Health Tips For Web Designers

stretchYou know you’re going to be stuck at your desk for hours, days even. That project has to get done, the client needed it yesterday.

But you don’t have to sacrifice your health for the sake of hitting another deadline (after all, they’ll only be another deadline after that one won’t there!).

So here’s a few tips to help you avoid ‘desk sickness’.

Stretch. It helps. A lot.

Having a quick stretch even just at your desk can do wonders for feelings of stress, and even just to keep muscle cramps at bay.

Get up and walk around regularly, even just for a minute or two every hour is better than nothing at all. It’s also good stress, helps your eyes and just freshens up your brain. You’ll be more productive just by spending a little less time at your desk.

Look out for your eyes. If you’re getting dry or sore eyes, you need to blink more, and get a screen break. Focus on something in the distance regularly to avoid close-up eye strain.

Don’t hold off going to the toilet. Really. Sitting there for 6 hours drinking coffee without taking a pee is not going to do your health (or your bladder) any good.

Make sure your chair, desk and monitor are all properly adjusted – if you’re hunched over your keyboard, you’re going to end up with a sore neck, back, arms and wrists.

If you can, talk to colleagues. I don’t mean waste the day way, but even if you take a 5 minute break to bitch about demanding clients, you’ll feel a hell of a lot better than keeping it all inside 🙂

Just What Is The I.T. Stereotype These Days!?

nerdYou’re happy to thought of as a geek, that’s pretty cool these days. What you don’t want is to be called a nerd – something which takes a bit of educating of family and friends sometimes (“my boyfriend is a total nerd” just doesn’t sit well…).

When you look around your office, what do you see though? Is it all pasty faced, greasy hair and bad skin. No, of course not. Is your Head Of I.T. a fat, bald guy with a beard and offensive body odour? Maybe, but I promise you that most really aren’t.

Thankfully these days most office based development and support teams are fairly normal people, at least outwardly anyway 😉

We even have girls now 🙂

I’m not sure when it changed or how far back in time you have to go for the all-male, stick thin nerd dominated departments who hate a GUI on principal. But a typical office now is full of good looking guys and gals who have social skills and pleasant hygiene. Heck, there’s even a few adonis alpha males there too. Just in case you’re not one of them and are wondering how to gain muscle for skinny guys, then don’t despair because the interweb can always help. If a problem cannot be solved online nowadays then surely it is not a problem worth solving. Personal hygiene or muscle building alike. You don’t even need much to transform from nerd to adonis – there are dumbbell only workouts that can get you started. So no excuses for being a 60’s nerd.


But that’s just not normal though, right?

OK, I think I digressed a little.

Needless to say, the times they have a changed. And long may they continue to do so. Because I’m far more happy working with someone I can have a normal conversation with. At a distance that could easily be beyond the personal hygiene issue boundary.

Not All I.T. People Have Pasty White Skin

pastywhiteskinIt is a bit of a stereotype – the pasty faced I.T. nerd – but just like with most stereotypes there is usuall a pinch (or even a bucket) of truth in there.

But there’s also plenty of women working in the technology field these days, so beauty and unhealthy looking pasty white skin is not a given any longer. Glamour and beauty has arrived in the tech world, particularly the younger and more exciting parts of the industry.

So why do techies tend to be pasty and unhealthy looking? (OK, they aren’t generally, but you know a few who are don’t you?). It’s the lack of sun of the skin, and fresh air, and healthy eating. I know we’ve been told for years now how we should all be avoiding the sun and covering our skin from head to toe in sun screen lotions – but the reality is we do actually need sunshine on our skins. It’s how our bodies make vitamin D – for which there are very serious ailments if you don’t get enough. It also helps with our psychological health – that ‘feel good factor’.

But on the other hand, some of us do prefer that paler skin complexion. And indeed there are skin whitening products (e.g. on the market to help lighten skin tone, as well as even out blemishes and uneven patches etc. It’s even commonly used for underarms. If using those products you do need to avoid getting too much sunlight, partly as your skin can be more sensitive to UV light, but also to prevent darkening of the skin again. More on that kind of thing from Jen Walker.

Not to say that permanently being bent over a keyboard hidden away in an office throughout all daylight hours is ever going to be a healthy choice. Just as with all things – balance is key. Get a little outside time every day, eat some healthy food at least one meal a day and get some exercise that raises your heart rate at least a couple of times a week. You’ll not only feel better for it, but your brain will function better as a result.