned to listen to the signals that my body sends me every 45 to 50 minutes. But I think this method will work well for those of you who haven’t made that a habit yet. I don’t know how much I bought the alarm clock for, but I can assure you it wasn’t much.

 

Going for a walk

Walking uses the body’s numerous muscles all at once, so it’s a comprehensive workout for our bodies. During the period of my life when I was struggling with back pain, I could feel myself getting much better after taking a walk.

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