Designers and developers, and just about anyone who work in front of their computer all day, are prone to health risks that stem from habits. These are universal. Everyone develops these habits one way or another, but many don’t know the consequences involved.
Are you slowly killing yourself?
Let’s fix you!
1. Watch Out For Your Eyes
Having a bad eyesight is terrible, no matter how much “geeks” or “nerds” make it appear to be. True geeks and nerds paid the price for spending hours upon hours reading and tinkering little things long after sunset, under bad lighting.
Now, I want to talk two things about the paragraph above. First, about the bad lighting and why is it common among creative.
In a study, it was found out that darkness improves creativity. But that doesn’t mean creatives work in dimly lit rooms because they know for a fact that it helps with their creativity. They feel it. I feel it. I write better when it’s just me and my laptop, and no other source of light. Less distraction and it feels much quieter.
Now, it is proven that darkness plays a vital role in activating creative thoughts. But that doesn’t mean you should do it. It’s bad for your eyes!
But you can still enjoy the benefits of darkness while you are working. If you work from home, be sure to have at least another source of light. Say, a lamp or any light that will give a mellow feel to the room. Same goes when you watch TV.
Remember, two sources of light is good, one is bad. That, plus I highly recommend buying a protective film for your monitor. You can easily grab one on eBay or Amazon.
If you feel like something is wrong with your eyesight, visit an optometrist immediately. Having a bad eyesight sucks. Even though there are prescription lenses and contact lenses.
2. Bad Sitting Posture Will Make You Question Your Spine
Image by Joe Loong
As I write this article I am basically hugging my knees. Not a good example to you guys, sorry.
Now that I’ve lowered them, I will tell you how terrible bad posture can be for your wellbeing. This does not only affect people who work at home, but people who work in an office setting too. You can have a bad sitting posture even if you are sitting on a $3,000 chair.
So, why is this bad for your health? Basically, bad sitting posture leads to bad standing posture. These will give you headaches…well, not actually headaches, but backaches. Which can, in the long run, develop into chronic backaches. No one wants that. Ouch, my back!
Sitting all day is bad for your health. Specifically for your spine, neck, and longevity. Sitting all day can literally shave years off of your life.
People like us who work in front of the computer all day are prone to neck and back problems. But a 15-minute break once in a while can definitely help. Do some stretching. Walk around your house or office. Wiggle those toes.
Here’s a great guide from WikiHow on how to sit properly – including how to setup your workstation to avoid hunching back too much.
Finally, don’t forget to invest in a good chair.
3. Consider Coffee And Energy Drinks To Be Toxic
Coffee and energy drinks are amazing when you want to stay alert on a cozy rainy afternoon while you are faced with tons of projects, and just behind you is your comfortable bed. They’re both good and bad, a double-edged sword, if you will.
I’m writing this down because I realize that too much coffee is bad, more so with energy drinks, but I drink at least five cups of coffee daily. I understand that this is deadly, but I can’t help it. My body seeks it.
Why is this deadly?
Coffee raises the levels of homocysteine which contributes greatly to certain heart diseases and dementia. Caffeine also blocks that part of your brain that says you probably need to get some sleep. And I don’t have to tell you exactly why this is bad, especially when you do it several times day. I mean, it’s unnatural to do so, what happens when you “constrict” your brain often?
What about energy drinks? Think of them as coffee, but ten-fold of the intended effect (both good and bad). I have three words for you: they are terrible.
What I recommend? Get some good night’s sleep!
4. Skipping Meals Will Make You Hungry
Skipping meals isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when skipping meals become a habit, that’s when things get serious.
When designers and developers enter the “zone” they will do everything in their power to savor it while it lasts. You know what I’m saying, you don’t know how to make it happen because it just happens. And you don’t want it to go away! It’s that brilliant moment where your fingers dance in jazz and create wonderful code or breathtaking designs.
Because of that “spark” many tend to forget that lunch time ended two hours ago.
Why is skipping meals bad?
When we eat, food is broken down into smaller parts. Some are converted into glucose, which enters the bloodstream and gives energy to the body. Skipping a meal means you’ll feel weaker, groggy, and possibly tired even after you have had your late meal. By doing this regularly, your blood sugar will spike up and fall down at an abnormal rate, which is a recipe for diabetes.
It’s only bad when it becomes a habit.
Eat, Drink, Sit, and See Properly
Eat when it’s time to eat. Drink lots of water, cut down on coffee and energy drinks. Sit properly, invest in a good chair and keep in mind your posture, always. Work under good lighting because it’s not cool to have bad eyes.
When was the last time you ate? Are you sitting properly right now? How many glasses of water have you had so far? Is lighting good in your room?
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