5 Ways to Stay Healthy for Programmers
Programmers help in advancing society by building applications and programs that help solve problems in finance, healthcare, law, education, science, and many other fields.
There is so much involved in the process of making these critical problem-solving applications. Many of them take thousands of hours and a lot of hard work to accomplish.
In the process, programmers may be stressed, burnt out, de-energized, de-motivated, and so on. If you are a programmer, you are familiar with all that goes into application development, all the pressure, the bugs, and many other unforeseen circumstances.
All these may lead to different health complications. We are going to explore five (5) health practices to help you as a programmer to stay fit and be on top of your game.
Programmers spend most of their time sitting when programming, very few developers such as those working with embedded systems and those in field testing will engage in a physically engaging activity. Programming jobs generally do not involve a lot of physical activities as such, most of them are termed sedentary.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Reducing sitting time is important. The more hours you sit each day, the higher your risk of metabolic problems. Sitting too much can negatively impact your health and longevity.”
As a programmer, you must make sure that away from your programming job, you engage yourself in physical exercise to help you stay in shape. It does not have to be rigorous exercise.
“As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, biking, swimming and mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes activities such as running, heavy yard work, and aerobic dancing.” (Mayo Clinic).
It is important for programmers like everyone else to watch the food we eat. It is very tempting for programmers to go fast foods which does not need much of preparation and all, so as to save time and go back to their work.
On the other hand, some programmers starve themselves in their effort to work on the program without having to break even for meals for a long time. You must make sure to have a good well-balanced meal. Well-balanced meals will keep your body nourished and energetic and will help you to be productive.
On one end avoid fast foods and on the other end do not starve yourself.
It is no strange that nearly every programmer uses dark mode. Dark mode is soft on the eyes which is very important. Many programmers spend nearly an entire day in an eye contest with their computer screen. It needs no explanation that long exposures to bright screens can be unhealthy.
Nearly every computer comes with settings to reduce the strain on your eyes, make use of them. Your eyes are important for you as a programmer, please protect them jealously.
Programming can be frustrating, it can also be a lonely path, so make sure to nature relationships away from your computer. Bugs will always be there; they should not be reasons why you should not have a life. When it gets hard, close that computer, take a break, refresh, and hopefully the next time you open your computer, new ideas will flow.
Many programmers are victims of mental stress because of the nature of their work but it can be avoided and you must try your best to avoid it. Mental health can affect daily living, relationships, physical health, and productivity. Watch your mental health to avoid breaking down.
I cannot end this article without touching sleep. I know not any programmer who has not gone deep through the late hours of the night trying to kill a bug or add a new feature or beat a deadline. For many programmers, it has become almost normal to have only a few hours of sleep. Although many programmers may embrace this, it is dangerous to your health and productivity ultimately.
CDC recommends 7 hours or more sleep time for adults (18 – 60 years) per night. It should also be noted that too much sleep time is not recommended.
In summary, Exercise more, watch your food, take care of your eyes, protect your mental health and have a good quality sleep time.