Doctor warns of IT's lifestyle dangers

Those living a 'geek lifestyle' are putting themselves at risk of a number of specific problems that can be avoided given a little thought

A doctor has warned of a number of ailments connected to IT workers' "geek lifestyle".

Posting on the health Web site, a physician known as Dr AA, an "internal medicine physician in a large rapidly expanding tech-growth community" and former programmer, reveals technology professionals can expect to be struck down by several IT-specific complaints.

The doctor says IT professionals can fall victim to backache, headaches, sleep problems and a poor attention span as a result of their chosen career.

According to the doctor, the issue of attention span is likely to have a particular resonance with "the geek population" due to the prevalence of born multitaskers in the IT world, as well as the issue of how geeks train their minds.

"If I were to go and try to run a few miles this weekend, I would not be able to easily do so. My muscles are just out of shape from my lack of exercise over the last few months. However, if you take one of these college basketball athletes, any of them would be able to run miles without even breathing heavy. However, if you made them sit down and try to learn Java for 12 hours a day, most of them would be asleep at their desk before lunch," he says.

He adds that as a result of being trained to multitask, IT professionals will lose focus when forced to think about just one thing – such as when sitting in a meeting, for example.

The doctor also offers some advice on how to correct some of the problems that typically affect IT workers – for a bad back, make sure your chair and screen and positioned correctly, he suggests.

For those who can't get a good night's kip, the doctor warns against turning on a computer in bed, even during bouts of insomnia, as this further disturbs sleep patterns. "The bed should only be used for two things — sex and sleep," he added.