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Sewing & Your Health
Your fitness
Many people who put in a number of hours sewing forget to take a break and exercise. It is easy to be so involved in a project that you can forget about yourself.
 
 
In general, you will feel better if you manage your diet and exercise your body, especially if you're overweight. It doesn't matter if you need to lose weight, movement and activity will charge your brain and relax your muscles. After sitting over a project for many hours, either at your worktable or in a chair in front of the television, may cause tension in your upper back, headaches, and backaches. To prevent or lessen the effects, get moving. Even if you only go for a short walk, move your arms, and enjoy doing something beside sewing. Also - stay HYDRATED!
 
Back problems
Sitting for long periods of time can cause stress on points in your back. If you've ever had a baby, sometimes your tailbone can hurt, simply by sitting for too long. Try yoga, or even simple breathing exercises in addition to taking short walks to loosen your back up and relieve some pain.


Obesity
Many hours can go by and you can forget to eat. Or, you have a non-stop supply of food sitting nearby your work table, and you mindlessly eat, not paying attention to calories or fat or any of that not-fun stuff to track. Obesity can lead to many diseases, which we will not go into here, but we thought it was important to bring up the topic as it does relate to your craft. The more inactive you are, the more obese you can become. Get moving and manage your diet. Intentional exercise is an important thing to fit in around your daily life and sewing.
 
Your Eyesight
Ever feel like your eyes have a ton of sand in them while you work? Do you get frequent headaches? Maybe you need to take a break. Eye strain can make you feel tired and stressed.
Get your eyes checked every two years and make sure any lense prescriptions are up to date if you wear glasses.

Overuse Syndrome (Carpel tunnel)
Carpel tunnel is one of the most crippling conditions you can experience. Anyone that works with their hands would feel immediately handicapped if they lost the use of them. Proper stretching, warm up exercises and careful attention to repetitive motion will help deter this condition. Do some research on the internet about this syndrome to find out what are the best exercises you should be doing. Warm ups are recommended - even if it's just a short walk.

Burn Out
It is easy to feel unmotivated if you are feeling pressured by completing your projects, whether for business or recreation. If you find yourself working on projects until two o'clock in the morning for several nights, then having to arise at six o'clock the next day to go to your secure day job, you may find yourself getting behind in your work and feeling physically drained. This is called burn out and it can be dangerous to your business and your health.

If you're in business for yourself, buy an erasable calendar and erasable pens to keep track of your orders. Space orders out so you have a break between large projects, and slate time for your own clothing, if applicable (remember the phrase the cobbler's children never have shoes!). Give yourself plenty of time for each project. Be up front with your clients about estimated shipping times before they pay for their order. Do not be irresponsible about promising something to a client by a certain date, and then not coming through for them. Make sure the client understands your criteria and is aware of the timelines involved. Sometimes clients forget you may have other customers that are waiting as well.

Set regular hours that you will sew and stick to them. Take breaks throughout a project, making sure you rest your hands and hydrate yourself. It is best to pick a time during the day (or night) that you work best and try not to deviate from that schedule.

If you are having trouble with a project, put it away for a while and come back to it later. Problems have a way of working themselves out if you walk away from them and come back later. Consult newsgroups online for help and ideas from other people who sew. 

Garden, read, take walks, go work out at the gym, or vegetate in front of a movie to keep your mind off of your project.

Get plenty of sleep on a regular basis. After working too many hours, you will find yourself run down and burned out quickly, and you could cause yourself many health problems.

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