A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.
— Morihei Ueshiba
As modern software development project pressures increase, the demand placed on programmers grows, moving us from the once traditional 15-hour working day closer to the continental 26-hour working day. In such a climate, it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure that you have a comfortable and ergonomically sound working environment.
This is perhaps as vital an issue to the twenty-first-century programmer as good code design or any other software development practice. After all, you can’t be an Agile developer with a bad back; no one wants to employ a rigid programmer. And you can’t navigate a complex UML class diagram with failing eyesight.
In order to improve the quality of the life you spend in front of a computer, and to safeguard your physical well-being, we’ll look in this chapter at how to optimise your working environment.
Pay close attention; if you don’t get this stuff right, you could end up with large medical bills. You’ll thank me one day.
First, let’s look at the most basic case of day-to-day computer use: sitting in front of a monitor (or as old-school Human Resources departments like to call it: a “VDU”). You probably do this for many, many hours a day, so it’s vital to make sure that you sit correctly. Surprisingly, sitting down is a quite complicated task. It requires hard work and determination to master. Practice makes perfect. ...