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The Healthy Programmer: Get Fit, Feel Better, and Keep Coding (Pragmatic Programmers) 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1937785314
ISBN-10: 1937785319
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joe Kutner has been a programmer for over a decade and he's spent many of those years researching the health issues that relate to his sedentary job. He's also a former college athlete and Army Reserve physical fitness trainer. Through his research and personal experience, he's learned that small changes can make big differences in peoples' health. Now he wants to help other programmers improve their lifestyles.

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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (July 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937785319
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937785314
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Diet books are literally a dime a dozen. They generally benefit only the author, publisher and Amazon, leaving the reader frustrated and bloated. With a failure rate of over 99%, diet books are the epitome of a sucker born every minute.

One of the few diet books that can offer change you can believe in is The Healthy Programmer: Get Fit, Feel Better, and Keep Coding. Author Joe Kutner observes that nearly every popular diet fails and the reason is that they are based on the premise of a quick fix without focusing on the long-term core issues. It is inevitable that these diets will fail and the dieters at heart know that. It is simply that they are taking the wrong approach. This book is about the right approach; namely a slow one. With all of the failed diet books, Kutner is one of the few that has gotten it right.

While the title of the book says it's for programmers, it is germane to anyone whose job requires them to be at a desk for extended amounts of time.

Kutner is himself a programmer who builds Ruby and Rails applications, and a former college athlete and Army Reserve physical fitness trainer.

The book focuses on two areas that require change: regular exercise and proper nutrition; and it details the steps necessary to create a balanced lifestyle.

While popular diet books require rapid and major lifestyle changes and promise quick weight-loss, the book notes that small changes to your habits can provide the long-term effects that can improve your health. The book focuses on incremental changes and sustainability, not about losing x pounds in x weeks.

The book is different (read: effective) as opposed to other diet and lifestyle books, in that its goal is to make your healthy lifestyle pragmatic, attainable, and fun.
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Format: Paperback
When I heard about this book I purchased it while still in pre-release form through the publisher's beta release program. I had seen the presentation by the author at various venues regarding the health issues that a desk worker faces and things they can do to improve their overall health. I am a programmer and have really begun to feel the effects of sitting behind a desk all day for so many years.

I like the book. Its style is in the form of many of The Pragmatic Bookshelf titles and is very approachable. It can be read by people who just want to know what to do and also has detail balloons with information to satisfy people who want to know more technical information.

A few items this book addresses that I keyed into first:
-Back strain
-Eye strain
-Wrist pain (a big deal for me)
-How to evaluate and adjust the foods you eat. Being "Agile" with your dietary approach
-low-intensity exercises (with pictures of people doing them). Some you can do in the office, others you could do at home

The author also talks about how exercise and food adjustments can make you more creative and intelligent.

This book fits my approach to health much better than others I have seen because I am a desk worker, and I wanted help with things I can apply within my environment. It really comes down to happiness, and if I get healthier I equate that to having a higher baseline happiness and quality of life.

P.S. I forgot to mention that there is a free companion iPhone app which is very closely matched to the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I haven't finished the book yet however I can tell you it is already leading me on the right path. Two months straight weight loss each week, started with me reading this book. My blood pressure is also normalized and my resting heart rate dropped 20 beats per minute putting me back in my normal range. I plan to finish it but being healthy for me is a journey. To rush the changes I need to make by speeding through the book would not have a long term impact on the lifestyle I need to continue developing.
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Format: Paperback
I sit at a desk all day. I sit with my hands on a keyboard or mouse and my eyes fixed on a computer screen. This is a terrible thing to do to one's body. I learned this first hand when, just over two years ago, I developed wrist and back pain so severe I nearly chose a different career. Instead, I talked to a doctor, read up on ergonomics and repetitive stress injuries, and made some significant changes to how I work.

I wish this book had existed back then, and better yet that I had read the book before the pain started. Even though I am healthy and doing well, I find that I must be vigilant. I get up and walk for a few minutes every hour. I take longer walks at least twice a day. I look away from the monitor frequently. Still, when I'm in the groove, it is easy to look up and realize that I have not changed my position for 3 hours. Those moments are far less frequent, and must be infrequent if I want to be able to do this sort of work the rest of my life. Same goes for you, and the sooner you realize it and adjust your work habits for the sake of your health, the better.

The Healthy Programmer: Get Fit, Feel Better, and Keep Coding is a book I recommend highly to all who work behind a desk all day, but it is especially written for programmers. While I spend more time writing documentation nowadays, my thinking patterns and my physical habits fall into the same category. This book spoke clearly to me and I think it will to anyone in a similar position.

The Healthy Programmer suggests a method of implementing changes to daily work and diet patterns that will be familiar to programmers. It is iterative, measured, and all-around Agile. You start by taking stock of where you want to go, what you want to see happen.
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