If you work in a computer-related field, such as professional coding, hours in front of a screen can pass in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, you're feeling achy, frustrated and stressed. To others, a computer coder may appear to have a comfy, pressure-free job. However, when you're the one sitting behind the screen, you know the opposite is true. Instead of accepting work-related anguish, here are six tips to avoid burnout from behind the screen.
Assess Your Diet
Since computer coding requires a lot of sitting, you need to be strict with what you eat. Take an honest assessment of your diet throughout the day. If you're surviving on snack foods and take-out, you're putting yourself at risk for disease and illness. Make an effort to start bringing fruits and vegetables to the office and boost your immune system with a natural greens powder. As always, make sure you're drinking enough water, too!
Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness and tingling in your hand as a result of pressure on the median nerve of the arm and wrist. It occurs in people like coders who do a lot of typing and use a computer mouse. This condition is common, but you can take measures to prevent it. Always use proper posture when seated at the computer to avoid neck strain that travels down your arm. If you notice discomfort when typing, try a wrist rest for your keyboard.
Ward Off Eye Strain
Sitting in front of a computer screen frequently causes eye strain and burning. To find relief, keep your computer screen at a safe distance. It should sit at least an arm's length from your eyes and slightly below eye level. You can also increase eye comfort by turning down the brightness of your screen and using special glasses to block your computer's blue light. Remember to take frequent breaks and use moisturizing drops if you experience dry eyes.
Get Up and Walk Around
Whether working from home or the office, coders need to make a conscious effort to get up and walk around. Sitting for too long puts you at risk for deep vein thrombosis, weight gain and loss of muscle in your legs. None of these are pleasant and added weight puts you on the road toward diabetes and heart disease. To combat these nasty side effects of sitting, get up and walk around for 5-10 minutes every hour. The use of a standing desk can also help.
Stress-Bust Your Workspace
Most people don't realize how stressful a job in coding can be. Coders are often up against deadlines, especially in emergency situations. Other times, they might get socked with a tedious assignment that drains any last drop of motivation. To manage the tension, start stress-busting your immediate environment. Keep distracting clutter off your desk, open a window and keep your workspace minimally designed. A clearer head lessens pressure and keeps you feeling refreshed.
Do Some Socializing
When you spend countless hours every day on a computer, you might suddenly realize you haven't had much human interaction. Computer coders thrive by working independently, but working on your own can result in feelings of isolation and bouts of depression. Don't put off time spent with family and friends. A certain degree of confinement is part of the territory in coding, but a healthy balance between alone time and socialization will fend off feelings of detachment.
Avoid the Pitfalls
Computer coding may be a rewarding field for your personality, but there are plenty of health-related pitfalls you need to avoid. By assessing your diet and fitness level, you can sidestep dangerous weight gain, muscle loss and stress. Eye strain and carpal tunnel can also be bypassed by purchasing the proper equipment and of course, get out and do some socializing. With these tips, you'll avoid exhaustion and make the very best of your career in computer coding.