If you’re someone who loves the feel and experience of writing by hand, could you imagine losing that ability?
It happens to Parkinson’s patients who develop bradykinesia, a symptom which slows movement and affects fine motor control. Writing becomes painful, leading to small, cramped handwriting, called micrographia.
That’s why a group of UK university students have developed a pen specially designed to ease the writing experience for those with Parkinson’s disease. (About 127,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s and about two-thirds develop micrographia.)
So you’ve decided to try & improve your handwriting, make it look a little less like a spider has crawled across the page & lets just say more legible.
We’ve all heard the arguments about technology taking over & that handwriting is no longer important. Maybe it’s a generation thing but I’m sure I’m not alone finding it faster & easier to jot down a note with a pen than reaching for the mobile & tapping the keypad.
When practicing, sitting at a table is better than in your favourite armchair or sofa. You’ll be able to sit up with a straight back, your feet planted on the floor with uncrossed legs. Next relax your hand & arm, it’s an idea to loosen up by twisting your wrist a few times & do a few stretching exercises as writing will also use muscles in the shoulders & forearms. Avoid writing to the left of your palm (more likely if your left handed) as this is likely to give you cramp. If this is something you are inclined to get there are a wide range of ergonomic pens available to help.
2. Watch Your Speed
Something many people do (me included) is write as if they’re in a race against the clock. By taking time to concentrate on every letter you will see much better results.
Practice your scribbles, this will help train the hand & eye to work together, it can have the added benefit of providing a little light relief if you’ve had a stressful day or meeting.
4. Keep a Diary or Journal
Whether it’s keeping a note of the days events or recording your innermost thoughts a daily diary or journal entry will give you good reason to practise your writing. Just a few minutes little & often will not only help improve your penmanship but could provide health benefits like improving emotional well being or reducing stress.
5. Loosen Your Grip
It can be tempting to hold the pen too tightly. Rather than squeezing the barrel imagine your pen is a quill that may break & lightly pull it across the page.
When trying to improve your handwriting it may look worse before it gets better but with practice & perseverance you’re sure to achieve a style that you are happy with.
The ergonomically designed Yoropen hasn’t been available for a while but anyone who has missed these award winning pens will be pleased to know they are back in stock & available once again.
The Yoropen is designed with an offset finger support which prevents the fingers slipping & as it require less pressure than a conventional pen it helps eliminate strain. These pens have proved popular with left-handed people, who benefit from better posture, have less chance of smudging their work & the offset support allows for a clearer area of vision. It is also said to particularly helpful for those that find writing painful or have other difficulties due to conditions like arthritis, RSI & dyslexia.
OK, we’re understanding people, we really are. But the Guardian has published a piece that puts forth the idea students are so unused to writing by hand that it stresses them out to do so on exams.
From the Guardian:
For the moment it seems that the pen and paper are here to stay, but examiners are aware of the strain written tests place upon students. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, English tutor at Oxford University, says: “Inevitably, anxiety is sometimes voiced that students are now so used to typing they can’t cope with a three-hour handwritten exam.”
Students use keyboards almost exclusively for classwork, then are required to use pens and/or pencils on written essays during exam times. Apparently, that makes their hands hurt and slows down their ability to answer questions. Continue reading →