If you spend your whole day in front of your trading computer, you are probably living an unhealthy lifestyle. Most of us recognize that marathon gaming can be hard on your body. Trading can have the same impact on health.
Trading can be a gruesome business all by itself because of the stress it adds. And if you are spending long periods of time sitting, that makes it worse. Add in a steady diet of junk food and you win the “actively trying to shorten my life” award.
You might not like to think about it, but in order to be successful as a trader, you first need to take care of your health.
Use Ergonomic Equipment
When you are spending hours in front of your trading computer, it’s natural to get lost in your thoughts and forget about posture. However, poor posture can lead to heart disease, spinal problems, and various cancers.
What’s “good” posture? Keep your neck, spine, upper back and lower back aligned.
If you slouch, it can restrict your breathing. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground in a comfortable position.
Keep your keyboard and mouse in a position that doesn’t put pressure on your wrists or elbows. An easy way to gauge the best position is to put them at belly-button level. Consider getting an ergonomic keyboard and mouse to keep your wrists, elbows and neck pressure-free.
There are expensive ergonomic chairs available. Some are designed specifically for gamers, but they are just as appropriate for traders. If you don’t have access to an ergonomic chair, try using a small pillow or a rolled-up towel to provide support for your lower back.
Maintain a Schedule
You probably have heard you should take regular breaks. But in the heat of trading it’s hard to remember.
However, failing to take breaks will take its toll over time.
When you are in a prolonged sitting position, it can affect blood flow to various parts of your body. And staring at the screen for hours on end will cause eye strain.
Because it’s easy to forget about taking a break, set up a timer. There are lots of options for reminding yourself to get up and stretch, from using your phone’s built-in timer to downloading an app such as Awareness which plays the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl every hour.
Pay attention to any discomfort. If you feel pain or burning on any part of your body, that’s your body telling you something is wrong. Take action before you do serious damage.
Incorporate Stretching and Exercise
When you take a break, use it to incorporate some stretching and exercise. It will alleviate some of the fatigue that builds up in your muscles.
Your body needs to be comfortable for your mind to concentrate properly. So if you want to make the best trading decisions, you need to ensure that your body is at its best.
Keep Hydrated and Eat Healthy Snacks
Any strenuous task requires a lot of energy. Water and the right food will provide the source.
Make sure you are always hydrated. Don’t go for sweetened, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. They will dehydrate you. Instead, drink simple water or herbal tea.
While you are trading, it’s tempting to gorge on salty foods like chips and pizza. But those foods are going to sap your energy. Instead, snack on nuts, fruits, or yogurt. Healthy snacks will actually help you work longer without a crash.
Balance Your Work Life
If you’re like most traders, you’re a risk taker. You like to take things to the extreme. Trading provides the adrenaline rush you love.
So you’re not alone if you love to indulge in marathon trading sessions. But if you do it regularly, it can have adverse effects on your health. And as you get older, these effects will increasingly slow you down.
Be sure to take care of yourself to be sure you can keep on trading, successfully, for many years to come.
There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyers guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.
We hope today’s Quick Tip helped you. If you found this helpful, you’ll want to check out the other computer How-To’s I’ve created on this page. You can always call us if you have questions: 800-387-5250