On some level, we all know being a desk jockey is not the healthiest thing to be. I recently read in an article just how bad it is for us application development team members (and management too!).
This chart from the article shows it all:
Too much stress is hard on you mentally, but also physically too. Too much stress will make your body retain weight. Stress, combined with lack of exercise and a poor diet, is a great recipe for heart disease. Sitting in a chair for hours at a time is not great for your body either. Back problems are common, and are exacerbated by our weight issues. Coding is hard on your arms and eyes.
The bigger problem is we as application development team members recognize our weight issues, and injure ourselves by trying to exercise.
Can we do anything?
Blink – moving your eyes away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes helps with eye strain. I know this can be disruptive when you are "in the zone", but just looking at your notes will help
Stretch – Stretching every hour helps move the blood that collects in our legs. It helps with posture as you get reseated.
Eat right – caffeine is part of our culture, but cutting down on it helps. Reduce your portions and eating more fruits and vegetables helps too. Personally, I snack 3 times a day at scheduled intervals. I typically have an apple in the morning, meat for lunch, and a banana in the afternoon. I try to drink 16 ounces of water in the morning, and another 16 ounces in the afternoon.
Exercise… slowly – Many of played sports in high school… in the ‘80s. You are not 20, so don’t start your exercise regimen like you are. Light weights and/or 20-30 minutes of brisk walking is best to start. You don’t want to have a heart attack by trying to do the right thing.
Vacation – Those projects are important, but nothing is more important than your health. Everyone needs to drop the stress and not think so hard. You may not have the cash for that dream vacation, but the time off is good to attend local events, or start a new hobby. Anything as long as computers are not involved. Don’t check your email!
With all these dangers lurking, I am hoping to be on the first season of "Deadliest Code".