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Do No Harm

It’s midterm season, and spring break is on the horizon. Design students are rushing to finish their projects before break, hoping to finish before they go dark on schoolwork for a week, and that means crunch time.

Crunch time means overworking by many, many hours. And overworking means that designers are at higher risk of carpal tunnel.

This is dangerous for many reasons: pain in your wrist slows down work, which means you work more, which means your carpal tunnel gets worse…and the cycle perpetuates itself. The resulting health issues can set artists back by months or even years, as detailed by these comic artists who sustained long-term injuries from their working conditions. Here’s some general tips to help you through the midterm rush.

  1. Do some stretches.

Really, it helps! Flexing the muscles that are tensed for so long, including your legs and pack, will contribute to your health overall.

  1. Watch your wrist.

Repetitive actions with your wrist will wear down your nerves, and stretching it too extremely will make it ache and burn after a while. Be mindful of how your wrist is moving — it’s very vital to your important work.

  1. Take a break.

Go ahead. Treat yourself; your project can wait for a few minutes. Step away once every 20-30 minutes for a brief stretching break. This also helps with eye strain, and I guarantee both your body and mind will appreciate the respite.

For more detailed tips on stretches, see this convenient and informative compilation of stretches, compiled by the art community on Twitter. Stay safe out there!