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Healthy Habits for Developers

Michael Morales  -  October 20, 2021  -  , ,  

People in computer-based jobs like programmers and developers typically spend 35-50 hours on average per week sitting stationary, staring at their screens to work. While this may be unavoidable in their career path, it can cause some problematic effects on their health. To counter this, we consulted the experts on what programmers and developers can do to lessen the negative effects. We put together their thoughts on healthy habits that developers and programmers need to adopt to keep in good health.

We programmers work most of our time sitting on a chair and coding. Sitting at a desk for long periods isn’t healthy for a variety of reasons. By the way, if you are doing work by sitting on your bed, it’s even worse. 

Right Posture

It’s important to be conscious about your posture even if your office provides comfortable, ergonomic chairs and desks. We don’t usually care about it when we are young. But, back pain and other chronic injuries are very commonly seen even among young programmers.

Strain Your Brain, Not Your Eyes

We use screens for just about everything: to work, to relax, or to keep up with daily life. Generally, we blink our eyes about 15-20 times a minute. That spreads tears evenly over your eyes, which keeps them from getting dry and irritated. 

But people blink less than half as often when they’re looking at a computer screen or any other screen.

Coffee Can’t Solve Your Problems!

Programmers love coffee. There are even programming languages named after coffee. Many programmers misuse coffee as a form of fuel during the day. Some choose coffee or tea, while others prefer energy drinks. I know a few of them, and they have a lot of justifications to tell me for doing that. 

Even though most energy drinks are high in calories, caffeine itself doesn’t contain any calories. It interacts directly with your central nervous system and blocks the essential spaces that your neurochemical signals need to get through and do their job. 

Don’t Get Worked Up, Work Out!

You hear this a lot. I don’t need to tell you about the importance of exercising and working out. You already know all that stuff. But what you probably don’t have is the discipline to work out daily.

There are thousands of reasons you can have to avoid going to the gym. You might be saying that I’m too busy with work, and I will go to the gym when I’m free. And you will never be free. You know what? Someone way too busier than you are already working out right now. Even Gary Vee works out regularly. I don’t think you’re hustling more than him. 

Good Sleep Solves the Bugs

A good night’s sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet. Poor sleep has immediate and negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function.

Not having enough sleep has a devastating effect on your ability to think. We are programmers, and we need a lot of logical thinking. Hence, it is essential to sleep well so that you can be more creative during your work. 

Sometimes, You Need to Hit Refresh

Social media has a lot of amazing possibilities and powers. They allow us to be connected with the whole world wherever we go. Sometimes, it would be great if you put your computer aside, turn off your phone, and disconnect from social media. 

Magdi Talal Hussein, Content Creator/influencer/Artist Founder & CEO Magdi.Shop

Drink More Water

There are numerous scientific reasons for drinking more water. I'm sure you've heard a good portion of them already. Water benefits your kidneys, energizes your muscles, improves the appearance of your skin, and may even help you lose weight if you drink more. That's correct.

Drinking more will help you lose weight.  All of these facts are, of course, pleasing. But the following experiences that I have on my own are the most essential to me. I'm a better coder when I drink more water on a daily basis. 

Gerrid Smith, CMO Joy Organics

Protect Your Eyes With Blue Light Filters

A career as a developer forces one to be seated in one place and keep looking at a screen. The eyes and the entire body are strained. First of all, developers should choose monitors that have blue light filters to reduce strain on the eyes. They should move their eyes away from screens at regular intervals and shut them off for a minute. It will reduce the chances of headaches, eye strain, and vision loss.

Regular Walks

For physical wellness, developers should not sit for too long. They should take regular walks, especially in the open air. Also, when they get up from their position, they should do some light stretching. Taking stairs is a good addition to this “in-between work” regime. It will ensure that the body remains physically active and less prone to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Staying hydrated should also be a priority of a programmer. Drink water regularly throughout the day. A hydrated body is less prone to headaches, fatigue, and body ache.

Jod Kapilakan, CEO of AbundanceNoLimits

The nature of the job of developers makes them different from other humans. They have to live and dream in the imaginary world they want to create within the computer. It often involves long stretches of sitting next to computer screens exercising their mind against the brainstorming problems by developing and implementing complex algorithms. Keeping their mind and body fresh and healthy is essential for them, for which following tips may be helpful:

Regular Yoga

Yoga involving body stretching, bending, and breathing exercises help keep a flexible body and fresh mind that keep the body pain, thought blocks, and frustrations away.

Walking: It is considered the best exercise for the whole body. Walking in the morning also helps keep the mind fresh for the entire day.

Plenty of Water Intake: Keeps the body hydrated and keeps the gastrointestinal system light, avoiding a lot of digestion-related issues.

Avoid Junk Food

These are the worst enemies of the body. They increase the trans-fat level in the body affecting general health.

Adequate Lighting

While watching on the screen for a long time, keeping sufficient lighting in the surrounding helps reduce eye strain.

At least six hours of quality sleep: Sleep is the body's natural mechanism to refresh it by removing harmful content from the body and the mind.

Reduce Caffeine Intake: Coffee is considered a stimulant often used by most of us to feel refreshed after work hours. But, too much caffeine may overstimulate our mind that can result in artificial alertness. It may be helpful temporarily to fight against mental fatigue. Still, prolonged use of it in the hope to increase productivity interferes with our normal circadian rhythm that may lead to unhealthy sleep, eventually reducing our cognitive capabilities slightly, thereby reducing our productivity.

Healthy sitting posture: This is one of the essential habits for programmers and other persons who have a job that needs prolonged sitting. Bad sitting posture eventually leads to spine-related problems leading to backaches and sitting discomfort. Sitting straight with adequate back and lumbar support is necessary.

Daniela Sawyer, Founder and Software Development Manager of FindPeopleFast.net

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