There are many hazards to producing music, such as tripping over audio cables, breathing in dust from your vinyl records, and blowing out your eardrums because you forgot to lower the volume on your mix. These are the many things that us producers have to look out for on a daily basis when we're in the studio, and it's no laughing matter. In fact, last year alone there were 184 deaths* related to Hip Hop production. One of the biggest health hazards in the studio that many producers overlook is their computer. I'll be honest with you and cut to the chase - your computer is trying to kill you! 1. Eye Strain One of the main problems I have when working on a computer all day is eye strain. It's no secret that we must use computers every single day in order to survive in today's world, so precautions should be met. You could close your blinds to make your room dark, which would help you focus on your screen, but at the same time it would bring on health hazard #3. Some people wear reading glasses which help their eyes adjust better to what's on their screen, but it's not necessarily about any of that. The main thing you'll want to do is to look away from the screen! Yes, take a break and give your eyes some rest. You could also focus on an object at a certain distance, which will help strengthen your eye muscles. 2. Posture This has got to be THE biggest hazard for me. I've noticed that over the years my posture has suffered because I've been sitting in front of the computer daily. I used to be able to stand upright, but now I just hunch over and my knuckles touch the ground, which has caused me all sorts of other issues. I just recently came back from the doctor*, and he told me that my slouching has caused knuckle rot. It's true. The key is to get out of the chair and do some exercises. You can hit the gym, but if you're a lazy bastard, then try to at least do some moves to help your posture, like these: The one where you're against the wall is probably the best one. It may seem very simple, but the goal is to get your back, shoulders, and neck straight. If you do it every day, you should notice an improvement. 3. Tired As I mentioned in hazard #1, you could close your blinds and make the room dark, but that would lead to all sorts of other problems, such as being tired. With no sunlight coming in all day, it will dampen your mood and make you tired, or worse - depressed! You definitely don't want to be depressed. ***Studies show that people who are depressed are more likely to not want to make music. Wouldn't that suck? If you were to close your blinds all day to focus on your screen, it could actually make your eyes worse, since that's all you're focusing on. The solution would be to open up those blinds and get some sunlight in. Better yet, go outside! Get away from the screen altogether and go outside, there's a world out there. 4. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome You should know what this is. It's when you're either spending too much time clicking your mouse, or jerking off, and it tightens up your wrist and/or forearm muscles, fucking everything up inside. It's basically your arm fighting with itself and your body in turn tells your brain that shit's not right. Doctors will say it's because you're doing too much repetitiveness when it comes to using the mouse. This is one of the reasons why I chose to go with a controller setup for my music, because clicking on a mouse all day gets annoying really fast. This is about the only solution I can offer you, because in order to use a computer, you have to use a mouse. For an exercise, you could simply pull your fingers back towards your forearm (not all the way or you'll end up breaking something - when you start screaming in pain then you'll know you're pulling too far) and hold for a few seconds at a time. You could also do some wrist curls with a barbell and get some super awesome forearms. 5. Isolation The motherload of hazards. Being isolated for any period of time is not fun, just ask anyone that's been to prison (or still in there). There used to be a time when you could make beats all day and have fun doing so, but with computers jumping into the mix, it's created all sorts of fuckery. When we're not making music, we're just browsing websites, checking out what our friends are not doing, or looking for porn. When you spend enough time by yourself on the computer, your world starts to close in and you start to get depressed. If you're depressed then you stop making music and you begin to hallucinate. This is when you start to curl up in a ball in the corner of your room. With your ear pressed against the wall, you hear your neighbor tapping his foot on the floor and you notice a beat pattern, which inspires you. You then form your own beat in your head, but there's not enough room inside your brain because you're so overcome with depression that your head literally explodes. ****Studies from the National Headache Institute show that head explosions have actually been on the rise. Conclusion So what do you take away from all of this? Well, it's simple. Using your computer, or any other device for extended periods of time will keep you locked up inside your home. It's good to do what you love to do, but you have to have some sort of balance in your life. You have to make sure that you find time each and every day to stop what you're doing and go outside. Give your whole body a break and do yourself some good by getting into shape. You never know what's around the corner, especially since your computer is trying to kill you! * There were no actual deaths. ** I'm sure he was a doctor, he was wearing a white coat. *** The study was bullshit. **** I lied. Your brain just melts instead.