August 31, 2015

Animator's Guide to Health and Wellness - Part 2: Back Pain & Posture

Animators, visual effects artists, compositors, CG artists, digital painters, and all those who do long, long, long hours sitting at a desk using a pen tablet, your posture can suffer greatly if you're not conscious of your sitting position. You're looking into a monitor, hands on a keyboard, or gripping that Stylus Pen for large amounts of time while sitting at a computer, barely moving all day long, it can make your neck and back sore.

Here's a good little video for exercises to help with your back and posture.

Here are exercises for preventing tendinitis and carpal tunnel, and they apply very well for animators, VFX artists and CGI artists & technicians of all kinds doing long days of work gripping that stylus pen.

In this clip, the focus is on a few hand stretching exercises that are essential to every guitarist's warm-up routine, of course these stretches apply very well to animators as well. These types of exercises can really go a long way to keeping your hands healthy and in good condition.

Reminding animators and artists to sit up straight, pull their shoulders back, pull their necks straight usually isn't too effective or long-lasting. We all sit for long periods of time, deeply focused on our work, not thinking about our postures or the grip on the pen. Eventually we all slouch down, our heads and necks stick out in front of us, whether we work with a tablet-and-monitor, or looking down at an angle on a Cintiq or some other graphic monitor system, or down on a flat table using good 'ol paper and markers.

So the big thing is to take breaks, get up and walk around, because the main cause of your neck sticking out, your shoulders rolling in, your eyes getting dry & sore, and your back curving forward is from many, many hours of sitting motionless at your work station.

So get up and stretch your hands, arms and back, walk around, give your eyes  a rest, just for a few minutes, a couple times a day. Don't forget to do some of the exercises shown above, at a minimum of once every evening. It will help with blood circulation, prevent some strain on your back and neck, and help correct your spine from buckling.

From the book DRAW STRONGER:

See more...
Animator's Guide to Health and Wellness: Part 1

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