Physical Debt

Disclaimer, I am not a medical professional, physiotherapist or fitness guru. If you have issues, please see a doctor or physiotherapist. This blog post is based purely on my experience with health and fitness over the last 3 years and should not be taken as a medical advice.

Over the last 3 years I have suffered from neck, shoulder and upper back problems. I went to sleep one day in 2016 and woke up the following day with persistent pain in my upper body.

Before talking about what I'm doing to solve my pain problems, it's probably worth talking about how I got here, in the first place.

For most of my teenage years I was either at school sat down in a class room or sat in front of a computer either playing video games or learning to code. As a child I was not fully aware of what my body was telling me and ignoring the signs for 18 years led to where I am today.

Everyone is aware of what technical debt is but this is a type of debt I have incurred over the last 18 years, I ignored my body and now I am paying the price physically.

Take a moment and think about how you are sat right now or stood if you are commuting. Are you slouching? Are you leaning on one side? Is your head pushed forward? Are your legs crossed? All these things are bad for your body and over time they could lead to long term health issues.

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Steps you can take to pay off the physical debt.

It's not all bad news though, it is possible to pay off this physical debt as I have been for the last 3 years, I'm not there yet but certain lifestyle changes can drastically improve your health.

This is a common suggestion but I think it's worth mentioning. Move at work, if you're sat down for 8 hours at a time, your body is going to get stiff, your muscles are going to tighten and as a result your range of motion is going to decrease. Every hour walk around the office for 5 minutes and do some light stretches.

At lunch, rather than sit in front of a computer reading Reddit or, get out of the office and go for a walk, Not only are you moving for physical health but it may actually aid in mental health as well. It's also a good time to socialise with your colleagues and get to know them on a personal level.

Buy a foam roller, they are cheap and the idea is tight muscles and knots can be released by using a foam roller.

This one may not be possible for you but it is the one I've had most success with, join a gym. By sitting down all day, you'll have some muscles that are over developed and overly active and some muscles that are weak and under active. This causes your posture to change over time and as a result, the correct posture may be more effort to hold for a long period of time.

I have a personal trainer and he explained the body is like a chain, you may have shoulder and neck problems but the root cause may actually be your legs. Take a look at Anterior Pelvic Tilt, this may be causing you problems in your back but it starts in your legs.

Workout Plan Bot

If you want to start exercising I have built a free workout app called Workout Plan Bot built natively using Swift & SwiftUI and was later enhanced to include SharePlay support.


Thanks for reading, I hope you've found it insightful and can start applying this to your lifestyle, honestly I wish I listened to my parents when I was younger but I guess that's the price you pay for not looking after your body.

Some exercise suggestions

Some exercises that I do at the gym;

  • Pull Ups
  • Face Pulls
  • Lat Pull Downs
  • Rear delt flies
  • Bench Rows
  • Deadlifts

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