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Today’s topic/rant is not a technical topic but very relevant to techies in particular.


Someone wise that I respect, one said  “You have a finite number of keystrokes left in your hands before you die” and created this.  Morbidity aside, this is a true statement. However, the upper and lower limits of the finiteness of your keystrokes is controlled by no one else but you and the choices you make for yourself.

“How so?”, you might ask. The short answer is the the nature of the work we do and motivation.By and large, humans are sedentary creatures, since we don’t live in the stone age anymore where survival depended on being constantly on the move, either to hunt for food, or seek shelter from predators which inevitable led to physical activity.

Today, food is easily obtainable and safe shelter can be found almost anywhere without having to worry about being attacked by a predator. Where is the motivation ?

In today’s digital age,  us developers in particular, find ourselves spending obscene amounts of desk/keyboard time and eyes fixed on code for hours at end. Human bodies however are meant for motion.

When was the last time you made a conscious effort to walk away from your workstation? (Bathroom and lunch breaks do not count).


Having being guilt of doing this myself, more often than not, we tend to be glued to our desks for hours before we allow ourselves to take a break unless nature forces us to, or brain fatigue kicks in. Do it day in and day out and you are asking for trouble.

Some time back, this happened to me and with it came a cycle of chronic back pain and a long road to recovery.


Enter Endorphins


Sounds like endorphins promote a general euphoric state; a state of well being. What else do they do?They help fight increased Cortisol (“stress hormone”).

Let’s face it, we deal with a TON of stress from meeting deadlines, to obsessing over performance, keeping up with new learning and family commitments.

Added stress  => Increased Cortisol =>  Depression => Higher blood pressure => Weight gain => Higher chance of heart attack.

You just effectively lowered your upper limit to maximizing your finite keystrokes!


“What is the easiest way to get endorphins then?”  you might ask. At least for me, it has been regular exercise, 30-40 minutes of intense cardio/aerobic/strength training exercise does wonders to your body by releasing endorphins. Not only do they induce a feeling of well being, they get your mental juices flowing. I have lost track of how many times I’ve had an “A-ha” moment to a problem that I’ve been banging my head against shortly after working out and nailing a coding problem I’ve been up against. This has worked so well on a consistent basis that it’s second nature for me akin to eating meals.


Following are some of my thoughts on endorphin generation:

  • Invest in a good treadmill / elliptical:  Gym memberships can be spendy. If you have the space and money, go buy one.
  • Go run : The release of endorphins coupled with change in scenery will help recharge your brain.
  • Use Stairs: Short bursts of relatively intense activity can easily be achieved by running / fast walking using stairs. Almost every office has several floors, skip the elevators and walk. It also requires no monetary investment. What’s your excuse now?
  • Invest in a fitness band: This is a great way to to set goals and get reminders if you’ve been sedentary for a while and need a little nudge to get off that chair. I use the MSFT Band 2 which is a great all around fitness and activity tracker but also nudges me when I haven’t moved in a while.



Not only is the above therapeutic, when you return your brain will be re-charged  and better equipped to re-focus on work.

Neurons Red heart  Endorphins.


What would be really neat though, is if a health feature is built into the OS itself. If there is a relatively steady flow of keystrokes for x minutes within a certain interval y, it seems generally reasonable to assume you need a break from the keyboard!



What you do with your keystrokes is entirely up to you. Hopefully the tips above will help you achieve the upper limit of your keystrokes and invigorate your brain to do great things, write awesome code and lead a productive dev. life

Until next time, Happy coding.

Posted on Friday, July 15, 2016 9:14 PM C# , musings , health , technology , development | Back to top

Comments on this post: Maximize your keystrokes before you die

# re: Maximize your keystrokes before you die
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Taking this approach to “Design Patterns” gets any competent professional up to speed by reading about 50 pages.
192.168.l.l 192.168.l.254
Left by atternse on Jul 21, 2016 2:23 AM

# re: Maximize your keystrokes before you die
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long sought this information, thank you guys for the post, I am glad to join your community!
Left by mali on Jul 23, 2016 2:59 AM

# re: Maximize your keystrokes before you die
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I thank you for the information! I was looking for and could not find. You helped me!
sprint corporate
Left by sprint corporate on May 28, 2017 11:01 PM

# re: Maximize your keystrokes before you die
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I think you have chosen the perfect topic to discuss which is so relevant these days. With the increased number of software firms and related firms, people are glued in front of computers for hours. This leads to so many health issues.
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Left by Moira on Jul 17, 2017 9:06 PM

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