Being a computer programmer has a lot of perks. Unfortunately, it has a lot of health risks too. Some of which include countless coding hours, sleepless nights, and unhealthy food choices. Yikes.
It doesn’t have to stay this way. You can always maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are some essential changes you can do to become a healthy programmer:
1. Take a Break
It has always been discussed that when sitting in front of a desk for long hours, You. Need. To. Take. A. Break.
Your tasks may be important but your health needs more attending to. Take good care of it as early as now so you wouldn’t have to experience long term damage. Did you know that sitting for long periods of time poses a number of health concerns? These include obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
So if you feel like sitting for an entirety of 8 hours, you might want to consider taking a 5-minute breather.
2. Get the right amount of sleep
Based on this research paper, sleep deprivation has a negative effect on the performance of software developers. The research shows that developers who did not sleep the night before were less efficient than those who slept under normal conditions.
But it’s inevitable! Programmers are, and will always be, sleep-deprived. Wrong. You can always get adequate hours of sleep.
If you’re thinking that your “creative workflow” works best at night, you might want to reconsider. Working at night means going against your body clock. This results to a slower reaction time and reduced concentration levels.
Having a hard time adjusting your body clock? Here are some efficient ways to fine-tune it.
3. Buy everything ergonomic
Good posture doesn’t only come from sitting correctly. You would do well to invest in an ergonomic chair, keyboard, mouse, and pillow.
These may seem trivial now, but bad posture can lead to body pain, chronic injuries, constipation, and even heartburn. These small buys can make a big impact on your health.
4. Eat Better
And by eating better, we mean taking a hiatus from fast food, massive sugar fixes, and junk food. Instead of opting for the usual burger + fries + soda, why not go for fresh meat with veggies or eggs with cheese? Eat food rich in Vitamin A like green, leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. Also, get your dose of Vitamin D (cereals, sardines, and soy milk). These may help with better eyesight and blood flow.
You don’t have to deprive yourself; just don’t eat the same, unhealthy stuff over and over again. Yes, you can have caffeine, but consume it in moderation.
5. Engage in Physical Activities
Before you roll your eyes and skip this part, keep in mind that exercise prevents you from being at risk. Possible risks involve disc injuries, lumbar strains and sprains, and carpal tunnel syndrome. These are aftermaths of either bad posture or lack of exercise. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sign up for a gym membership (although that would be better); you just need to, well, move more.
Check out these easy and desk-friendly ways to get fit, even at work.
You don’t have to neglect your health to be a successful programmer. But, if you follow these simple health tips, you can, and will become the best programmer you can be!