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STAYING FIT AS A SEWIST: HEALTH PROBLEMS AND HOW TO SOLVE THEM

Okay, so in the TheQEffectz Beginner class, we talked about the various benefits of sewing; why you should learn how to sew, the value it could add to your life and all that. But we never really looked at the poor health habits and illnesses we pick along the way while sewing for ourselves or others. So today, I want us to talk about it and address it.

It is sad that in Nigeria, we never really take physical health problems seriously until they have gotten out of control, weighted us down or have proven too difficult to "manage". In Nigeria, we love to"manage" , it is the sad truth. And unfortunately, this attitude is most peculiar to sewists. We unfortunately think we are exercising by simply pedalling a manual sewing machine or brainstorming how to join a front piece to a back piece. We think we have indulged in the 'said' physical activity when we bend over to cut a fabric.

Well, i'm here to tell you that staying healthy on a sewing machine goes beyond that and if you want to stay healthy enough to keep making money from your sew business, there are some certain habits you need to stop doing.

A research currently showed that tailors, seamstresses, fashion designers are more prone to the following health conditions:
  1. Acute back pain
  2. Stomach Ulcer
  3. Mal-nutrition
  4. Eye strain
  5. Kidney infection(Pyelonephritis)
  6. Depression
1.Acute back pain: This is a severe pain you feel at your lower back. It is caused by a wear or tear of the muscles at your lower back that could lead to grave discomfort and uneasiness.

Causes: 
(a)Cutting on the floor: Home sewists choose to rather cut their fabrics on the floor which involves bending over on the floor for several minutes/hours to get the certain fabric cut. The muscles at your lower or higher back begin to wane and tear, causing severe pain
(b) Poor sitting posture. Unfortunately sewists slouch on their chair
(c) Using a chair without a back support.
(d) Sitting for a very long time

Prevention:
(a) Buy a properly structured table. 
(b) Learn good sitting posture. 

(c) Buy a good chair with back support
(d) Do not sit for a very long time. Stand and walk for a few minutes at interval

Solution:
(a)Stretch and Exercise:





(b) Get regular massage
(c) See a physician.

2. Stomach Ulcer: Stomach ulcers, which are also known as gastric ulcers, are painful sores in the stomach lining. Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer disease. Peptic ulcers are any ulcers that affect both the stomach and small intestines.

Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced. This allows the digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, causing an ulcer. 
Symptoms include dull pain in the stomach, poor appetite due to the pain, weight loss, dark starry stools, pain that reduces after eating, bloody vomits, etc

Causes: 
(a) poor eating habit due to workload
(b)poor diet
(c)Eating only processed foods
(d) Taking only liquids
(e) "I'll eat later" syndrome

Prevention:
(a) Eat regularly and as when due. Learn to put your work aside and eat.
(b)Eat balanced dieted meals
(c) Eat fibers and fruits

Solution:
1. See a medical expert to know what stage of ulcer you are in and to get proper diagnosis and treatment

3. Mal-nutrition: Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a diet in which nutrients are either not enough or are too much such that the diet causes health problems. Symptoms include weak muscles, feeling tired all the time, low mood, an increase in illnesses or infections etc. 

Causes:
(a)Poor eating habit
(b)Food preferences: This is where the sewist prefers to eat only a cetain type of meal because he or she believes it will boost his or her energy. 
(c)Laziness: Most sewists find it difficult to cook when they have projects to work on and as a result, they prefer to eat junks or any meal they can find.

Prevention:
(a) Eating balanced meals regularly

Solutions
(a)a feeding tube to provide nutrients directly into your digestive system
(b) a drip to provide nutrients and fluids directly into a vein

4. Eye Strain: Eye strain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use like staying up all night and day from sewing, use of low light etc.
Symptoms include headaches, blurring of the vision, feelings of dryness, and other discomfort, but eye strain will not damage your eyes or change their anatomy.

Causes:
(a)Trying effortlessly to pass a thread through a sewing machine needle
(b) Use of poor light while sewing
(c) Staying awake all night and day to sew

Prevention:
(a) Use threader to pass your thread through the sewing machine needle
(b) Use bright lights while sewing
(c) Sleep for a maximum of 3 hours during the day and a maximum of 8 hours at night.

Solution:
1. See an optician
2. Rest frequently
3. Take alot of water 
4. Sleep regularly

5. Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis): This is known as the inflammation of the kidney stones due to bacterial infection. Symptoms include Fever,Chills,Back, side (flank) or groin pain, Abdominal pain, Frequent urination, Strong, persistent urge to urinate, Burning sensation or pain when urinating, Nausea and vomiting, Pus or blood in your urine (hematuria),Urine that smells bad or is cloudy

Causes:
(a)"I'll use the bathroom later" syndrome
(b) Infrequent intake of water
(c) Use of public toilets. This is peculiar to large fashion houses and improper cleaning of toilets
(d) Poor body hygiene

Prevention:
(a) When you have the urge to urinate, use the bathroom immediately. Do not postpone urinating
(b) Use only well sanitized and properly cleaned bathrooms
(c)Take alot of water while sewing

Solution:
(1) See a doctor

4. Depression: In the process of learning how to sew or runing a sew business, sewists run into depression. While some are able to snap out of it and move on, some not so much.  Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

The symptoms include Feeling sad or having a depressed mood, Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting,Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, loss of energy or increased fatigue, increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others), feeling worthless or guilty, Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions concerning your sew business, thoughts of death or suicide

Causes:
(a) Trying too hard. Sometimes, in an effort to attain a certain level of achievement or fulfilment in the sewing business, sewist push themselves beyond their limit.
(b) Competing unfavorably with others
(c) Taking too much workload
(d)Letting societal or financial pressure get the best of you
(e) Focusing on all the mishaps or misfortunes
(f)Thinking too much

Prevention:
(a)Understanding your limit: It is important that as a sewist, you know how much workload you can handle and how much you can not
(b)Pace yourself: Even if you have so much or too much to do, pace yourself. Learn to take a break. Let time be your guide and not your enemy.
(c)Understand that Societal and financial pressures will always be there whether you succeed or not. At every level of success, there is always a battle to fight. And as such, do not make them determining factors of how and when you will succeed. Stay focus and take your time.
(d)Focus on what you have achieved or gained and not what you have failed to do.
(e)Act more, think less.

Solution:
1. Take a break. If you are depressed that your sew business has not gotten to the height you wish it to be, and this thought has started to affect your duties or relationship with your customers and friends, please take a break. Go somewhere with your friends. Do not be alone.
2. Trust God. Believe that God takes glory in your prosperity and that it is His will that you prosper in all your endeavors. 
3. Do not stay alone. If you live alone, move in with any of your friends, or family members. 
4. Live! Living does not mean only taking in the good times, believe you have the heart to take in the bad times as well.

So those are the health problems I could come up with guys. If you have more, kindly share and don't forget to include the solutions or preventions. By the way, you can hit us up for any health tip on how to enjoy sewing without health problems or hazards via info@theqeffectz.com or via our whatsapp portal @ 08030971467. If there are any habits you've picked up while sewing and would like to share, please do so on the comment box.

Happy Sewing!

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