Health and fitness are not really something coders and programmers talk about. Most of the time, programmers tend to stick to the usually “work” topics when they’re out with their fellows. However, it is important to note that keeping our bodies and mind in check should be part of the strategy of being productive.
As we know by now, sitting can have detrimental effects on your health. Sadly, many programmers spend more than 8 hours on their chairs working. So if you’re looking to stay healthy despite being a programmer, you’re in the right place because we have some tips on how you can stay in shape.
Fix Your Posture
Many coders and programmers complain of back pain. This pain usually stems from poor posture while sitting down in front of their desks. Many coders (and ordinary people) sit in a slumped position on their chairs with their backs glued to the back of their chair and their heads leaning forward. Prolonged sitting in this position puts a lot of stress on the lower back and neck causing aches and pains when you get up. In fact, sitting in this position all the time can lead to chronic lumbar and neck pain.
The solution to this is to buy an ergonomically correct chair that can support your lower back. These chairs encourage the user to sit up properly because the back is supported away from the back of the chair causing the spinal column to align properly. When the back is straight, so is the neck. This optimum sitting position makes you straighten your back keeping everything aligned so that nothing aches at the end of the day.
In all honestly, nobody is going to sit erect all day long. However, an ergonomically correct chair reminds you to straighten up. Speaking of ergonomics, an ergonomic keyboard can also minimize wrist damage and help you avoid carpal tunnel disease.
A good addition to the chair is a desk that rises up and down. This allows the user to stand or sit whenever they want to. This will help make your office space more active and reduce your sitting hours.
Exercise & Eat Regularly
One of the best ways to stay fit is to exercise. Going to the gym for strength training and cardio is good for overall health. Not only will it improve your blood circulation and prevent heart disease, it will also help improve your mood. Programming is sometimes tedious and repetitive which leads to frustration, taking a break by going to the gym will not only make you healthier, it also releases endorphins which can boost your mood so that you can find solutions to your problems.
Eating regularly is just as important. Many programmers tend to go for fast food because this is either the nearest food destination or because it’s convenient. Many programmers also tend to prioritize health over eating so they end up eating at odd hours. We all know that these eating habits are unhealthy and can jeopardize health in the long run. It leads to weight gain and diseases like heartburn and hyperacidity.
Follow a regular eating schedule. Don’t eat in front of your desk and always go for nutritious foods. A balanced diet can help you think more clearly and keep you healthy.
Get Quality Sleep
There are many studies that show the impact of sleep deprivation. Sleep loss causes you to make worse decisions and commit more mistakes. It also affects your memory and problem solving skills. Aside from poor performance and lack of focus, lack of sleep also causes high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. It also weakens your immune system.
Most of us are cranky when we don’t get our 8 hours the next day. Imagine being sleep deprived for days. This doesn’t only make you physically sick, it also makes you depressed. Lack of sleep can destroy your body and sanity. This is why getting quality sleep is very important.
There is a lot of debate as to how many hours you should sleep. There are people who can get by with 6 hours per night. But this is a small percentage of the population. For us normal beings, we need at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
However, it should be noted that sleep should be of good “quality”. This means your sleep is uninterrupted. If you do wake up, you fall back to sleep within 15 minutes. Good quality sleep means being asleep for around 80% of the total time you should be sleeping.
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