Step away from the stylus for a moment and discover six essential guidelines to ensure your well-being and happiness while fueling your creativity.

Design is our passion, but it’s crucial to prioritize our health amidst the hustle and bustle of our work. Recent studies have revealed alarming insights into the health problems faced by designers. According to the research, a significant number of designers reported issues such as headaches, eye strain, repetitive injuries, obesity, and blood circulation problems. Moreover, psychological problems like stress, depression, and trouble sleeping are also prevalent among designers.

So, what’s going on? Is there anything we can do about it? Let’s explore some practical tips that can help us stay healthy while pursuing our creative endeavors.

Designer Health Problems

Creativity can be both a blessing and a curse. Dr. Gail Kinman, an occupational health psychologist, explains that being deeply immersed in our work is a double-edged sword. While it can lead to extraordinary achievements, it can also negatively impact our health. We often lose track of time, forget to eat, and ignore our physical comfort, resulting in back pain, stress injuries, and various health issues. Creating a conducive work environment with a comfortable chair, proper posture, and ergonomic setup can significantly mitigate these problems.


Apart from maintaining a suitable workspace, it’s essential to pay attention to our physical well-being. Incorporating exercise into our daily routine is vital for designers who spend long hours sitting at their desks. Lack of exercise combined with unhealthy eating habits can contribute to long-term health problems like obesity, diabetes, circulatory issues, back and neck problems, heart disease, and even an increased risk of certain types of cancer. So, let’s make it a point to move around, stretch, and exercise regularly.

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Exercise While Working

Some designers swear by exercising while working or taking regular breaks to stand up and stretch. Standing desks and treadmill desks have gained popularity among those who wish to burn calories and improve their overall well-being. However, it is important to remember that standing all day without maintaining correct posture can lead to arterial diseases, varicose veins, and back problems. Find a balance that works for you and ensure you’re not compromising your physical health in the process.

Healthy Designer
Illustration by Becca Allen for Computer Arts Magazine


Are you constantly glued to your desk, rarely moving or interacting with others? Dr. Kinman suggests incorporating physical activity into your routine, especially if your work involves limited social interaction. Taking regular walks or engaging in activities outside the office can help improve your mental well-being. The demanding nature of creative work, coupled with tight deadlines and job insecurity, can significantly impact our mental health. So, let’s make an effort to take breaks, step outside, and nourish our souls with a change of scenery.

Community Support is Key

Building a support network within the design community is crucial for our well-being. Having people who understand our challenges can provide a listening ear, practical advice, and a sense of camaraderie. While social media can be a valuable tool, it cannot replace the deep social connections that come from meaningful interactions. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can offer support and encouragement when you need it the most.

Supportive Community
Illustration by Becca Allen for Computer Arts Magazine

Know Yourself Well

Recognizing the difference between everyday stress and more profound issues like depression is crucial. Understanding your body and mind and paying attention to the signals they send can help prevent severe burnout. Depression can manifest as a drain on your emotions, loss of interest in daily activities, and difficulty concentrating. Sometimes, those close to us may notice these signs before we do. It’s essential to seek support and take necessary steps to prioritize our mental health.

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Listening to Ice Cube

Being a designer is an exhilarating yet challenging profession. It’s necessary to carefully manage our workload, schedule, and well-being to prevent burnout. As the renowned workplace health and safety expert Ice Cube once said, “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” So, let’s check in with ourselves regularly, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and prioritize our overall well-being.

Remember, your health is crucial for your creative output. By following these tips and making conscious choices, you can lead a healthier and happier life as a designer.

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