The ugly truth about long hours of inactivity on a regular indoor working day
Staying at your desk in front of your computer at some point may seem relaxing as you have so many options for leisure, but what about when your “job” is to stay at your PC for numerous hours each day to create, let’s say, web applications, web design, develop e-commerce portals, or do websites for a living? The answer, in our opinion, should be said with loud voice, as the alternative is not so pleasant.
We are going to turn the table a little bit and consider that before helping others, is important to help yourself.
Why I am saying that? Due to our jobs, we tend to develop some online obsessions and at some point even related habits that unknowingly might affect our personal health in ways that might not at first be obvious or reach the point where some alarms are triggered. First, help yourself before being able to help others, whether is your client, your web app user, or fellow programmer. Do not raise your eyebrow yet, interesting things are just about to flow.
After long hours of sitting down, most of you guys tend to hunch over your desk, or slide beneath it or in generally exhibit very poor postures leading to back pain and great discomfort. If you are programming with incorrect postures for extended periods of time, down the road you will have problems for sure. So besides adjusting your chair you should consider other options, as problems can go far beyond simple stiffness and back pain.
Here are few highlights on the importance of proper postures and why we are encouraging more non-sitting activities:
- The risk of death increases up to 40% while sitting six or more hours per day
- If you sit up straight actually is bad for your back
- People having sitting jobs double the rate of cardiovascular disease comparing with people having standing jobs
- Calorie burning drops dramatically, enzymes that help break down fat drop 90%, electrical activity in the muscles shuts off all that happening as soon as you sit.
What you should do if your job implies a sitting activity, and still avoid the risks presented above!
- Take breaks from sitting and move or exercise a bit.
- From time to time take a walking lunch
- Ride a bike to work at least twice a week
- Stretch at your desk
- Hang out with more active people
- Get a friend to join you for a regular walk or run
- Find a physical activity that you can enjoy doing each day
- Cook your own meals and TOTALLY avoid junk food
- Last in this list but not the least, add few more sparks into your love-life
If I were to make a list of what is to be avoided probably fast food and junk food would come up ranked very high. When you are stuck in your office more than eight hours a day or even if you are working from your home office, fast food consumption can easily become a way of life. Web developers, programmers who are working full time and also bloggers or freelancers can easily fall into this trap as most fast food barely can qualify as food at all. This type of food is filled with additives and chemicals most of the time is over-processed and hardly has nutritional value. The effect of long term junk food consumption is very concerning, leading to diabetes, obesity, cancer and increases depression rates dramatically.
You do not have to take my word for granted, just check related articles about negative effects of fast foods:
- Junk Food as addictive as drugs – The Telegraph
- Fast Food the short road towards organ damage – Abc News
- Most of what we eat is not real food – Spiegel Online International
- Trans-Fats boost the risk of Depression – Science Daily
- Junk food reveal highest levels of known Carcinogen – Center For Science In the Public Interest
Mostly Drink Simple Water
It’s a proven fact that we tend to drink sodas and energy drinks for an extra boost of energy whenever fatigue installs, not to mention that many office workers are highly dependent on coffee and sugary sodas which cause serious health problems. Even vitamin drinks are not what we might think of them, check here other information and then come to senses.
There are numerous studies that reveal minimal benefit from drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day as a neutral replacement for problematic beverages. Again, do not take my word for granted, but check this:
- Two soft drinks each day can lead to long term liver damage – The Telegraph
- 85% increase in diabetes risks caused by sodas – USA Today
Get More Vitamin D Into Your System
Staying indoor for a majority of the working week surely leads to a decrease in Vitamin D level. Achieve a healthy level of Vitamin D with some simple sun exposure each day, but this may be tricky especially in winter time, or simply by not leaving your office during busy working hours.
It has been proven that proper vitamin D levels bring countless health benefits such as fighting common cold, depression, and even cancer, so it is recommended to use some vitamin D supplements.
Here is are some well documented studies:
- Colds and flu recently linked to Vitamin D deficiency – Scientific American
- Vitamin D kills Cancer Cells – Abc News
What can we say to sum this up? Try being active, live naturally and always keep a positive perspective over life
Due to this type of indoor working, being stuck to a chair for long hours with constant overtime caused by tight schedules and impatient clients, living a natural life may be quite a challenge.
Just put more effort in decreasing your artificial dependencies and increase the level of physical exercises and in other words staying in shape.
We advise daily walks or regular exercises, home made food consumption, avoiding sugary sodas, coffee and artificial energy drinks. Train your body, not just your mind and increase the chance of having a long and healthy life and continue to be part of this successfully community of developers and programmers.