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.
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, they also have a lot of positive effects on my personal life. I’m not reaching all 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.
Here is an overview of my healthy habits. I will go into details for each point explaining how I’m incooparating them into my daily life.
Standing desk & desk ergonomics
Standing 30m after 2 hours of sitting.
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. If you are interested, here is a standing desk example*.
Desk ergonomics in general are important to stay comfortable while coding. 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
Being outside at least 1 hour a day.
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.
Airing the office as often as possible.
To improve the oxygen level in the room I’m trying to air the office as often as possible. If the temperature allows, I leave the windows wide open.
Plants in the office.
Some leafy plants also improve the air conditions in the working environment – like for example this aloe vera plant*.
Daily movement & recreational sports
Being active at least 1 hour a day.
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.
Leisure sports 2-3 times a week.
Recreational sports like tennis, badminton, cycling etc. are a great way to add even more physical activity to our life. I’m trying to do leisure sports 2-3 times a week.
Strength & flexibility training
Exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
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. I discovered this green smoothie powder* a few months ago. I’m using it almost every day to add even more nutrition to my fresh made smoothies.
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.
Daily cold showers
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.
Sleeping regularly and sufficiently
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.
Being grateful and forgiving, laughing, trying out new things, doing fun things, relaxing
In our everyday busy lives, we sometimes forget to just live, be grateful und do fun things.
I take a few minutes every day to go through things I’m grateful for. I love to listen to good music. When coding, electro music helps me to get into the flow. I’m trying to grow personally every day by reading and learing, by being mindful, curious, reflecting and by staying positive. And also by accepting, when these things sometimes don’t work out.
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