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Coding Can Make You Fat

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Writing code for a living can make you fat. That’s because coders work long hours behind a computer and don’t have much time for exercise. Here’s what you can do about it.

It probably what come as a shock to you when I reveal that coding is done (mostly) on a computer… That means that coder has to be operating the computer. And that means the coder will mostly be static.

On a serious note,that is a potential problem for health.

The irony is: when I used to smoke I got more exercise because when I hit a problem, I’d go outside for a smoke and pace around thinking through the problem.

Now, I stay at my desk – drink more coffee and think it through there. Although solving problems is a big part of what coders do, the static nature of it is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

In case you’re wondering, I’m in my late forties. The problem may not apply to younger developers. But I reckon that if you stay at it long enough, it will become a problem.

There is also combination of other issues that can lead to weight gain. Coding can be very stressful. Positive stress is a good thing – we all need a bit of that. However, constantly working to tight deadlines and solving difficult problems can lead to negative stress. Weight gain can be a sign of too much negative stress.

Let’s see then. Too many hours static behind a computer and maybe too much stress can lead to weight gain. What can be done about it?

I go walking.

I go as often as I can, for as long as I can. Sometimes it means I have to get up at 5:00am to fit it in. I try to do at least 4 sessions a week of around an hour or more each session.

When I say walking, I don’t just mean a gentle stroll. I mean walking with real intent. That means I’m walking at a pace that is not easy to maintain.

The trick is:

Walk at a pace that allows you to hold snatches of a conversation, but not so you could sing your favourite song.

It’s cheap too. You just need a pair of good walking trainers:

Decent socks (to avoid blisters) and away you go.

I like the fact that you get time to think too. While you are out walking you can think about coding problems you might have with greater clarity. Or that’s what I’ve find anyway.

Writing code for a living can make you fat. I suppose any work that involves long hour behind a computer is guilty too. You can (and should) do something about it though. Even if you have to get up a bit earlier in the morning.

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Published at DZone with permission of Andy Hawthorne, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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