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Poll: Have you ever had any health issues related to your profession as a translator or interpreter?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:16
SITE STAFF
Dec 9, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever had any health issues related to your profession as a translator or interpreter?".

This poll was originally submitted by texjax DDS PhD. View the poll results »



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Susanna Martoni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:16
Member (2009)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Yes Dec 9, 2013

A painful backache after more than 20 years of translations.
I try to regularly go to the gym and have my Pilates exercises.
It seems to work, but I MUST be constant!


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Dec 9, 2013

Working at home I can control my environment and working hours to avoid health problems.

I don't always succeed... I do avoid perfumes and smells that trigger migraine attacks, but I don't always get enough exercise, for instance.

On the whole though, I think the results are positive rather than negative compared with commuting by bus or driving to work with fixed hours and breaks as in other jobs. Lighting, computer adjustment and so on are important, and some employers are less flexible than others. I was lucky when I worked in-house...

Potentially, freelance translating is as healthy or unhealthy as you make it yourself!

Interpreters often have completely different problems, and I for one could not cope with some of the working conditions I have heard about, even if I could interpret. Once again, my deep respect for them!


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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:16
Member (2012)
German to English
carpal tunnel syndrome Dec 9, 2013

my wrist regularly flares up, but I get it under control fairly quickly.
occasional neck ache
but otherwise, after 20 years, not so bad
I don't sit for more than an hour at a time in front of the PC, that helps a lot!


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 22:16
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
carpal tunnel syndrome Dec 9, 2013

Carpal tunnel syndrome, around 10 ago. I solved that with an ergonomic keyboard and Dragon Naturally Speaking. The symptoms quickly disappeared.

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 22:16
German to English
+ ...
Carpal tunnel Dec 9, 2013

about 30 years ago, solved it by hiring a student as free-lance typist (job creation) til the government insisted that such jobs were classified as regular employment (= social security contributions etc) so learned to use Dragon instead.

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:16
French to English
+ ...
RSI Dec 9, 2013

Yes, like Joeri and David, developed RSI in my wrist exacerbated by too much digging in the garden and constant mouse use/two-finger typing. After trying an ergonomic keyboard & mouse, new monitor position, new chair, footrest and acupuncture, reverting to dictating via Dragon NS finally solved the problem, much to my relief. I used also to suffer from occasional backache from sitting in the same position in front of the computer, but regular yoga has put paid to that.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Remove the double-click mouse setting Dec 9, 2013

Way back when I was taught WordPerfect - with the blue screen and white text! - the instructor removed the mouse for a month and made us learn to use the keyboard short cuts - a really good idea.

Later, when the mouse became indispensible, I was shown how to set it to a single click instead of a double click - and I have never had serious carpal tunnel problems.

My wrist does ache after a full day of proofing PDF files - and the next load is on the way. But never more than a good night's rest or a weekend will cure.

I stretch and do exercises when I take a coffee break, while the coffee warms up... and that is irregular but frequent enough to prevent back trouble.

[Edited at 2013-12-09 10:11 GMT]


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 22:16
French to English
+ ...
No Dec 9, 2013

I'm guessing that a pain in the rear doesn't count

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:16
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Dec 9, 2013

RSI, carpal tunnel syndrom and back/neck & shoulder aches.

The ergonomic keyboard has been ordered, and Dragon NS is the next investment. These should at least minimize the problems, hopefully eliminate them altogether.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:16
Member (2008)
English to Italian
yes Dec 9, 2013

back-ache, weight-gain, painful hands...

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:16
Member (2006)
German to English
Yep Dec 9, 2013

High blood pressure

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Dec 9, 2013

Arm/wrist/shoulder - cured by dictating, swapping to wrong hand for mouse, yoga

Back - cured by ridiculous amounts of exercise

When I say cured, I mean managed; I'm sure these things would come back otherwise


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:16
French to English
Yes, hand and wrist pain Dec 9, 2013

The first joint on my mouse clicking finger is always swollen and painful. I don't really do that much double clicking, it is mostly the single clicking in CAT and drag and drop editing and formatting that bothers it. I really should use more keyboard shortcuts. But I do get to avoid the stress of commuting and the environmental irritants of over-groomed office mates, such as perfume, hairspray and fabric softener. And I have been pretty good about working out, but that is because I am lucky enough to have a good running, biking and swimming neighborhood and a full gym in my basement.

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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:16
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
carpal tunnel Dec 9, 2013

Like others, I developed some carpal tunnel a few years ago.
I slowed down, changed my typing posture, wore wrist braces at night, took anti-inflammatory drugs (tylenol, ibuprofen), took more time off, and eventually it sorted itself.


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