Writing or drawing for long periods of time can lead to hand cramps and general pain in your fingers, hand, and wrist. The tension and pain can make continuing to write or draw very difficult. Try these tips to reduce hand fatigue next time you have to write or draw for an extended period of time.
Remember to take frequent breaks. Regularly throughout writing take a short break to rest your hand. Take breaks frequently, even if your hand isn’t tired yet, to prevent fatigue from occuring in the first place. If you feel your hand getting tired, you might try taking a longer break to let it heal, then start work again, taking ery frequent breaks. If the pain becomes more then general fatigue, stop work immediately and let your hand rest. Working through the pain is a surefire way to cause an injury. If something hurts, stop doing it. Restart later after you feel better. The Mayo Clinic recommends taking frequent breaks to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a condition of the wrist characterized by numbness, pain, and hand weakness.
Stretch. During your frequent breaks from writing or drawing, stretch your hands, wrist, forearm, shoulders, and neck. Tension from your hand can spread all the way up your arm, so stretch all your affected areas. First, wiggle your fingers and flex your hands to loosen them up. Now stretch out one arm in front of you, palm down, and then with the other hand grab the extended hand and pull it down gently so that your wrist bends until you feel a little stretch. Hold it for a count of ten. Now pull your hand up so that it’s like your pushing on a wall and hold it for ten counts. Next, clasp your hands behind your back and lift your hands away from your back and hold. Circle your arms freely in both directions. Roll your shoulders in circles in both directions. Roll your head in circles in both directions, and roll it side to side, and front to back. Stretch your hands out far to the side, then up over head.
Be ergonomic. Loosen your grip on the pen or pencil. A death grips causes tension in your hand that leads to fatigue very quickly. Try the pens and pencils that advertise the larger, more ergonomic grips. Larger grips allow you to hold the pen or pencil more loosely and with less strain. Once again, tension from other parts of your body can spread, so sit up straight at your desk and try to have a chair and table height combination that lets you write or draw without any harsh angles in your joints. Your elbow shouldn’t be cramped and your wrist shouldn’t have to crane. By reducing tension in these areas, it’ll reduce tension in your hand and reduce fatigue.
Mayo Clinic, Carpal tunnel syndrome