The Top 10 (Healthy) Must-haves For Any Editing Gig

Staying healthy in the post-production industry isn’t easy under any circumstances. But traveling from one show to the next and constantly working in different offices doesn’t make it any easier. Whether you travel from edit bay to edit bay once a month, every six months, or once a year, here are ten items I make sure I bring or have provided at every office I work in to maintain optimal health and performance.

1. Height-Adjustable Workstation This is a deal-breaker for me, no question. Because I am at a job for six months or more at a time, I can always ask that my workstation be standing, and the rental company provides it. However, this isn’t an option for everyone, so here are some alternate suggestions if you need to provide a desk yourself.

  1. GeekDesk – Height-adjustable workstations
  2. VariDesk – a height-adjustable workstation that modifies your existing sitting desk
  3. Learn to hack it yourself

2. Nutribullet My Nutribullet travels with me everywhere I go without question. I keep one at home and another at the office. I generally make a nutritious smoothie for breakfast, mid-afternoon (around 4pm), then for my post-workout recovery shake at night. This is the gateway to eating healthier and curbing cravings, especially in the afternoon. Which leads me to…

3. Shakeology No matter how bad my diet may be in the throws of a stressful period at work, I always make sure I get at least one serving of dense nutrition per day. Shakeology helps keep me full, keeps me away from the junk, and it drastically improved my digestion. I was borderline IBS for years until I found this stuff.

4. George Foreman Grill People often say, “I just don’t have time to eat healthy at work.” When you have a George Foreman Grill at the office, that excuse is no longer valid. You can make salmon, steak, chicken, vegetables, all in 10 minutes or less…and it’s incredibly healthy, as well as easy to clean.

5. Microwave vegetable steamer The companion to my George Foreman Grill is my silicon microwave vegetable steamer. The odds of having a full kitchen at your disposal at most jobs are slim, but with a vegetable steamer you can have fresh vegetables in a matter of minutes. Just add a little water, add frozen vegetables, and in 2-4 minutes you have ready-to-eat sweet potatoes, broccolli, cauliflower, green beans, corn…whatever fits in the steamer can be steamed.

6. Negative ion generator There is a lot of science to back up the effects of EMF’s generated by electronics, and we’re surrounded by them for over half our waking hours. Negative ion generators help mitigate this damage. I plug in one next to my desk, and I also have a Himalayan salt lamp plugged in right behind my monitors to provide a warm amber glow which also helps reduce eye strain.

7. Grip strengthener When you spend all day long applying repetitive stress to your wrists and fingers, this weakens your grip. I make sure to always have a grip strengthener at arm’s length for when I’m watching dailies or waiting on a render.

8. Multiple seating options (that aren’t chairs) Check out my blog post about Ergonomics 2.0 to learn about all the different sitting options that are much better for you than your desk chair.

9. Menu Tab for Facebook App Let’s face it…Facebook is inevitable at this point. Rather than let it consume your life with every single notification, learn to control it. I use a really useful app called Menu Tab for Facebook that allows me to receive only the notifications I want and removes the need for a browser to use Facebook. This keeps me away from the temptation to surf other sites, and it also allows me to turn off the notifications on my other devices. I’m now officially “notification free” and loving it!

10. Flux App For the late nights when I’m stuck in front of my computer, I always make sure I have the Flux app. This changes the color frequency of the light emitted from your screen. Higher frequency blue lights can interfere with your sleep patterns, so the later it gets, the redder your screen gets. Just don’t use it if you’re doing color correction!

What are your “must-haves” when traveling from office to office? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”

Comments 3

  1. nice checklist! i would also add a selection of interface controllers such as wacom intuos/evoluent mouse/ipad, and essential oil diffuser with doterra oils, preferrably a citrus blend for freshness and clarity..

  2. Post

    Both great suggestions, thank you! I’m going to have to check out an essential oil diffuser, never thought of that before.

  3. In order to reduce eye strain and fatigue all day, I’ve been wearing a pair of Gunnar Optiks computer glasses. They are designed to combat staring into the giant blue-light emitting screens that we face every single day. Glasses come in a variety of styles, are available with or without prescription lenses, and are both tinted and non-tinted (in case you do color-sensitive work). Average price is about $100, so it’s not a free solution like Flux. However as someone who’s gone through lasik surgery and is now prone to dry eyes, I found the one-time outlay well worth it.

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