I am an intraday trader and spend hours and hours in front of my computers, sitting in a chair, staring at the screen with my hands on the keyboard and/or mouse. Over time, that has taken a toll on my muscles and posture. Sitting in a chair for long periods of time is bad for your health in many ways that have been documented by numerous scientific studies. But despite knowing that, I could not remember to just “get up” because I would be so engrossed in my activities – either watching the markets, doing market related research or other business related activities. So years went by without the recommended amount of movement during the trading day and, on busy days, throughout the evening as well. That all changed though with one of the recent versions of an iPhone app called “Human” published by a company named, of course “Human”.
Human is an app that attempts to track your daily activity – one of many such apps that exist for all the mobile communication platforms. But, this one (Human) has a nice component in it that will remind you to get up and walk around on a periodic basis if it does not detect motion in your body. Since I always have my phone on me, I am regularly shaken out of my trance by the special “move around now” alarm at which point I get up and walk around. Or I just start standing up at my desk for a bit. This has made a HUGE difference in how my muscles and body feel at the end of the day.
As long as the app detects movement within a certain time-frame, it leaves you alone. So if you’re standing up while talking on the phone or walking around the office, it doesn’t bother you. But, once you’ve been stationary for a certain period of time, you will get the nudge. The alarm is in effect from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.
So, if you feel your muscles atrophying under you every day or your bones ache at the end of the work day then go out and get this app (or any other app that has this feature) – you will thank me in a few years. Trading is a stressful vocation – there’s no need to pile on bad habits on top of that – habits that will come back to haunt you as you grow older. I believe that it is a free application since I do not remember paying anything for it. The desktop based website for the iOS version is located here so you can read more about it before downloading it on your device. You can also find it for Android based phones in the Android store as well – a simple search in that store should bring it up for you.
That’s my input in Trading Life this month. If you find this suggestion useful or if you have other useful suggestions along these same lines, leave me a note in the comments below.