Fingers Walk 16 Miles a Day; Where do They Go?

 Phil Haack the software programmer says:

At the end of an average eight-hour workday, the fingers have walked 16 miles over the keys and have expended energy equal to the lifting of 1 1/4 tons. –DataHand

It’s unbelievable to me that a company would pay a developer $60-$100k in salary, yet cripple him or her with terrible working conditions and crusty hand-me-down hardware. This makes no business sense whatsoever. And yet I see it all the time. It’s shocking how many companies still don’t provide software developers with the essential things they need to succeed.

I realized that not every company will follow through on this reasonable advice, so I took it upon myself to make sure I have what I need personally.

In the past several years, I’ve worked alot more from home due to my open source contributions. In the past two years, I worked full time from home. I made sure that I had the best quality setup for me possible. Better than any other employer ever provided. To the items I mentioned before, I added two very bright and sharp LCD monitors which reduce eye strain. This setup is finely tuned for me and the way I work.

Which brings me back to yesterday. It was my first day of work at my new company and naturally, the workstation has not had the opportunity to be configured by me, through no fault of my employer. My requests for a new keyboard, trackball, and keyboard tray were all approved. I plan to bring in my own chair because I have two Neutral Posture chairs at home. I don’t screw around with my equipment any more.

Unfortunately, after just one day I am having trouble sleeping due to pain in my hand and back. Shoot, I need to get up in three hours!

What my Occupational therapist taught me is that my recovery is based on a delicate balance. Upsetting that balance can bring back a lot of pain.

Lessons learned:

  1. Companies would rather pay to rehabilitate injured workers than to seriously invest in prevention
  2. You are responsible for your own health and well being, both mental and physical
  3. You only have one body, and it is your work horse…so treat it well

Why is it so hard for us to follow this simple advice?  Why are we overworked, overweight, and stressed out?

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