By May 28, 2019

Programmers Should DEFINITELY Exercise (If You Don’t Want To… DIE?)

As programmers, it’s our job to be at our computer for extended periods of time. And, if you’re anything like us, the longer you sit there, the worse your posture becomes. Without even realizing it, you begin to extend your neck, bringing your face closer to the screen. You hunch your shoulders forward and slump in your chair.

But, not only that… There are a LOT of related health problems that could also come from sitting too much in front of a computer.

When we sit down certain parts of our bodies shut down. Our muscular and cellular systems were put to sleep causing our chances of things like diabetes to increase. Here is a list of the things that happen:


● Blood starts to flow slower, your muscles start to burn less fat
● The pancrease releases more insulin, increasing your risk of diabetes upwards of 90% (if you sit more than 8 hours a day)
● The increase insulin production from sitting is also linked to an increase in colon and breast cancers
● It slows the rate at which you digest your food
● Your brain gets less oxygen slowing down cognitive performance
● You get strained neck and shoulder problems
● Back problems from extra pressure on your spine
● You use your abs and legs less so you are getting weaker muscles
● Hips and glutes become tight putting you at risk of more injury
● Lack of use of the bones sets up for having weaker bones

Now that was a lot but if we could sum it all up in a few maim things it would be:
● It weakens your muscles and bones
● It increases your chances for deadly cancers and diabetes
● It reduces your ability to think straight and process issues as well

In today's video we will talk about the dangers of sitting down too much and the exercises you can make in order to overcome the dangers that come with it.

This is when exercising comes into play, when it comes to improving your overall health as a programmer.

If you're a programmer and you do not exercise, you must watch today's video to understand the importance of exercising for programmers.

What's up everyone? I'm Antonio here at Simple Programmer and I'm a senior software engineer. If your job's anything like mine or like any other programmer, than I bet you're probably sitting down for a large portion of the day. In fact, you're probably sitting down in front of a computer for every second other than going to the bathroom, getting your food and doing standup meetings. And even then some of your standup meetings probably involve you sitting down.

So first I want to talk about why sitting down for so long is so bad for you, and this is the core reason why programmers need to exercise. And then I'm going to go into the things you can do to counteract that, the negative things that will come from sitting down.

So while we need to sit down at a computer in order to get our job done, it is super, super detrimental to our health. Our bodies were not created to sit in this position. The average American actually spends 10 hours a day sitting. And if you ask programmers out there, they probably sit more than 10 hours just because of the nature of our jobs.

While we sit down, parts of our bodies just actually shutdown. Here's the list of things that are likely to happen. First, your blood starts flowing slower and your muscles are stopped being used to burn fat. Then your pancreas starts releasing more insulin due to lack of activity, which can increase your risk of diabetes upwards of 90% if you're sitting eight hours or more a day. The increased insulin production now contributes as well to two different types of cancers, colon and breast cancer. Sitting in this position crunches some of your digestive system and it causes your digestion to slow down.

Since you're not moving, your heart is not pumping as much blood, it's not taking in as much oxygen which causes your brain to slow down its processing. Sitting in positions like this can hurt your neck and shoulders. It can cause extra spine pressure, which hurts your back. You're not using your abs and your legs as much to hold you up and to walk around, so those muscles become weaker. Because those muscles are getting weaker, the bones associated with them are also getting weaker from lack of use. And on top of that, you get muscle tightness, especially in your hips and glutes and your lower back area.

So that was a lot of things, but let's sum it up into three main areas in which sitting down for long periods of times hurts us as programmers.

First, it weakens your muscles and bones. Second, it increases your chances of deadly cancers and diabetes. Third, it reduces your ability to process things.

So if our muscles and bones are weaker than we are going to struggle to do everyday things like picking up our computers and taking them to a meeting with us or commuting back and forth to home and work. Not only that, it affects our appearance. If our muscles are smaller and our bones are smaller, we're going to look frail and shriveled, which is going to affect us and our confidence. So I think we can all agree that having healthy muscles and bones are important for us as programmers.

The second thing that happens if we work and sit down for long hours is it increases our chances of dying sooner. Now going to work every single day is a waste if you're going to die sooner and not be able to enjoy any part of life. We obviously want to live as long as we possibly can. We don't want to die. So I think we can all agree on the second point, that dying from cancers or diabetes is not something we want to do.

And third, thinking straight and solving problems is huge to our careers. Programmers are literally solving problems using math and computers. That's what we do. And if sitting makes us worse at this over the long term and the short term, then we seem to need to not be sitting.

Now I know we need to set for our jobs, and I stated that. So here are five things that I am suggesting we all do and things that I do in order to make sure that you can decrease the effects of sitting.

First is at least once a day workout intensely. This is when you do weightlifting. Like for me, I go weightlifting or I do at least one intense workout six days a week. This gets my heart rate up, it gets my muscles and bones being used, increasing my insulin sensitivity, increasing my brain processing. All of these things help counteract the effects of having to sit all day long. It makes me stronger mentally and physically and that's exactly what we need.

Second is working in time breaks. John [Simons 00:04:31] is popular for talking about using the pomodoro technique, and that's when you do things like work for 25 minutes and then take a five minute break. But when you're using the pomodoro technique, or any other technique where you're working for a period of time and then taking a break, make sure that break involves activity. I walk around. I'm currently in an open office environment, I'm walking around at my desk or I go outside and take a walk. Or when I used to have an office I used to do jumping jacks in my room every 25 minutes in order to make sure that I stayed focused and sharp. Sometimes I even sit, get on the floor and do some ab exercises or stretching. Anything to get the heart rate up and get you moving is important.

The third thing is when you need to go to the bathroom, go walk across the office. Go out of your way to the far bathroom or one on another floor in order to take the stairs or walk across the office. Anything to get a few more steps in in order to make sure that you're burning calories and keeping your blood flow high while you're supposed to be sitting all day long. And the same thing here is for getting water or going to get lunch. Take the far route, take the longer route, anything to make sure that you can actually walk a little bit longer, get the heart rate elevated higher.

The fourth thing is have a standing or walking meeting. Now this might not work with everyone in your office and some of you are going to be 100% scared for this and not actually ask someone to do this, but what if you took a walk for your meeting. Instead of sitting down on the couch like we are right now and I'm talking to you, why don't we just get up and start walking? It's simple as that. Getting some calories in when you normally would have to sit at your desk or sit in a meeting

And fifth is to go walk around when you need to solve a bug. I can't tell you the amount of hours I saved, days I saved, by getting up and walking outside to solve a bug that I had. The ideas started flowing to me when I was walking rather than when I was sitting at my desk trying to log out a bunch of different things to figure out what was going wrong in my program. So instead of sitting at your desk to try to solve a bug, walk around and try to think about it or get up and go to a whiteboard where you're standing up and writing things down, walk around the room a little bit. Get the blood flowing to your head, being able to solve your problems way easier.

Look, those are a few ways which you can reduce the amount of negative effects you're going to have of sitting down all day long as a programmer without taking away from your time that you need in order to get the problems done. The exercise is so crucial and you need to see this as an investment rather than something that takes away from the work that you need to get done. Right? If you're not sitting at your desk, you're obviously not programming. But every second that you spend walking helps your brain and helps your body work more efficiently to get the problems done faster in a shorter period of time. And ultimately, you're going to get paid in the end for being able to solve bigger and better problems in a quicker time period than your counterpart. So health is super important for you programmers out there, along with myself.

Click on the video on the screen right now in order to check out another video to make you a better programmer. I'll catch you guys all in the next one.

About the author

    Antonio Cucciniello

    Antonio truly believes that if you want to take control of your life you must go take action. If you believe that or need help taking action towards your goals, make sure to check out his YouTube Channel!