Writing Fatigue

Student with writing fatigueStudents who come to us often complain that they get tired after writing for even a few minutes. They say that their fingers ache, lower and upper arms pain. There are a few who complain of back pain and shoulder pain after a writing session. This usually due to writing fatigue

We have found out that most of these complaints are due to either poor pencil or pen grasp, wrong posture or wrong paper position.

If the student following the following instruction, writing fatigue can usually be reduced to a great extent.

  • Correct Sitting Posture
  • Correct Pencil / Pen Grasp
  • Correct Paper Position
  • Correct Sitting Posture while writing
  • Correct Pencil Grasp
  • Correct paper position


The paper and the free hand placed as shown on left

We have also frequently found out that student holds the pencil or pen tightly and apply more pressure on the paper which is also a factor for writing fatigue. The writing instrument has to be held with optimum grip pressure.

The barrel size and shape of the pen or pencil is also a common factor that causes writing fatigue. Right sized pen or pencil with correct barrel size, weight and shape will reduce or altogether eliminate many writing fatigue problems.

Put your pen or pencil down when you not writing. For example, if you are going through your exam question paper, put the pen down and pick it up when you begin to write.

Taking short breaks while writing and relaxing your hands, arms and wrists will help avoid writing fatigue.

Squeezing water out of the sponge, wet towel, etc can strengthen the muscles.
Other simple exercises are to open and close your hand. Gently stretch your fingers and wrists.

Ergonomics of chair and table you use also plays an important part in writing fatigue. The correctness of the size of the writing area and height of the table and back support of the chair is a factor in reducing fatigue.

Self-evaluate if you are reaching or straining in any way to reach the page or the desk? Move the desk, chair, and paper until you are comfortable.

Consult your doctor if you experience pain often or excessively when writing or it doesn't respond to measures you can take yourself. Continuous pain can lead to hand problems if you continue to write. If your pain is severe or does not stop, ask a doctor.


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