At this present moment, you can count yourself among the fortunate people in the world for the type of work you engage in is regarded as top-notch. Making an intelligent choice, you have positioned yourself as a vital contributor to innovative progress and growth.
At the onset of my career as a software developer, I was faced with the prospect of enlisting in the military, but due to favouritism, I was not able to join. After several months of contemplation, I opted to pursue a career in professional software development. My reason being that it had more benefits such as no extended periods away from my loved ones, and unlike going to war, it promised me a longer lifespan.
Although I have largely been precise thus far, some worrying issues remain unattended. These subjects are seldom talked about in the development world. Nevertheless, given our passion for our work and our desire to attain a particular level of success in the future, it is essential that we take the time to address them.
Being programmers, it is imperative to pay attention to our physical and mental wellness. Although someone may seem perfectly healthy at a glance, our bodies can be deceptive at times. Without proper precautions, we may not detect any underlying health problems until they become severe. Hence, it is crucial to cultivate healthy habits and remain mindful of any alterations in our well-being.
The Foe is Comfort, Not You.
Although sitting requires minimal effort, it can have various negative impacts on one’s physical and mental health if done for extended periods. Health professionals propose standing up every fifteen minutes instead of sitting to alleviate the risks. Prolonged sitting has been linked to obesity, depression, heart disease, and numerous other health problems. To safeguard your physical and mental well-being, it is prudent to take frequent breaks from sitting.
It is vital to vary your posture regularly before any discomfort arises. This practice can decrease the likelihood of pain or discomfort arising and may even relieve any existing aches or pains. As a result, it is recommended to shift positions and move frequently throughout the day.
Your body language is just as important as your actions.
The Science of Vision
Our eyes do more than just provide us with the ability to see; they also aid in accurately measuring distances, processing new information, and recognizing colours. Our visual capabilities play a vital role in how we lead our lives and inevitably impact its quality.
Prolonged computer usage does not usually lead to permanent vision loss. However, it can cause a collection of discomforts classified as Computer Vision Syndrome, such as eyestrain, dry eyes, headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, and even neck and shoulder pain. Though these symptoms typically subside once the individual leaves the computer, they can have a significant impact on one’s productivity and overall well-being.
It is essential to choose a font size that is comfortable and easy to read to avoid eye strain. Small fonts can contribute to discomfort, so it is wise to select a comfortable size. Furthermore, it is advisable to invest in anti-reflective glasses, as spending extended periods in front of a digital screen can be taxing on your eyes. To alleviate eye strain, it is recommended to take regular breaks, blink frequently, and even use eye drops if necessary.
It is advisable for individuals to maintain a healthy viewing distance of 20 to 28 inches away from the screen. Additionally, it is recommended that the top of the screen be tilted away from the user at an angle of 10 to 20 degrees, situated slightly below eye level.
The Backbone: Where It All Begins
Sitting for prolonged periods without moving can lead to back pain. When we focus or concentrate, it is common to unconsciously slouch. To avoid this, sit with your feet flat on the floor and your back at an angle of approximately 100 to 110 degrees from the chair back. If necessary, use a lumbar cushion to maintain the correct posture. Additionally, it is recommended to incorporate cobra stretches into your routine on a regular basis to maintain a healthy back.
The Wrist: An Essential Body Part
Sitting at a desk for prolonged periods can cause wrist discomfort. Ergonomics is a technique rather than a device, and it is crucial to consistently evaluate how one’s workspace can be improved. I have discovered that angling my keyboard at a 20-degree angle has been advantageous, and it is proposed to experiment and discover what works best for each individual.
Master the Skill of Touch Typing
The ability to type quickly and accurately without looking at the keyboard is referred to as “touch typing”. Those who have acquired this skill use all of their fingers to find the keys on the keyboard, which is comparable to how a pianist can locate the notes on a piano effortlessly. This method of locating the keys is achieved through muscle memory development.
While touch typing is not mandatory to become a skilled programmer, it can greatly improve your productivity and aid in the prevention of eye strain that can result from extended periods of focusing on the keyboard. In the end, this technique is advantageous for all parties involved.
Establish a Workout Routine
It’s crucial to not allow your job to consume your entire life. Incorporating exercise into your routine should not be perceived as an unusual activity; instead, it can be achieved by reserving thirty minutes daily for physical activity. Luckily, several apps, such as Google Fit, are available to help you keep track of your progress and stay motivated. The secret to success is to set a goal and remain committed to it.
Sufficient physical activity is vital for maintaining good health and well-being, as is finding the optimal time for eating and sleeping. Studies have proven that receiving a suitable amount of restful sleep can aid in mitigating many health issues.
Expand Your Professional Network
While it is comprehensible that not everyone will agree with this concept, I believe it is important for us to explore interests beyond computer science. This could include a variety of activities such as swimming, public speaking, photography, involvement in politics or volunteering. Additionally, identifying a like-minded group of individuals would be advantageous.
Proactivity is key in living a satisfying life. To achieve this, it is crucial to establish a supportive social network of individuals who are invested in your well-being and who you hold dear. If you find yourself in a challenging situation, do not hesitate to reach out to these individuals and discuss the situation; they may be able to offer valuable guidance and prompt assistance.
Developers should take regular breaks from work and respect their time off by not utilizing work tools during this period. Taking breaks from work should not be considered a weakness or laziness, but rather as an opportunity to unwind, destress and recharge. Furthermore, it is advisable for developers to take advantage of their healthcare benefits, even if it is only for a routine exam. This can help to safeguard their continued physical and emotional wellbeing.
Although we exercise our cognitive abilities regularly, it is equally important to prioritize our physical well-being. As Buddha wisely said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise, we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.”