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Tips for healthy designers

You don’t know what you have until you lose it. We all know what it means, but we often forget that it also applies to our health. In no way is this article intended to lecture you or make you feel guilty about your lifestyle. With this article, I simply want to share a few tips that can help you stay healthy as a designer.

While designing isn’t considered a dangerous occupation with a lot of hazards, a surprising number of developers suffer from health issues. Sitting at a desk won’t kill you, but studies have shown that it isn’t as healthy as you might think. Luckily, it’s surprisingly easy to make some changes with very little effort.

1. Exercise
Even though this is probably the most obvious tip from the list, getting exercise on a regular basis is something that many developers tend to forget?or ignore. There’s no need to become the next Ironman, but doing some form of exercise has a number of benefits that will keep you healthy, fit, and focused.

If you go to work by bike or by foot, then you’re already ahead of the curve. Exercising regularly has a wide range of benefits that will pay dividends in the long run. It keeps your body fit, improves your health, and it also makes you mentally more resilient. The latter is especially important if your job is stressful or mentally taxing.

Exercising can reduce the risk for RSI
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a common problem among designers. Exercise can help prevent RSI or reduce the symptoms. There are many techniques you can use to prevent RSI and exercise is definitely the easiest and the cheapest.

2. Sleep
This tip is especially important if you’re still in your teens or twenties. At this age, designers tend to forget that they are mortal. I’m in my thirties now so I know what it feels like to think that nothing can stop you in your quest to conquer the world. While pulling an all-nighter is something that won’t kill you, it will screw up your health if you’re not careful. The older you become, the longer it takes to recuperate from sleepless nights. Burning the midnight oil may be necessary on occasions, but respect your health by not making it into a habit.

Sleep is something that your body needs to recover from the previous day and stay fit. The body uses this time of inactivity reboot your brains and repair any damage you incurred during the day. Studies have shown that getting enough sleep significantly boosts your focus during the day, improves your immune system, and even enhances your memory.

Sleeping at the office isnt healthy in the long run
Research has also shown that you cannot catch up on sleep. If you only get four hours of sleep on Monday, then it’s not going to be very helpful to sleep ten hours on Tuesday. Not getting enough sleep has no advantages. It may be necessary at times, but keep in mind that it will have consequences if you’re not careful.

3. Posture
Bad posture is a common problem these days. Even if you’re office is equipped with comfortable, ergonomic chairs and desks, it’s important to be conscious of your posture. It may seem unimportant when you’re in your twenties, but the number of young people suffering from chronic injuries caused by bad posture is alarming?and climbing.

Studies have shown that sitting at a desk for long periods of time isn’t healthy for a variety of reasons, other problems may include vision problems from looking to a screen for too much time, and that’s why some people decide to try treatments you can find online as in these outback vision protocol reviews. Some designers solve this by using a standing desk. If you haven’t heard of a standing desk, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. Standing desks don’t even need to be expensive.

If a standing desk is something you’d like to try out, then take into account that your body will need some time to adjust to your new setup. It’s recommended to gradually increase the time you spend working at a standing desk. Did I mention that you also burn calories simply by standing up while you work?

Some people take it one step further and use a walking or treadmill desk. The main advantage over a standing desk is the number of calories you burn during the day. Note that the speed of the treadmill is very low, about two miles per hour. This is important for safety and to avoid injuries. The idea of a treadmill desk isn’t running a marathon while you work. The goal is to keep your metabolic rate slightly above the basal metabolic rate.

4. Caffeine
Like many people, I love, love, love coffee. I know very few designers that don’t use?or misuse?caffeine as a form of fuel during the day. Some choose for coffee or tea while others swear by energy drinks. While there’s nothing wrong with caffeine?it even has some health benefits?it can seriously mess with your metabolism and biorhythm if misused.

A common misconception is that caffeine is fuel for your body. Even though most energy drinks are high in calories, caffeine itself doesn’t contain any calories. Caffeine is nothing more than a molecule that interacts directly with your central nervous system.

Over the years, researchers have discovered a number of interesting findings about caffeine and how they affect people’s performance. For example, people that consume caffeine on a regular basis need it to function properly. This is something most people know, but underestimate. If you have been using caffeine for a few weeks or months, then you need a dose of caffeine simply to stay on par with someone who doesn’t depend on caffeine.

Who doesnt enjoy a nice cup of coffee
If the coffee machine at work is broken, then you know you have a rough day ahead of you, depending on how much caffeine you’re body is used to. Removing caffeine from your diet isn’t easy for most people, especially if you work in an environment that is stressful. I’ve done it several times and I can assure you that the first few days can be very, very rough.

Caffeine is addictive and it’s all too easy to relapse into drinking coffee when you need that bit of extra energy. But why would you want to cut out caffeine? The most important benefit is that you will sleep much, much better. Another major benefit is that you are no longer dependent on caffeine to function. Do you need extra energy? Go for a run. You’ll be surprised by the amount of energy you get from something as simple as a five mile run.

5. Balance
Finding balance in your life isn’t always easy. If you have a demanding job with a bunch of responsibilities, then it may be difficult to go offline for long periods of time. No matter what you do for a living, it’s important to find a balance between work and life.

Everyone needs some time off to decompress and relax. Making a clear distinction between work and life can really help recharge your batteries. You’ll be able to spend time with your family without being distracted by work. Put aside your phone and don’t check email when spending time with friends and family. It truly helps recover from the day and prepare for the next.