Here’s 3 Things I Don’t Do Even Though I Know I should

My precious back is killing me, yet I keep ignoring the obvious:

  1. Get a proper chair and table. These are a must thing to have for every game developer. If chair costs less than 500 euros it’s not proper. Somehow I’ve convinced me that “those chairs feel more valuable than my back”, which is not true.
  2. Back exercise. Just simple exercise where you stand, lean forward-down (try catch your toes) and then “pull” up using your back muscles will do wonders. (Consult a real pro when doing any exercises, I’m just rand(1,6000000000) blogger who writes stuff online. Anyway, the point is: it’s good to do bit of back exercise. And if you train your back, train your tummy too).
  3. Regular breaks. Like, not “every 16 hours”. The period between “going to sleep” and “waking up and going to computer” is a break indeed, but I’m talking about having couple of minute breaks every 45 minutes (or every hour or something). This would be good. I know it, I keep ignoring it.

    And now my back is in pain, and some nerves are causing some minor pain in the right leg.

    I know I could do better. Heck, I know that I could even wrote an AI that could work better:

    while (chair == "shitty")
    - buyBetterChair()
    while (working)
    - work()
    - if (timer == 45 mins)
    -- takeBreak(2 mins)
    -- resetTimer()
    for i=1 to 3
    - doBackExercise(easy)
    - doTummyExercise(easy)
    - waitOneMinute()

    I have like million billion neurons in my brain, but I keep performing worse than my AI.

    Talk about non-artificial intelligence.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Sit so that you don’t use or strain one side of the body more than the other. Observe yourself, which activities aren’t good for your body. For instance, I noticed for myself that I leaned over the table too much when reading the newspaper. Get a book on Feldenkreis and learn to relax your tense muscles.

    (Been there, done that.)

  2. @merc-ai: ooh, that’s one slick idea.

    @Brian & Rob: somehow I don’t like to have app to tell me to step up. Star wars themed egg timer could work though.

  3. I use The Pomodoro Technique and a Pomodoro app on my Mac to both focus and take breaks at work.

  4. I developed a simple approach to exercises:
    I drink lots of water/tea during working hours. That way, I want to visit the bathroom about once an hour. And when I do, I also take a break with some hand exercises :)

  5. People always harp on startups for buying Aeron chairs. I’m pretty sure those people have never actually HAD an Aeron chair. My Aeron is the only chair I can sit in for 8 hours straight when my back hurts. It was expensive. I don’t feel bad about that.

    Try this app for reminding you to take breaks: http://www.workrave.org

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