9 Wellness Tips For Programmers

9 Wellness Tips For Programmers

  1. Don’t be a slouch. Sit up right!

You’re sitting down coding from 8.30am in the office and the next thing you know ... It’s 1pm. Happens to me all the time. That’s over 5 hours sitting time without even realising. I’ve had poor back posture for a long time now and it’s thanks to not sitting up right in my chair. Poor posture over a long period of time can lead to chronic back pains and potentially serious back conditions.

Invest in a good comfy chair. Make sure it’s up front straight with your tailbone sitting at the back of the chair. The desk should be aligned to your belly button.

  1. Drink more water

Drinking water is awesome. It’s critically important to stimulate our problem-solving minds as the day rolls along. More importantly.. We are all cravers. Water is a great way to stop grazing on unhealthy snacks like chips and chocolate. Nothing worse than sitting down and eating unhealthy food otherwise you will see the KG’s bumping up.

  1. Cut out sugar drinks… and just have less sugar in general

Energy drinks may give you a short-term boost, but the long-term effects and the amount of sugar is not worth it. In fact, it works against you towards the end of the day. Sugar crashes, energy slumps and creative withdrawl.

Numerous studies have suggested energy drinks can have negative health implications. A 2013 study reported by Medical News Today, for example, found energy drinks alter the heart function of healthy adults, while another study linked energy drink consumption to other unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking.

Instead, there are healthy alternative energy drinks out there. In fact, why not make your own? Check out these top 8 easy-to-make DIY natural rehydrating drinks. Get creative. I’m trying some of these at home.

  1. Be an early riser. Get it done.

I remember reading this blog post by Benjamin Hardy last year and it’s been one of the best posts I’ve ever read. It’s changed my life dramatically as I was always a late night owl. Waking up early rocks, and I love the “Before 8am rule”.

Everyone has different ways to start the day, but checking off your usual day-to-day activities, such as going to the gym, smashing off your emails, having a good breakfast and having a nice shower can really make you feel good. I wake up 5.30am every morning, and complete all these tasks by 8am. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I’ve achieved multiple activities before 8am, and then I can look forward to the rest of the day!

  1. Ease up on the coffee/caffeine

Yep, I was that guy who drank coffee 4-5 times without second thought. However, over time I’ve cut down to no more than 2 a day and for good reason. Drinking at a high rate of coffee, with approximately having over 500 to 600mg’s a day, it was having a detrimental effect on my productivity and even more concerning, it was creating more anxiety and to the point where I experienced a couple of panic attacks.

Heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day — may cause side effects such as:

  • Insomnia

  • Nervousness

  • Restlessness

  • Irritability

  • Stomach upset

  • Fast heartbeat

  • Muscle tremors

So take it easy on the coffee or heavily caffeinated drinks like energy drinks. Water, fresh fruit juices and smoothies will do the trick!

  1. Eat healthy and balance your diet

Fast-food tastes awesome, it’s cheap and it’s fast. However, is it worth having too much? Personally, if I have too much fast-food, I actually feel unhealthy.

Not just fast food - high sugar and high carbohydrate foods make you feel bloated and quickly turns into fat while we are working through the day. Having bread and foods with natural sugars and carbohydrates is okay, just don’t have too much during the day. Breakfast is the perfect time.

  1. Get away from the code… and look up from the screen time-to-time

Don’t get too code crazy. Also, my eyes start hurting after a while, does yours? Looking at the screen too long can lead to chronic fatigue, decreased ability to concentrate, stinging eyes and other symptoms.

Lookup. Stand up. Walk around for 5 mins and then head back in.

If you plan on ignoring this tip ;), maybe get these glasses.

  1. The pomodoro technique - Take breaks, walk around.

25 mins on, 5 mins off. Welcome to the pomodoro technique where frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple. For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically. You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

I’m loving the pomodoro and love having the timer next to me. I’ve also been completing the book recently and it has some great tips for productivity. Check out the video about the Pomodoro technique and to purchase the book.

  1. Be ergonomic. Be cool and get a standing desk.

As they say, sitting is the new smoking. And us programmers, sit down a lot. It’s just the way it is. However, it’s not the healthiest way, and in fact, it can actually be counterproductive. Positive, science-backed effects include;

  • May lower blood sugar levels.

  • Lower risk of heart disease

  • Reduce back pain

  • Improves mood and energy levels

  • Boost productivity



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