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The Healthy Programmer

Peer Reviewed by Gaiiden, BrentChua, apatriarca

book review review book health
A review of Pragmatic Publishing's book on being healthy with programmer habits.

4: Adsense

When the publisher asked me to review The Healthy Programmer: Get Fit, Feel Better, and Keep Coding, I was interested. I also raised my skeptic flag, because books on getting healthy can go in two directions. They are either common-sense guides to good eating and exercise, or they descend straight into “be healthier with no effort at all on your part” pseudoscience. That's not The Healthy Programmer. This is a nice readable guide for programmers who want to avoid the perils of the I-spend-eighty-hours-in-front-of-a-screen lifestyle.

The book itself is pretty common-sense. There is little coverage of all of those fitness doodads that you clip to your body. It does mention a couple of apps that are helpful, but they are basically just little database-type “to do” lists that you can use to track your progress towards becoming less sedentary. The exercises generally do not require any extra equipment, and the eating advice looks pretty healthy. Of course, such down-to-earth advice means that you will find little that you would not be able to do with an “eat less and move more” lifestyle change. But if your game is on a hard deadline, you are probably not in a position to take a break for a salad and some yoga.

The Healthy Programmer avoids trendiness. There is no mention of toxins or cleanses or whatever kinds of lose-weight-fast plans are popular this week and will be forgotten next week. It is pretty-much "here is how to eat better and move more" translated into programmerese and put into a plan that will work with a minimum (or even zero) of leaving your office, and with a focus on some programmer-centric maladies like carpal tunnel.

If I had a complaint about The Healthy Programmer, it would be that it does not delve too deeply into specifics. As someone who is shopping for a standing desk, I would liked to have seen a better discussion or comparison of products beyond the benefits of having a standing desk and pictures of standing desks constructed from IKEA tables. Although that is a fairly minor complaint given the number of well-reviewed desks on the major office supply websites.

The Healthy Programmer is available in paper form at Amazon, or you can get DRM-free ebook versions at the publisher's site.


GDOL (Gamedev.net Open License)


Aug 29 2013 03:45 PM

This. A thousand times this.

Sep 01 2013 04:49 AM

eighteen instead of eighty?

Sep 01 2013 04:53 PM

I was thinking per week :)

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