Is Being A VFX Artist Killing Us?

Sitting behind a desk all day is a recipe for poor health. I’ve seen several articles in the news recently about how sitting is the worse thing that you can do for your health. Newspapers and websites can’t resist the ‘sitting is killing’ headline:

While I’m a bit skeptical of the Sitting = Killing hypothesis, I do think that that the typical VFX artist’s work environment can have a negative effect on someone’s health. Consistently elevated stress levels (gotta hit those deadlines!) , free pizza when you’re working late, periodic disruption of sleep patterns and a lack of activity can all contribute to poor health.

A website has popped up trying to deal with some of these issues. Fitness In Post is started by a long time editor who has become passionate about getting healthy. It says on his site ‘Fitness = Exercise + Proper Nutrition + Wellness’, and he has several articles and links to resources you can check out to educate yourself.

I saw my father get terribly obese as he got older, especially once he quit smoking. He struggled with it his whole life. My mother was the opposite, very skinny and frail. I’m going to be turning 40 next year, and I often ask myself ‘how can I live my life so that I can maintain a good level of health’? I’ve done a few things.

I started going for annual physical checkups once I was 35. I started going to a gym and got a personal trainer. I started eating ‘real food’. Mostly meat and vegetables, with some nuts and berries every once and a while. Nothing that comes in a package, nothing with ingredients I can’t recognize as food, no soft drinks, nothing processed.

Doing all of these is a bit of a pain, and they cost a bit of money. I’m hoping that it pays off in the long run, that these changes now will pay off in the future with better health. It can be very frustrating when you hear one new study after another, often contradicting themselves month to month. It can be hard to know what you’re suppose to be doing.

What I still need to work on is to try to reduce stress. I’d like to take an hour before bed and turn off the TV, computer, any internet connected device and read a book or something. I’m finding this extremely difficult, harder than giving up bread.

I would be curious to know what you are doing to stay healthy. Do you think about this, does it worry you? Are you taking any steps to improve your situation? Please share in the comment box below.