5 things a developer should do apart from coding

(6 minutes of reading time)

Being a programmer, despite not being considered a high-risk profession, it isn’t an easy task. Hours and hours sitting in front of a computer screen in long meetings, fixing some bugs and hating yourself when those same bugs reappear. Those are just some of the things a programmer must deal with on a daily basis. 

There is no denying that it is harmful to physical and mental health to stay sit for long periods in front of a computer screen. It’s not a surprise that a number of developers suffer from physical and mental problems. Of course, sitting at a table won't kill you, but it can really harm your health. 

Studies have shown that you don't have to do much to live a healthier and more balanced life. Fortunately, it's not too difficult to make some changes, all it takes is a little effort and goodwill. 
Here are some tips on how to improve the quality of your physical and mental health without great efforts:


1) PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Physical activity is probably the most obvious tip on this list, after all, exercising regularly is something every human being should do. Even more a programmer who works sitting most of the time. Sitting for a long period of time can cause muscle weakness, weight gain, increased risk of diabetes and heart problems, and so on.

There's no need to become a marathon runner or even fitness freak but getting a little exercise will have countless benefits and will keep you healthy, fit, and focused. 
You don't need to join the gym to stay in shape. Health can also be maintained by practicing the following: 

a) Daily stretching 
b) 20-minute home workout
c) 30 minutes of walking daily
d) Riding a bicycle

Exercise will also strengthen your muscles, often preventing the famous repetitive strain injury (RSI), which is a very common problem among programmers. There are many techniques you can use to prevent RSI, but exercise is one of the easiest and cheapest. 

Exercising regularly has a wide range of benefits, in addition to keeping your body in shape, improving your physical health, making you mentally more resilient and mindful. This one is especially important if your job is stressful or mentally draining.


2) SLEEP

This is another tip that sounds silly, but it isn't. Spending a night working/studying won't kill you, but it can really damage your health if you make it a habit.

Sleeping an average of 8 hours a day is something that the human body needs to recover from the previous day and get ready for a new day. Your body uses this downtime to reset your brain and repair any damage that may have occurred during the day. Studies have shown that sleeping 8 hours a night significantly increases your focus during the day, improves your immune system and even increases your memory.  In other words, sleep well! 


3) INVEST IN A GOOD SET-UP

One of the biggest advantages of being a programmer is being able to work/study anywhere, but don't forget you will be sitting for more than 8 hours a day, that is, you must be at a comfortable table and chair, otherwise if it's not a suitable place, for sure will have long-term back pain. Back pain is a well-known problem among programmers and is caused by incorrect working/studying posture. 

In addition to the posture you will be seated in, there are many other details to be concerned about, including chair height, the distance between the desk and the chair, and the distance between the mouse and keyboard. 

You also need to invest in a mouse, a good monitor and keyboard, adequate lighting, and headphones. All of this can improve your work experience, diverting your attention from the pain to more important tasks.


4) EATING HEALTHY

A healthy diet guarantees the supply of all the nutrients necessary for our body to function. It is necessary to invest in low-processed foods and reduce the consumption of fats, salt, and sugar. In addition, it is not enough just to be careful with food to have a healthy diet, it is also essential to dedicate time to make eating a moment of pleasure, I mean, you need to stop to eat throughout the day. 

A healthy lifestyle is not a complicated science. What we eat has a direct impact on our behavior and mental health. So, what can we do about it to improve our eating habits? How about eating a bowl of salad every day to meet your fiber and vitamin needs; include lean proteins (eggs, chicken, fish); eat more fruits and vegetables daily? 

Eating healthy neither stop us from having a quick snack at lunch or eating candies in the mid-afternoon, nor it is necessary to cut out everything that's unhealthy from your diet. The important thing is that you are aware of what you are going to eat and when you are going to eat. This simple act can make a world of difference.


5) HAVE A HOBBY THAT MAKES YOU DISCONNECT (GO OFFLINE)

After long hours in front of the computer, the programmer needs to disconnect. Having a hobby, preferably one that doesn't involve using a computer, screen, and the internet, is a great way to relax and disconnect from problems. Enjoying the outdoors with friends and pets is a great option and your mind will thank you for it. 

Disconnecting can often seem like a difficult task, but it's worth it. Also, take the opportunity to learn new things, broaden your knowledge, meet new people, and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Nowadays we are exposed to lots of information from the moment we get up until we go to bed. Our brain doesn't stop for a second during the day. It is not necessary to be a genius to figure out we need a break from time to time, so we can relax. By combining this with exercise and a healthy diet, you will have the ingredients for a successful career as a programmer.  

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Reference:
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