Book Review: The Healthy Programmer

Sitting in a chair for 40 or more hours a week might seem like the makings of a good life if it's combined with an impressive salary, but if you value your health and/or your career, you might rethink your priorities. This invaluable book could add years to your life and keep you feeling good well into retirement. Let me repeat that. This invaluable book ...


The Healthy Programmer: Get Fit, Feel Better, and Keep Coding by Joe Kutner
published by The Pragmatic Programmers, 2013

You really don't have to be a programmer to benefit from The Healthy Programmer. Anyone with a sedentary job in which your fingers jump around a keyboard, but the rest of you rarely moves at all needs to think about the long-term repercussions of the way they spend their days. As a 30 year veteran of the systems administration and computer security fields, I have to wonder whether having read a book like this 20 years ago and taken its advice to heart, my health and frame of mind might be dramatically better today. But I'm seriously glad that I'm reading it now. It's going to help me change the way I work and the way I live.

Sure, I'm not the first Unix sysadmin who needs to lose weight nor the first to find out that she has a vitamin D deficiency. But maybe I'm the (one of the?) first to fully grasp the extent to which my work habits and, more than that, my living habits have deprived me of fitness and the things that I can do to turn the problem around. And all this because I just read The Healthy Programmer.

The Healthy Programmer is not a frivolous book. It's not a book that describes fad diets or questionable exercise routines. On the contrary, the thing that impressed me right away about this book was how much it's based on solid scientific research.

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