Habits to stay healthy as a software developer
How to stay productive at work with healthy habits
15 Jan 2020 · 4 min read
Being a software developer means sitting long hours in front of a computer every day. Our body isn’t designed to sit all day, so to stay healthy as a developer it is important to take care of our body every day and to have healthy habits.Let's stay healthy and productive at work.
In this post, I share habits that evolved for me over the years of my career as software developer. They not only help me to stay productive and successfull at work, it also has a lot of positive effects on my personal life. I'm not reaching this goals every single day or week, but I'm trying as often as possible. When I manage to do most of those things, I directly feel huge positive effects on my body and mind.
The following image shows a brief summary, I will go through every point in more detail.
Standing desk & desk ergonomics
By replacing a few hours of sitting with standing had a huge impact for me. I have a standing desk for five years now and I love it. There are many benefits of using a standing desk like spine health, blood sugar, energy level and a lot more.
Desk ergonomics in general is important to stay comfortable at work. There are a lot of guides for ergonomic sitting and standing. I still need to work on this one, I'm catching myself too often loosening up in my chair. But when I concentrate on proper sitting, I directly feel the positive effects.
Fresh air & daylight
Sunlight and fresh air is a natural anti-depressant and benefits our help with improved mood, less eyestrain, more restful sleep and more immunity to diseases, infections and allergies. Better daylight and air conditions also increase learning and concentration. I'm trying to be outside on daylight for at least 1-2 hours a day.
To improve the working conditions I'm trying to air my office as often as possible. If the temperature allows, I leave the windows wide open.
Some leafy plants also improve the air conditions in the working environment.
Daily movement & recreational sports
Being active on a daily basis is one of the best things we can do for our health. Our body isn’t designed to sit all day, the benefits of exercise, even just small amounts, are truly significant. I incorporate movement into my daily life by cycling or taking a walk in the middle of the day, e.g. after 4 hours of working. This way, I'm giving my body a break, I catch up enough sunlight and I'm clearing my head to continue working with new fresh ideas afterwards.
Recreational sports like tennis, badminton, cycling etc. are a great way to add even more physical activity in our life. I'm trying to do leisure sports 2-3 times a week.
Strength & flexibility training
Strength training makes us fitter, protects our bones and muscles, helps with chronic diseases, boosts energy levels and has a lot of other benefits. I'm always combining strength exercises with flexibility training.
Sometimes I'm dividing the workout into multiple 10-minutes workouts throughout the day. This helps me to stay motivated. Because what are 10 minutes right? It's done quickly, but has a huge impact.
As the saying goes, we are what we eat. Food is one of the most important factors for our health. There is a whole big science about this, so I will not go much into details here. What I'm doing is, I'm trying to eat a lot of fruits & vegetables, nuts & seeds, lenses & beans, herbs & spices, whole grain and cold pressed oils.
Maintaining water balance is essential for our body. I'm always having a glass of water at my desk. When it's empty, I'm filling it up so I'm constantly reminded to check my thirst. I'm also drinking green smoothies, herbal teas, green tea and pure fruit juices on a daily basis.
Deep breathing & cold showers
The goal of deep breathing is to focus your awareness on your breath, making it slower and deeper. This helps slow your heart rate, allowing you to feel more peaceful. I’m doing this technique for a few minutes from time to time to release stress or before sleeping.
Cold showers improve immunity, promote emotional resilience, lower stress, increase blood circulation, improve sleep and more. This one I started only a few months ago and I’m totally thrilled. After each ordinary shower I take a cold shower. I started with a few seconds and I’m trying to increase it every day. When the water turns cold, I’m just concentrating on my breathing. This helps to withstand the cold water.
Sleep is vital to our physical and mental health. Having the habits I described above are already contribuiting a lot to a good night sleep.
Additionaly, I’m not consuming any caffeine later than mid-afternoon. I have a night shift setting on my phone, so the colors are warmer after 7 pm. I’m also trying to put away all electronics one hour before bed time.
Be grateful and forgiving, laugh, try out new things, do fun things, relax.
In our everyday busy lives, we sometimes forget to just live, be grateful und do fun things.
I’m trying to grow personally every day by reading and learing, by being mindful, curious, grateful, reflecting and by staying positive. And also by accepting, when these things sometimes don’t work out.