Physical Health Of Translators
Thread poster: Barbara Cochran, MFA

Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 31, 2020

Has your work as a translator ever adversely affected your physical health? In what way(s)? What did you do to rectify the situation?

 

Mina Chen  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:20
Member (2019)
English to Chinese
+ ...
eye strain Jan 31, 2020

I am in the process of building a clientele and I am not even that busy, but still, my small Chinese eyes get strained easily.
My house has plenty of windows, which helps. In the living room there is a yoga mat that I can pop on anytime. But nothing relaxes the eyes better than going out for a 30 minute walk. I am lucky there is a very nice trail in my neighborhood and the surrounding area.
I am planning on getting a pc/labtop with a bigger screen. And possibly doing more interpretin
... See more
I am in the process of building a clientele and I am not even that busy, but still, my small Chinese eyes get strained easily.
My house has plenty of windows, which helps. In the living room there is a yoga mat that I can pop on anytime. But nothing relaxes the eyes better than going out for a 30 minute walk. I am lucky there is a very nice trail in my neighborhood and the surrounding area.
I am planning on getting a pc/labtop with a bigger screen. And possibly doing more interpreting... Still in the process of exploration and hopefully can come up with a mix that makes some money and not too detrimental to my health.
Collapse


Philip Lees
 

Laurent Mercky
France
Local time: 17:20
Member (2019)
Chinese to French
+ ...
No Jan 31, 2020

Barbara Cochran, MFA wrote:

Has your work as a translator ever adversely affected your physical health? In what way(s)? What did you do to rectify the situation?


No, because I always try to keep good working habits and I never work late at night.


TranslateWithMe
 

TranslateWithMe
Poland
Local time: 17:20
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes... Feb 1, 2020

Well, as you sit a lot while translating, you need to take care of good sitting equipment, a proper swivel chair with ergonomic back support and comfortable seat and probably buying a special cushion to prevent haemorrhoids is a good idea too.

After a long translation session, I have some pains in my fingers, but that's gone after a few hours.

K.


 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:20
Member (2016)
English to German
Yes Feb 1, 2020

Barbara Cochran, MFA wrote:

Has your work as a translator ever adversely affected your physical health? In what way(s)? What did you do to rectify the situation?


Yes, I've suffered from various ailments caused by my work as a translator.

A) Eye strain

To rectify this, I am wearing glasses cut specifically for a distance of 80-90 cm (that's how far my computer screens are away from my eyes in a normal sitting position at my desk).
I also work in a dark room, and I set my computer to dark mode, i. e., my windows show light text on dark background. In memoQ, for example, I choose a white background with pink text, then I invert the colors of my computer, so I end up with green text on black background. I wish memoQ would offer an integrated solution to achieve this...

B) Carpal tunnel syndrome / wrist/shoulder/neck pain

As these are caused mostly by mouse use and the constant going back and forth between mouse and keyboard, I am working with 2 ergonomic mice -- one on each side of my keyboard. It took a while to get proficient with my weaker hand, but now I am ambidextrous, as far as mouse use is concerned.
Both mice have a bunch of programmable buttons, so I don't have to move my hands to the keyboard to hit shortcuts.
I am also using an ergonomic, split, tilted keyboard.

C) Back pain

I have an ergonomic chair, a motorized stand-up desk and a large rubber exercise ball. I try to switch regularly between these three options (but I often forget to do this when I'm in "the translation zone").


I also do about three power naps a day, drink a lot of tea, take walks and do a lot of sports.

[Edited at 2020-02-01 09:00 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Somebody homebody Feb 1, 2020

1) irregular junk/unhealthy food and stress eat;
2) too much soft/alcohol drinks and very cold or hot tea/coffee may cause dehydration;
(I must confess I still do drink cocoa)
3) lack of physical activity decreases lymph flow and affects vitality;
4) stale air is but a Petri dish;
[. . .]not to mention deteriorated household, social, and business skills.

Usually I eat twice a day--a varied diet of some 1/3 of raw/unprocessed/green food with a 7-1
... See more
1) irregular junk/unhealthy food and stress eat;
2) too much soft/alcohol drinks and very cold or hot tea/coffee may cause dehydration;
(I must confess I still do drink cocoa)
3) lack of physical activity decreases lymph flow and affects vitality;
4) stale air is but a Petri dish;
[. . .]not to mention deteriorated household, social, and business skills.

Usually I eat twice a day--a varied diet of some 1/3 of raw/unprocessed/green food with a 7-10 hour gap between the meals, prefer warm clean (and occasionally mineral) water, make frequent short breaks/alternate activities and daily walk at least six miles (10km), run my bike, play basketball and swim often too. Picnics, fishing, hunting, camping... Why, nothing wrong with a midday little sleep or fast day either.


No pills, special glasses, comfortable armchairs, huge high-quality anti-glare no-PWM 100Hz+ displays, E-ink for big papers, mics, or best ergonomic anti-RSI keyboards could replace healthy habits and exercises.

[Edited at 2020-02-01 10:40 GMT]
Collapse


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:20
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Hunting... Feb 1, 2020

DZiW wrote:

Picnics, fishing, hunting, camping...


what are you hunting?


Rachel Fell
Tom in London
 

Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 01:20
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, lower back pain Feb 1, 2020

It is my fault because I love working in my recliner:). I go to the pilates classes run by my physio and I do yoga once or twice a week. I am not a big fan of physical activities:).

 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Adieu  Identity Verified
Russian to English
Well Feb 15

In my youth, it led to carpal tunnel and weight gain from sugary drinks and too much beer.

With CAT tools and non-kiddie rates for quality instead of quantity, it is certainly easier on the hands. As to diet and health, yeah there's some temptation to crack open a beer if you've been sitting around for a few hours waiting on a notification for a job that probably isn't coming today, or to chug an energy drink and eat something sweet to reactivate your brain when it does come...
... See more
In my youth, it led to carpal tunnel and weight gain from sugary drinks and too much beer.

With CAT tools and non-kiddie rates for quality instead of quantity, it is certainly easier on the hands. As to diet and health, yeah there's some temptation to crack open a beer if you've been sitting around for a few hours waiting on a notification for a job that probably isn't coming today, or to chug an energy drink and eat something sweet to reactivate your brain when it does come...

Exercise and good diet help, though.

And then there's wacky schedules if your language pair gives you predominantly-overseas clients with radically different time zones.

Some people manage.... some people get fat and neurotic, start drinking way too much, taking pills, become weird loners, etc. Actually, mental health is probably a bigger issue, as some of the wackier rants and tangents on here suggest.
Collapse


Liviu-Lee Roth
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Physical Health Of Translators

Advanced search






Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
Trados Business Manager Lite
Create customer quotes and invoices from within Trados Studio

Trados Business Manager Lite helps to simplify and speed up some of the daily tasks, such as invoicing and reporting, associated with running your freelance translation business.

More info »