How to stay healthy as a software developer? this question has been raised a few times for me during the last couple of years because I didn’t have an active physical life. If I want to generalize software developers, we have almost no activities during our working hours and we tend to move as little as possible and eat while we are coding. Most of us love drinking coffee or energy drinks, and of course who doesn’t like pizza? Most of us love gaming and that is the way we relief our daily stress.
What all of these mean? It means we spend too much time behind different screens, which can lead to eye issues and headaches. We don’t move enough which can lead to obesity, and it might boost depression in some people.
I spent most of my life doing fitness and martial arts workout. Seeing myself going the sad path is not acceptable and I had to change it. The alarm went off when I realized that walking up 3-floors using stairs is my daily workout, and I have short breath every time I am doing it.
For overcoming health issues, I needed big changes in my lifestyle. However, they are not very new to me, I need to fit more stuff in my already busy schedule. There are different types of things that I have to change. So, I came up with a few checklists which will help me to keep myself responsible, and yes I love checklist because they make reviewing much faster and of cause cleaner.
I came up with 3 lists and those are work habits changes, eating changes and activity changes. As you know, I could have a lot of changes in each list, but then they would be not useful, so I decided to go with 5 to 10 highest priority changes I need personally. This lists can be different for each person because you might do some of them with ease, and don’t need to include them in your checklist. But, If you are reading this far, you already have some problems with keeping yourself healthy and there might be common items in our lists.
Work habits changes
- Take more frequent bathroom breaks
- Sleep enough (at least 7 hours)
- Don’t look at the screen when you are thinking
- Stand-up desk (use it at least 1 hour per day)
- Get a chair cushion
- Screen height (make sure the height is adjusted correctly)
- Good keyboard and Toys to keep blood circulating in your hands to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Having enough light in the office
- Use your off days and don’t stay at home for those days
- Eat breakfast everyday
- Prepare your lunch bag like an elementary school kid’s lunch bag
- Drink a lot of water (just water)
- Never stay hungry, it will help to decrease the chance of getting diabetes
- Calculate the sugar you eat
- Eat less meat
- Cut frozen and processed food as much as possible
- Use a daily multivitamin supplement
- Eat less at nights
- Eat Slowly
- Exercise 3 times a week at the gym
- Do meditation/stretch sessions 3 times a week
- Use stairs instead of the elevator
- Get an activity tracker to measure your daily burnt calories
- Have outdoor activities at least once a week (like running or cycling)
These are the changes I think will help me to have a healthy life, while I am doing what I love. I’m going to alter and expand these lists over time, depending on the situation in the future. I will encourage you to create such a list for your own self, and review it once in a while and move the priorities and alter based on your needs.
Stay healthy to code for a longer time. Good luck.