Software development is technical activity conducted by human beings. – Niklaus Wirth
Software testing is a sport like hunting, it’s bughunting. – Amit Kalantri
There are lucky persons who do physical activity in their jobs such as gardener, cleaner etc. Then there are those jobs that need working from their desks for more than eight hours staring at the computer with or without regular breaks. The second type – hold on! You know their job profile will be either as a software engineer or data entry operator. The diseases affecting software professionals or those involved in desk jobs are challenges in eyesight, back pain and various ailments concerned with heart and digestion. In this article on Must Do exercises if you are working in IT information and detail will be given on simple body movements that can put you on the path to perfect health.
IF you are a person who has made it to the top in the 20s, 30s or 40s, you would have to put 10-hour workdays in front of the computer or the office.
Your dietary patterns go haywire, and by and large you are constantly skipping meals and regular sleep. Skipping meals leads to acidity and lack of sleep might lead to fatigue. You just want to send the reports and unless you have a loving family, you are either skipping meals or sleep on the way to office and go without sleep on the bed.
In the weekends, you will have family commitments, chores to do in the household and a few hours are hardly left to catch a few winks of sleep for the next week. And in all this time, did you ever think of what the body is going through? In your heart, you know it is scrambling for more rest and you desperately want to quit the job and go for a rejuvenation trip. But, the odds are against you and you keep postponing the physical activity.
If you continue to follow the same lifestyle, in another half-a-decade, the medical professionals would not have to go anywhere for a person suffering from multiple ailments.
The exercises given below are divided based on the body problems anybody can face due to lack of physical activity.
The office life creates health challenges for the body as you are always in a ‘still’ position and rarely move unless there is an ‘office break.’ Due to non-movement, the blood circulation slows down, and the supply of oxygen and nutrients are reduced. If you are sitting in a poor posture, it can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), and other ailments can follow, such as discomfort, swelling, back pain and pain in the muscles and joints. Some are temporary challenges, while some can become permanent ailments. It can lead to digestive problems like constipation and indigestion. The hand because of holding the mouse can get affected with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Now the exercises given are simple, easy and a thirty-minute work-out can work wonders on the entire body.
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. – John F. Kennedy
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. – Jim Rohn
Staring at a computer might require you to put spectacles, but it does not degrade your vision for the long term. However, you can suffer from short-term symptoms (the proper word is computer vision syndrome) such as eye pain, dry eyes, fatigue, sensitivity to light, backaches and neck pain. Kindly note, these symptoms are a result of you not taking proper care of your vital body parts; irregular work habits, poor work environment etc.
1. Eye Exercises
A software engineer or person working in the Business Process Outsourcing industry will have to stare at the monitor continuously for at-least seven hours. You can do these simple exercises to get relief from eye pain.
The eyeballs should be moved ten times in the clockwise direction and then the same number of times in the anti-clockwise direction. Repeat the exercise at least five times every two hours.
Many IT professionals have a problem of the “Computer Eye Syndrome” due to exposure of radiation from the computer monitor. To escape from this ailment, blink for 15 to 20 times in a minute. This action will lubricate the eyes and the tear secretion glands will be activated.
Eye Ball Movement
You can concentrate straight ahead. You can move the eyeballs from left to right and from right to left without moving the head. Repeat ten times every sixty minutes.
To decrease the effect of radiation from the computer monitor, you can massage the eyelids. The process will improve circulation of blood and will give relaxation to the muscles to areas around the eyes. The tear glands will also be stimulated and dry eyes will be prevented.
Use the tip of the fingers to massage gently the eyelids and areas above the eyebrows from 20 to 25 seconds.
The lower eyelid should also be massaged for the same time. The same process should be used for massaging the upper cheek bones and temple also.
Palming is a great exercise when you have to spend time in front of your laptop or desktop or television screen. The exercise creates a relaxation state for the eyes.
- You can sit straight in a comfortable chair.
- Warm both your palms by doing the rubbing process.
- You can close the eyes and place the warm palms over the eyelids; ensure that pressure is not applied.
- Do the process for thirty seconds. Repeat the process three to five times.
You can follow this process whenever you feel the strain in your eyes.
2. Neck Exercises
Tilt your head to one side. Hold on the posture up to 15 seconds. Relax and do on the opposite side. You can repeat the same on each side five times the first day and up to fifteen times after a gap of two weeks.
Rotate your head in the clockwise direction ten times. Give a break of ten seconds. And then repeat in the opposite direction. Refrain from doing this exercise if you have undergone neck surgery. Do the exercise slowly or you can feel giddiness.
3. Shoulder Exercises
You can slowly bring the shoulders to the ears and hold for ten seconds. Similarly lift the hands to the same line. Then exhale the air. Now rotate shoulders in the clockwise direction ten times and in the opposite direction the same number of times.
While sitting on a chair, put the hands behind the head. Inhale deeply and then stretch backward. While coming forward, exhale the air. Do not perform the exercise after having food. You can do the exercise before thirty minutes of having food or three hours after having food.
4. Arms, Hands And Elbows
Carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS can be described as the medical condition where the median nerve is affected and the symptoms are numbness, tingling and pain. Before half a decade, many of the IT professionals were suffering from this syndrome, and although it has decreased considerably, there are many ailments affecting other parts of hand such as arms, elbows and wrist.
Kindly understand, you are spending at least eight hours every day in front of the computer. Your wrist, (whether you use a laptop or a PC) is subjected to stress by the improper posture. After some years, you develop pain in the wrist and fingers. Some of the bouquets that await you after working for long hours in front of the computer are tenosynovitis and hand and wrist tendonitis.
Software professionals and teenagers tend to harm themselves if they indulge in too many of the text messaging activities.
Simple Exercises To Strengthen The Hands
Push-Ups using Fists & Fingers: It’s a good way to strengthen your hands and can most often done as a simple regular push-ups on regular basis. Instead of your palms, it’s like a normal push-up with fists and fingers. It can strengthen your wrist area and your fingers. Initially, you’ll find it very difficult to do and get balance, so perform it with the help of soft towel for each hand.
Hand-Grip Exercises: a very common but effective exercise to strengthen your hands is with the use of Hand-Grip device. Continuously squeezing and applying pressure provides good work out and support for your hands. It’s got other benefits including:
- Gain Forearm strength
- Increases the endurance capacity of your hands
- Improves dexterity
- Very easy exercise & can even take it on the go
- It helps in building more strength to make everyday tasks easy like carrying heavy things, typing, writing etc.
The Hand-Grip is safe to use and doesn’t need any precautionary measures, just a simple act of knowing how to use it is enough.
Punching Walls:Punching walls have been a part of martial art techniques like we see in the movies. It has the ability to strengthen the bone fragments inside your fist and agility of your hands.
- The best way to practice this technique is with a professional martial arts training/trainer help.
- See if you could find a solid flat wall that equals your height.
- Take a bunch of newspaper stack i.e. when punched you should feel a thickness of 1.5-2 inches thick. Hang it on the wall.
- Always begin slowly, so start punching with gentle blows continuously with one hand with a distance of 8-10 inches away from the wall.
- Try increasing your punching speed and distance step by step. Do it when you feel so and not because you have to.
- Do not try to punch the wall with too much power/force. Do not put your entire strength over it. It will harm you.
- Switch hands and repeat the same for the other hand. If the hanged newspapers start to worn out, change them.
- Start the exercise with a 5-10 minutes time daily and then increase it.
Shaking The Hands
You can drop the arms to the side of your chair and do a slow swinging movement. Repeat this exercise five times every two hours.
You may not be an acupressure expert, but you can gently massage the palm and back of your hand by using thumb and fingers. This is to ensure, if in a certain part, the blood flow is minimum; the action will promote good circulation of blood. You can repeat this exercise after every four hours.
Also, perform the same exercise with the help of thumb by starting from the tip of the finger and moving towards the nail. Do not forget to massage the space between fingers. Do the exercise in the morning thirty minutes before breakfast and before going to bed.
Hold the left-hand arm straight in front of you, finger and wrist pointing downwards. Use the right hand to pull the left hand backward without bending the elbows. Hold in the same position for twenty seconds, relax and repeat three times before starting work. Perform the same on another hand. Perform the same exercise with fingers pointing upwards.
Give a break of three hours to perform the same exercise.
Rotate the wrists in the clockwise direction five times and then in the opposite direction same number of times.
Strengthening Of Wrists
Squeeze Tennis Ball
You can start the exercise by holding the tennis ball. Then squeeze the ball with your complete strength. Hold on the posture for five seconds and repeat the process five times. You can continue the same procedure on the other hand.
You can also perform the exercises using a tumbler. You can hold the tumbler by the right hand so that the tumbler is in standing position. Hold for ten seconds and rotate the hand so that the tumbler is held horizontal. Hold on for another ten seconds. You can repeat the same exercise with the left hand so that the hand is held the same way. The hand and elbow are worked together and you will not suffer from elbow pain.
Tendon Gliding Exercises
The tendon gliding exercises are considered a useful tool in the management of carpel tunnel syndrome. These exercises can assist in reducing the pain and other symptoms associated with this syndrome.
Start with the hand facing up, just as it indicates the direction of ‘stop.’ After each sign, return to the same position for five seconds. You can bend the fingers down and repeat the same exercise.
You can bend the knuckles down and the tips of the fingers should touch the pads near the base of the fingers. Retain the same position for two to three seconds and you can bring them to the starting position.
5. Back Pain
If you do not sit properly with a perfect posture or your chair has some problems, and if you are an IT professional or deskbound worker, you are likely to suffer from back pain and risk injury to the spinal chord. The problem can begin in the back of the neck (cervical radiculopathy) and you can also suffer from tendons, ligaments or muscles in the back.
You get pain and then there will be plenty of advice regarding the importance of exercise. All is well, but does the exercise revolve around the particular body portion of pain? If you do not exercise properly, or if there is an underlying medical condition, the situation might turn to worse.
It has been estimated that nearly one million people get treatment for musculoskeletal disorders that could have been easily prevented by proper work place posture and back-strengthening exercises.
You can do these exercises for fifteen minutes a day and get rid of back pain.
Lie down so that your entire back portion touches the floor. This can be done when you bend the knees and keep the feet flat on the floor. Now, slowly, pull the left knee towards the chest by holding your breath. Then release the knee and also exhale. Continue the exercise with the right knee. You can continue to do the repetition for both legs.
A word of caution – You can do this exercise in the morning forty minutes before breakfast. Do not do the exercise on a full stomach or if you have a heart ailment, seek the guidance of your doctor.
Inhale while pushing the chest forward. Hold for twenty seconds and you exhale.
You can lie down on the back with the knees bent and feet touching the ground. Now lift your back and hold on to your breath for twenty seconds. Let the abdominal muscles become tight. Then exhale and let the back touch the ground. You can first do the exercise five times and after two weeks, increase it to ten.
A word of caution – if you have suffered an injury on the back or have osteoporosis, abstain from doing this exercise and seek the guidance of your doctor.
Retain the same posture. Your back touches the ground, knees are bent and the feet completely touch the floor. Let the shoulders touch the ground and now roll the knees to the left side and head to the right side. When you do this posture, exhale. Come back to the present position, inhale and move the knees to the right side, head to the left side. Do the repetitions five times the first time. Kindly remember, breathing is very important.
You can sit on a stool or preferably an armless chair. Put the right leg over the left. Now touch the left elbow to the right foot. Do the process slowly. Hold the posture for ten seconds. Repeat the same course on the opposite side. When you practice for the first day, do the exercise in repetitions of five times.
Upper Stretching Exercises
Bring both the hands together. Now lift them above shoulder level and stretch. Retain the position for ten seconds. While stretching, exhale the air. Bring both the hands in a straight line to the heart. Do the exercise ten times.
6. Mental Health
Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of the year. – Franklin Pierce Adams
Exercise is amazing, from the inside out. I feel so alive and have more energy. – Vanessa Hudgens
When you work ten plus hours and always check your mobile for updates and messages, it can lead to over-working of the brain. If you do not indulge in physical activity or have proper food to boost endorphins or give some time for the brain to relax, you can be affected with ailments such as fatigue, stress and depression.
In stress situation, the hormone adrenaline is released for extra strength and to cope with the challenge. Normal stress situations can give your career a boost, but continuous stress can put a toll on the immune and heart systems and you can become vulnerable to many diseases.
A poor posture can also lead to deterioration of mental health. A drooped shoulder can lead to indigestion and reflects lack of confidence where a straight posture can signify strength and the ability to take any challenge.
While we cannot change our fate, we can change in our way to react to it.
Economic turmoil can put stress on mental health. This situation can lead to excess stress that can enhance feelings for depression, anxiety, substance abuse or becoming obese because of overeating; it can also lead to negative behavior such as gambling and over-spending.
Also do not indulge in alcohol or other drugs to seek relief. Monitor the caffeine intake and other sugary drinks. No doubt, they can give an over-boost but the energy will be short-lived soon and you can suffer from anxiety and depression.
Here are some tips to keep your mental health steady:
- Connect with your family. A family with kids will always have positive energy and happiness. When you become prone to feelings of depression, family elders or spouse can instill positive feelings and confidence.
- When you feel stress and suffer from fatigue, you can get out of the situation and get a little breather. Always ask/request for help when you need it. You can also practice relaxation techniques.
- For completing a large task, do not look with the same view but divide into small tasks. This will allow you to complete them easily.
- To escape from fatigue, you can include in the diet, fruits, vegetables and dark chocolate. Make a diary and include breakfast as mandatory. Having a nutrient-rich breakfast can boost positivity moods.
- Join any skill-based training class in the weekends. It will be good if it is related to physical activity such as weightlifting or martial arts.
- Laughing is a simple exercise to keep fit. If you are comfortable with yourself, you will be happy with others. Know to laugh at yourself and when others make fun at you, join in the laughter. Society always likes ego-free individuals. Laughter can cause reduction in stress hormones, give relaxation to the muscles, increase the immunity system and reduce pain.
- Take rest for at least six hours a day. Ensure you sleep so that you give the body, mind and brain relaxation.
7. Heart & Gut
Nearly thirty individuals out of adult males in the US are suffering from cardiovascular diseases and this ailment has been the major cause of deaths as per the American Heart Association. A person suffering from heart disease can have other related diseases as stroke, high blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease. Agreed, there are factors you cannot change such as sex, age, genetics and environment, but you can put control on the habits such as smoking, drinking. Following a regular pattern of exercise and having a positive attitude has been found to reduce the symptoms of heart disease.
The first step is to know your health properly and the lipid profile. If you know the strengths and weaknesses of your body, it can instill change and you can make a shift for the better.
A proper digestive system in your body can make you give the best shot while facing any challenge. If you are suffering from acidity in the stomach, you will have challenges controlling feelings of anger, revenge and depression. All these factors can make you gain weight. Gaining weight has been linked with diabetes and heart diseases.
You can cut down the red meat and give rest to your body after every two hours. You can go for a stroll instead of wasting time on unwanted talk. By giving regular short breaks, the body rejuvenates itself and having a nutritious diet can make you a healthy person.
Exercise For Heart And The Gut
The Diamond posture or Vajrasana – You can sit on a carpet on the floor and join your knees. You will have to sit on the heels and the hips have to be stretched to a straight position. The posture relieves the stress of neck and shoulder muscles. While sitting in the same posture, do the following breathing exercises:
You can place the right hand on the abdomen and the left hand on the left thigh.
Inhale the air slowly through the nose. Withdraw the air for five seconds. Hold on for five seconds. Now exhale the air in duration of ten seconds. When you inhale, visualize that positive energy is coming into your body. During exhalation, visualize that every negative aspect and feelings is being eliminated. Do the repetitions five times. When you are inhaling, the tummy should become enlarged due to the influx of air and when exhaling, the tummy should go inside.
You can have a full meal and do the yoga asana posture. However, refrain from doing the breathing exercises. The breathing part has to be done only thirty minutes before a meal or three hours after a meal.
To get maximum benefits from this yoga asana pose, you can sit on this pose after breakfast, lunch or dinner for ten minutes.
Continue this practice every morning at least for fifteen minutes. You will distance yourself from feelings of depression, anxiety and anger.
8. Hip Rotations
You can move your hip ten times in the anticlockwise direction and then the same number of times in the opposite direction.
Jogging is very beneficial. It’s good for your legs and your feet. It’s also very good for the ground. If makes it feel needed. – Charles M. Schulz
Sitting still in the classroom attentively during school may have got you a pat from the teacher, but if you continue the same in your work, you will develop problems in the legs. Unexercised muscles can reduce blood circulation and, improper exercise for a long duration can lead to weakening of legs giving rise to sprains etc.
For leg exercises, you can try various exercises before coming to office. You can go for running, jogging or go to the gym or participate in any martial arts.
For strengthening the legs you can do the sumo squats. You can stand with the feet distance of one foot. Stretch out the hands and you can sit down and come up again. Give a small gap of five seconds after doing ten times. You can continue the exercise for three repetitions.
You can rotate the knees clockwise ten times and in the opposite direction for the same number of times. You can also exercise the ankles in the same way (clockwise ten times and anticlockwise ten times).
There are six components of wellness: proper weight and diet, proper exercise, breaking the smoking habit, control of alcohol, stress management and periodic exams. – Kenneth H. Cooper
By doing these exercises for one hour daily, you will be free from many of the health challenges that plaque IT engineers.