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Ask Slashdot - Careers In Computer Science That Keep You Physically Active?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the pumping-keys dept.

Science 220

First time accepted submitter ozzyoli writes "I love computer science (IT not so much) but I despise the thought of being stuck behind a desk for the rest of my life. Are there any career paths that would suit a computer scientist who likes to be physically active and on his feet a lot?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

oh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774241)

treadmill?

Running from other computer scientists? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774247)

Go around playing Yanni while your comrades are trying to work. That should keep you active.

I'm plenty active.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774251)

I keep my computer running 24 hours a day.

Re:I'm plenty active.... (3, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774399)

I keep my computer running 24 hours a day.

Hmmm... be more careful, please... I thought I've just seen a mote of dust vanishing from my vision in a little flash! [xkcd.com]

(if you think hitting a small link takes a long time, you are free to Google)

Re:I'm plenty active.... (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775463)

Firefighter? Usually has me breaking into a sweat by 8:15am.

Mobile computing! (0)

bbigbigmouth (2640439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774261)

...of course!

Re:Mobile computing! (1)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775001)

Use a sneakernet.

geek squad (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774263)

Work for the geek squad and instead of the vw bug jog to the clients house :)

Installing computers for the elderly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774267)

You'll always be on the road as these old folks are always having a computer problem and their son and grandchildren gave up on them. Not just PC, installing their printer, ink cartridge, wifi router...

Microsoft (5, Funny)

qbast (1265706) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774273)

Work for Microsoft and advance up to CEO position. Then throwing chairs will be one of your more important job responsibilities.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774453)

beat me to it.. :P

Re:mod parent up (2)

gomiam (587421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775367)

You didn't dodge well enough... oh, you wrote "to", not "with".

work time is not 24h/day. (5, Interesting)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774279)

Bicycle commuting to work can burn 400-700 kcal/day.

I have a colleague that refuses to schedule a meeting between 11a-noon and he runs a 10k and showers during that time.

After work hobbies can be useful too, you may even meet other people also.

You don't need to be "on your feet" at work ... just at some point during the day.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774525)

>> You don't need to be "on your feet" at work ... just at some point during the day.

Actually, that's not correct in the general health risk sense. Long sitting hours are a major health risk regardless of other exercise. Exercise definitely helps, but only independently.

"During 621 695 person-years of follow-up (mean follow-up, 2.8 years), 5405 deaths were registered. All-cause mortality hazard ratios were 1.02 (95% CI, 0.95-1.09), 1.15 (1.06-1.25), and 1.40 (1.27-1.55) for 4 to less than 8, 8 to less than 11, and 11 or more h/d of sitting, respectively, compared with less than 4 h/d, adjusting for physical activity and other confounders. The population-attributable fraction for sitting was 6.9%. The association between sitting and all-cause mortality appeared consistent across the sexes, age groups, body mass index categories, and physical activity levels and across healthy participants compared with participants with preexisting cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus."
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1108810

The post is a great question (would love an 'active' coding job). I used to ask my co-workers whether they were interested in having meetings while walking and couple of my very best meetings were on bike rides. However, we certainly weren't coding, just design discussions and strategy. Cycling new routes seemed to have remarkable effects while brainstorming though. Would love to see the riot if I swapped dev team workstations with treadmill powered versions :) How about an IDE something like a combination of Eclipse with Wii-Fit or Dance Nation? Maybe augmented HMDs & neural interfaces will make somethings easier too. Any other more accessible and direct answers much appreciated!

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40775011)

This is a statistical analysis. Sitting did not literally make more people die. Most likely lack of exercise to compensate for sitting most of the day contributed to the health risks. Use your god damn brain, please.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40775025)

This is a statistical analysis. Sitting did not literally make more people die. Most likely lack of exercise to compensate for sitting most of the day contributed to the health risks. Use your god damn brain, please.

The association between sitting and all-cause mortality appeared consistent across .... physical activity levels and across healthy participants compared with participants with preexisting cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus."

Yes, indeed.

Anything in a tall office building (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774527)

Or indeed, get any office job in a building, get out of the lift 4 floors too short and walk up the stairs for the last four floors. Do that a few times a day and you'll easily burn the same.

It's not difficult to find ways to keep fit. It's a state of mind not a job limitation.

Re:Anything in a tall office building (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775031)

I used to work in a 15-floor building and exclusively used the stairs. Mostly this meant a few dozen 2-3 floor trips and a couple of ~10 floor trips. These days I work in a building where all my co-workers are on the same floor... and it shows (despite going to the gym ~4 times a week).
It's remarkable how little excersice you actually need, it's just that you have to do it all through the day. The hours at the gym don't match up to walking a few stairs every hour.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (2)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774557)

Bicycle commuting to work can burn 400-700 kcal/day.

Way more than that. I currently commute ~23k one-way, with a lot of uphill. My Polar bike computer says about 1300 kcal/day

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774599)

Those are notoriously over generous with kcal burned. I do "only" 25k/day round-trip and personally (on a knobby-tired MTB at 25km/h), I'd be surprised if it was more than 500kcal total.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (2)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774715)

Actually, I have found Polar gear to be very tight-fisted when it comes to calorie counting. Other bike computers or sports applications show a much higher value for the same route (more than 2000 kcal for the roundtrip).

Also MTB here, but modified for commuting (slick tyres, fenders, hub dynamo, lights and a heavy lock). Then again I weigh 100 kg, so cycling uphill burns energy like there's no tomorrow.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (4, Informative)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774789)

to be honest, if you weight100kg, it's probably quite accurate. I weigh roughly 72-75kg, which accounts for the difference.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (3, Informative)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775263)

it's not funny, the amount of kcal burned is proportional to the weight of the cyclist (assuming that the cyclist weight >>> bike weight). of course, i'll burn less calories when i'm moving 25kg less weight (and good "kcal burnt" calculators take this into account.)

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774665)

Way more than that. I currently commute ~23k one-way

I find I can't do that. I tried once and was the fittest I've ever been. It was great. I looked great, I felt great, I would eat huge, hearty meals 3 times per day and I was happy. And I would happily sit at my desk zoned out. I find after a tipping point, too much energy goes into the exercise and productivity starts to drop too much.

That seems to hit most people sooner or later, but you may be one of the lucky ones where it hits later rather than earlier.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (2)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774727)

The productivity does drop a bit indeed, but not too much. Maybe the meals were too large? I don't eat much, since I am on a weight loss program (lost 55 kg already) and I stay quite sharp.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775399)

Maybe the meals were too large?

Hard to tell. I lost a bit of weight even with putting on a lot of muscle. I stabilised at a very good weight, so I was getting the right calorie intake.

Sadly I can't say the same now.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775423)

I find that kills my energy more than anything, not the exercising, but an overly large meal break. The days where I just eat a sammich and keep on trucking I generally do alright, but the once or twice a week we go out to lunch somewhere like Chili's or Olive Garden all I want to do is go to sleep when I get back to work.

I do ~15 miles a day on a recumbent bike that varies resistance levels over the course of the ride and I generally feel more tired after the large meal than I do the ride.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (3, Funny)

zerobeat (628744) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775299)

Sure, its 1300 kcal/day when you are lucky enough to have to ride uphill, both to and from work. Some of us aren't so lucky.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (1)

nukenerd (172703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774559)

He wasn't asking how to burn calories, he was asking for an active job. Does it not occur to you that some people just do not like being stuck inside an office (especially a modern over-crowded one with no privacy) all the working day?

I have a colleague that refuses to schedule a meeting between 11a-noon and he runs a 10k and showers during that time.

He has a very tolerant boss then.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774603)

we don't have "bosses."

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774791)

The implicit answer embodied in the responses is: There are no computer science jobs with a lot of outside activity.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774677)

Bicycle commuting to work can burn 400-700 kcal/day.

I walk to work every day, about 20 minutes, but colleagues cycle. In both cases it is great. Especially walking means, getting your mind of work. When I arrive at home, I am totally relaxed, the Dilbert-like meeting stress is gone. Most likely that works with bicycles as well. It does not work with cars, as there is no "physical" part in it.

After work hobbies can be useful too, you may even meet other people also.

You mean outside? Outside hobbies? Meeting real people? Are we still talking about a CS aka nerd job? Meeting real people. That ridiculous. ;)

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775055)

You don't need to be "on your feet" at work ... just at some point during the day.

I've wondered in the past about how practical it would be to have a "stand up" office workstation, with no chair, everything at standing height.

Of course, no idea is new on the internet [crankyfitness.com] . (Lots of useful links branch off that one)

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775075)

they were quite common in Stockholm, not so much in Germany.

Re:work time is not 24h/day. (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775431)

I've wanted to give this [youtube.com] a go for a while now, just can't find the time to implement it.

Still, looks awesome.

Support techs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774287)

run around a lot. often carrying things. sometimes heavy things. every now and again you may even have to lift a large MFP

otherwise robotics? tinkerer? mad scientist? most would probably require a large personal fortune and would financially drain you. unless you are very talented and can get the military or academia to pay you to play. otherwise support tech it is

or perhaps you are actually a jock and should study physio like the other jocks. remember geeks will not beat the crap out of you like jocks do rather they will do things like steal your electronic identity or convince your girlfriend to become a lesbian dominatrix

OP asking /. about physical fitness. next he will ask be asking about things like sunlight and girls

Standing desk (5, Interesting)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774319)

You want to stay on your feet? Use a standing desk. I've had one for the past year and a half and it is awesome.

Gym ball (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774433)

Replace you chair with a gym ball - advantage: no moment your muscles will totally relax (even back and core muscles), no blood stagnating because of standing for long times.

Re:Gym ball (4, Funny)

wiwa (905999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775357)

I did this for several months a few years ago, until one day when I was sitting at my desk I heard what sounded like a muffled gunshot, and suddenly found myself sitting on the floor with a very sore arse. The great thing about chairs is that they don't burst.

Re:Gym ball (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775435)

I used a gym ball for a while and I found that I missed being able to sit back and kick my feet up too much. Back to a good old computer chair for me.

wrist weights (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774481)

Use some 20 lb wrist weights [ebay.com] - for a while you'll feel awkward trying to type, but then... you will start spending more time thinking than writing spaghetti code (re-usability of your code/design will suddenly get a very physical meaning).

(yeah, I know, I know... reusable code and design pertain rather to software engineering than to computer science, but anyway)

Re:wrist weights (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774519)

Wouldn't typing with these things on induce wrist and elbow problems? Have you done some research on that?

Re:wrist weights (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774563)

Wouldn't typing with these things on induce wrist and elbow problems?

All depends how much you use them while typing... another think to remember "code is not an asset, is a liability" (cost to write, maintenance costs, etc) - thus you have a strong incentive to... be as little liable as possible.

Have you done some research on that?

I used 2 lb wrist weights for a while - while not coding (but doing anything else, including drawing on white-board and such) it was quite fine and kept going fine until the stage of the project in which my clueless managers insisted in the creation of a good amount of liability in the allotted time, so I had to drop them.
Anyhow, I found it an interesting experience, one should try it at least once.

Re:Standing desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774823)

A standing desk is a fine first step, but eventually the OP will want to have a standing desk with a treadmill underneath. Typing will be a bit of a challenge at first, but once you're used to it, it will be easy. The key is to keep the treadmill at a low speed - a walking, or strolling pace.

A burst of speed here and there doesn't hurt, either - speed, not just distance, is an important factor in the healthfulness of walking/running.

Re:Standing desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774825)

What about deep vein thrombosis?

Re:Standing desk (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775087)

Interesting.

I've heard about treadmill desks.

How much does your standing desk cost? Where did you get it?
How difficult was it to get your job to buy it and or let you have it?

Embedded systems engineer (3, Interesting)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774333)

You end up climbing/crawling into some weird-ass places with backpacks.

Oh, my bad. Comp-sci, the wimpy nerds. Sorry, you have to be a real engineer to do this sorta things.

It's up to you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774335)

You just have to find opportunity to move. Where I work we are mainly 'IT' staff, we have some people to sit behind their desks all days, other move around like mad. I personally go to the gym or do some exercise on 3/5 lunch breaks and plenty after work. We have some super fast runners, swimmers and cyclists here. we also have people who'd struggle to run to the elevator.

Remember there are lots of non-IT jobs that will stick you behind a desk all day. Just make sure you ask all potential employers if they have showers, lockers and local gyms near by.

Make the time (4, Insightful)

FBeans (2201802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774359)

I woke up this morning, did 80 press-ups and 80 situps (the first time I've done this in years and years) and later I will go for a 5k run. Don't change career, just make a little time for exercise. You may be surprised how energetic and awake you feel in the morning after some light exercise. Keep your body healthy and the mind will follow!

^ THIS (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774779)

Desk jobs make it harder to stay active but not impossible. There are the little things such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and getting up to walk to a cow-orker instead of using IM or ringing her extension.

But when it comes down to it, we need to make time to stay active outside of work. Six days a week, I either run for 5+ miles or visit the gym to use the weight machines and go for a shorter run to cool off. It amazes me that a subculture that spends hours configuring, tweaking, and improving their technical kit largely doesn't take the same time to keep their bodies in shape.

No need: Become a sysadmin (1, Funny)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774915)

Obligatory xkcd: http://xkcd.com/705/ [xkcd.com]

Re:No need: Become a sysadmin (3, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775155)

No, a programmer! http://xkcd.com/303/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Make the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40775023)

You are suprised how TIRED and DEPRESSED *i* feel in the morning, after 80 situps and 80 press-ups. The same goes about for 5k running. In general I would not necessarily say that morning excercise is always good, because some people (like me) prefer to excercise in the evening.

Teledildonics (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774377)

Write and then test the software (or hardware) for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teledildonics

Re:Teledildonics (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774529)

Write and then test the software (or hardware) for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teledildonics [wikipedia.org]

Nice to see that link getting reposted from time to time

Re:Teledildonics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774931)

if i had points, this would get informative+1 :D

Field Engineers & Specialists (4, Informative)

kolbe (320366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774395)

While positions like these are not common, there are several fields out there that require "field" engineers that I can think of:

Power - For seven years I fielded calls for the Power Industry where 60% of my time was spent on the road or in the air traveling to remote locales around the world to fix the problems the "Homer Simpsons" of the power industry had created. Without internet I used just my know-how of various hardware types, operating systems such as AIX, Solaris & Windows and troubleshooting experience to solve problems. It was fun to travel and a daily challenge to solve what ever issue it might be, but I ultimately gave it up to have a family and be closer to home. The only thing that really sucked however is the remaining 30% of time I had in an office was usually spent in front of a desk writing ANSI, ISO, NEMA and OSHA compliant documentation about my journey's.

Networking Specialist - These people design, install, maintain and troubleshoot computer networks for all whom will employ them to do such. Some companies specialize in contracting guys with CCIE's etc out to companies who do not want to pay to have one full time. They generally travel on short notice and are prone to 60% or greater travel time.

Deployment Specialist - These people are usually certified in some specific product within the company they work for and make a job out of traveling around to "deploy" said product. Everyone from A to Z in Software and OEM Hardware employs these people to do the dirty work of installing and troubleshooting a product on a customer's site after it has been sold. Expect lots of long hours and a lot of travel to go along with these kinds of jobs.

Sales Engineer - Otherwise known as Systems Integrators in some companies, these people help potential (pre-sales) customers understand, compare, and contrast the solutions that are available for buying from the company they are employed for. Companies such as NetApp, EMC, Dell, HP and others use SE's to accompany sales guys to meetings about a potential sale. These people are generally hardware techs who moved their way up in the ranks from within the company or moved from another company doing something similar. As such, it would be best to start as a deployment engineer or similar first if this sounds interesting.

Technical Trainer - Just about every Tech company employs these guys to travel and host various classes, lectures and seminars. It's not overly "brainy" work, but the job does travel... A LOT.

While I am sure there are more, this was an "off the hip" list that I could come up with. Perhaps others can add to it. Good luck in your ventures... It will not be easy and there is no avoiding at least some "office based desk work".

Re:Field Engineers & Specialists (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774461)

Don't want to sound harsh but basically apart from the first few, everything you named involves traveling to a client (which normally involves car/bus/train/plane aka sitting on your butt for hours) followed by sitting in an office talking to the client (on your butt) then sitting traveling home (on your butt).

Most clients will NOT be happy if a hot sweaty engineer turns up on a bike (even if he did then do an excellent job because he wasn't scared of climbing through a few ducts to find issues).

How I'd do it:

1. Get a job that pays enough that you don't need to work on THAT full time;
2. Get a second physical job. Ideally something mind numbing so that you can concider issues with job one.

Or you could just go to the gym; use the stairs in the office; jog around the data center assisting customers when they need their servers rebooting (instead of doing it remotely). The problem is computers are designed to take away the need to go to places, and do physical work.

Re:Field Engineers & Specialists (1)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774547)

Most clients will NOT be happy if a hot sweaty engineer turns up on a bike (even if he did then do an excellent job because he wasn't scared of climbing through a few ducts to find issues).

Depends, if the hot sweaty engineer knows what he is doing. A bit off topic, but kind of fits...

My colleague in sales told of an engineer he used to work with in his previous company - the engineer took a vacation - went basically off the grid for 5 days, surviving by hunting and fishing in the wilderness. Afterwards, he was driving home on the early hours of Monday morning, intending to shower, change and go to work. However, he got a call stating that he'd be immediately needed at customer site to give out technical details on implementation - no time to freshen up.

So a guy who has been better part of a week in a forest, basically with one set of changes in clothing shows up, unshaven, hair in tangles, and reeks of gutted fish...and completely unprepared gave such a presentation that the customer was sold on the solution. Afterwards the sales guy heard comments that the technical presentation was clearly the most convincing of the ones seen so far...and only presentation tool he used was a whiteboard.

So, sometimes, it's the substance that matters. Same sales guy has told me to preferably show up to meetings with technical or geeky T-shirts, or the customer wouldn't get the impression that we actually have the skills (his view is that if I'd show up in a suit, the customer would get the impression that we are just some sleazy people in suits who are all glitter and no competence). I have no objections...He actually told me the previous anecode as his reasoning why.

Re:Field Engineers & Specialists (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774837)

Look after that sales guy, if only they all knew so much.

Seriously.

Re:Field Engineers & Specialists (0)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774923)

I tell to everyone I meet: Do not trust someone in IT who wears a suit. If they do, they usually only know the buzzwords and want to sell you something. The t-shirt guy will fix your problems.

Re:Field Engineers & Specialists (2)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775085)

As a techie who wears t-shirts in the office but a suit when visiting clients or when doing consultancy gigs: bollocks to you, sir.

Also, my colleague who is infinitely more knowledgable than me goes to client meetings and presentations in extremely good suits, because like any good obsessive, he believes that no suit is better than a poor suit.

Auditor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774497)

I would assume being an auditor of some kind would involve a lot of moving around looking at things, but I don't know any to ask.

Archaeological Geophysics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774417)

You walk up and down fields carrying a machine that goes beep. It keeps you very fit, and you can get your nerd on processing the data at the end of the day.

High frequency trading (2)

TheEffigy (2666397) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774445)

High Frequency Trading - our pub crawls go for hours!

don't sit in office, stand (1)

chentiangemalc (1710624) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774493)

My approach is to dump the chair, built a mini-table out of wood (or you can buy something fancy...) which i put on my desk at work, and run laptop & monitors etc off that. Work the whole stay standing, still able to do computer research & development with some increased physical activity. Love it. The other option is get a job that needs you to visit many computers across a very large space i.e. a large university, but not too large a space that you're always driving.

The military? (4, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774549)

What about the military, or something connected with it? Plenty of IT and similar equipment in the modern armed forces, all of which needs setting up, maintaining, and decomissioning just like any it does everywhere else, and that will often entail getting the out into the field. Even if you are stuck behind a desk for much of the time, you'll still need to do some physical activity as part of the daily routine since the military wants all of their staff to be physically fit for obvious reasons. If the prospect of potentially having to go on the front line doesn't appeal, then there are plenty of similar roles with defence contractors providing specialist support to the military, often on (much) higher pay - especially if you are prepared to go into places that might get a little heated.

Re:The military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774629)

What about the military, or something connected with it? Plenty of IT and similar equipment in the modern armed forces, all of which needs setting up, maintaining, and decomissioning just like any it does everywhere else, and that will often entail getting the out into the field. Even if you are stuck behind a desk for much of the time, you'll still need to do some physical activity as part of the daily routine since the military wants all of their staff to be physically fit for obvious reasons. If the prospect of potentially having to go on the front line doesn't appeal, then there are plenty of similar roles with defence contractors providing specialist support to the military, often on (much) higher pay - especially if you are prepared to go into places that might get a little heated.

setting a cable while running from the taliban is a good exercise but 100% unhealthy

Re:The military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40775089)

No, you end up sitting in an air conditioned tent in ohfuckistan. It's just as easy to stay sedentary, and the food, deployed, is free, so you end up eating like a fucking pig. The two advantages are that you are often (but not always) with a group of people who worship exercise, and that there's a lot of camaraderie, something that's a lot better than most companies.

Missing the Point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774579)

I think most of the responses that say "just exercise or have hobbies outside of work" are missing the point of the request. The poster does not want to spend 8+ hours a day motionless staring at a computer screen. I feel the same way. As one person mentioned above, if you want to keep doing coding, systems management, and day-to-day operations, embedded systems is a good way to go. If you're managing networking and/or control systems for industrial machinery, transportation infrastructure, or anything else that exists outside an office building, then you go where it goes, though this might be IT-heavy. Personally, I spent the last few years sitting in front of a computer doing design and troubleshooting work and it was driving me nuts. I wanted to move around again and actually interact with other human beings so I made a big career change and moved into engineering policy. I still spend a lot of time sitting at the computer but I also get to travel, meet new colleagues/clients every week, and rarely experience the same workday twice in a row. If you wanted to do something similar but stay in computer science and software development, move toward the customer end of the production process. Salesmen, management, HR people who not only sell the product but also understand how it actually works are always in demand.

robotics (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774581)

get into something that overlaps cs and building things.

sales etc will be drinking and spending a lot of time sitting and writing.

Being in charge of iranian IT security (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774583)

I bet those guys are getting a good work out while they're on the run from the religious police for letting stuxnet have a encore!

Well you could... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774597)

...start writing the next "Dance, Dance, Revolution" in your off hours, but if that doesn't float your boat practice keyboarding standing up. C'mon, give it try! Get up out your chair and start typing "Shake it to the left, shake it to the right, come on baby you know what I like!"

Work on a big campus... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774617)

... where your office is at one end, and your lab at the other.

Printer tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774633)

Run around all day, hauling reams of paper to printers all over a large office. Swapping out toner cartridges, replacing fusers, etc. Unjamming them! Kicking them when they play up.

Get a great reputation if every printer is working all the time.

Sounds like fun - no?
 

Industry (2)

JLangbridge (1613103) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774667)

Working in industry is great for that. In my previous job, I used to work on industrial tightening systems, and I was sent abroad to a client based on the fact that I was one who could actually lift and install the system (50kg). When testing the system, you have to lift it, use it, install it, abuse it, etc. Getting back to the desk actually feels good! Right now I'm doing geoexploration systems, I'm a little less active, but when the systems are deployed onto 20km x 30km sites, you have to have a minimal test site to imitate what the end client will do, so I get to walk a lot between the different systems and test beds. All of this being a C/ASM developer.

Mini-sabatical? (1)

pev (2186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774681)

I've worked out a balance where I work (self employed) in software engineering most of the year and then take of 6-8 weeks during the summer to work on the UK festival circuit (doing allsorts but generally stage-management and production). This is great as you actually get to do something totally different and re-focus for a bit. Not to mention that it's actually *sociable* - yes, I'm a bit socially retarded but I do actually like interacting with other people! Plus there's lots of music. I still try to do some exercise the rest of the year on a regular basis but taking out chunks of time to be outdoors doing something totally different is definitely good for the soul...

~Pev

Wireless network deployment technician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774691)

Lugging equipment around, climbing places to install transceivers (wifi, cellular, microwave, etc.). Maybe some roaming around to check signal quality. Typically those roles end up mixed software configuration/support too though, so desk hours could still be the majority. (disclaimer: I've never done it).

Sneakers Admin, i.e. (2)

zapyon (575974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774751)

Windows Admin. ;-) But I believe they do have remote admin tools today, too. :-P

The ARMY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774775)

Do tactical IT support for the armed forces .... nothing like it for physical/mental exercise

Not sure if this helps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40774781)

but in my office, a bunch of people get together for the "push-up club" and also a "stairs club".

At around the same time either every day or every other day, I can't remember, they all get together and do push-ups. They then record the number they each did that day on some sheet hanging on the wall so they have something to shoot for next time.

Same thing with the stairs club. We're on the basement floor with floors 1 to 5 accessible by stairs. This is in a university library so the floors are fairly tall. Anyhow, they walk or "run" up and down the stairs, again recording how many onto a sheet posted by the coffee maker so they have a goal to beat.

There's also a few (myself included) who do "Murphys". They were actually "created" by a military guy named Murphy while in Iraq or Afghanistan (I can't remember, the one military guy I work with told me) where you jog/run a mile or two, then try to do 50 pull ups and 50 sit ups and then run/jog back to where you started.
When we do these, we typically head out around 4:00 or 4:30 to do them. I guess that's one benefit of having an awesome boss... the fact she allows us to cut out a half hour or more early to do this!

Software architect! (1)

pointyhat (2649443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774805)

We spend all day commuting between meetings with different companies, standing up on trains, sprinting for others, running between car rental lots, walking around offices swearing at developers, weight lifting a loaded out ThinkPad. It also teaches you zen-like patience and self control that no martial art can (to resist the temptation to go postal during a PowerPoint).

Field service and integration (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774815)

...but the work is not very good and you wouldn't want to do it all your life. Personally I ride a bike to work. I let that requirement guide my choice of where to live and where to work.

Teaching (1)

egladil (1640419) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774849)

If you enjoy working with other people and don't have a problem explaining the same thing over and over again (hopefully not to the same person), then teaching at college/university is great. I easily spend 6h per day walking back and forth between students in the computer labs. And unlike tech support and similar, the questions you tend to get are actually intelligent and well though out :)

Re:Teaching (1)

egladil (1640419) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774853)

thought...

Instrumentation (4, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774863)

I build scientific instruments, actually I write the software for them, but since I end up being the only one who knows how to use them (unless they RTFM), I often go on the field to install them. I worked for 15 years in atmospheric science and spent 3 years running around Antarctica [gdargaud.net] setting up and running various instruments. Now I do cosmology and nuclear physics, but it's the same and I end up installing cosminc ray or neutrino detectors on some nice mountains [gdargaud.net] .

But like others have already suggested, the best way to stay active is probably to bike to work. I have my own tricks for that...: live high, work low, ride dirt in the morning and, err, take the bus back home in the evening...

Look for the opportunities (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774933)

  • If you can, walk to work instead of driving, etc. Walking at a brisk pace over a fair distance is a good way to keep in shape.
  • If you get a bus / subway / tube, then consider getting off a few stops early and walking the rest of the way.
  • As others have said, do some exercise before going to work, or even when coming back. You can knock out 120 sit ups or push ups in quite a timely manner by doing them in sets. Do 15, then rest. 15, then rest. 15, then rest.
  • Avoid the lifts / elevators, and take the stairs.
  • Go for a walk at lunch time. 45 minutes, and then grab a sandwich on the way back. A brisk pace is probably important here.
  • Some places of work have gyms. Make full use of them when you can.

The reason I don't suggest running or biking is that some would rather not arrive at work a need to shower. If that doesn't bother you, then biking would be a good thing (could also save money, too!). You could also go for a run at lunch times, twice a week or so, and grab a sandwich or a bring a packed lunch to eat afterwards.

Push Snowboarding (1)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774963)

Work in something that brings Computer Science and tech to a sport you love. You'll end up having to test your own code by yourself. I worked a while on Push Snowboarding (www.pushsnowboarding.com) and got a lot of snowboarding together with it. Now I'm working on another project that also makes me be active to test my own stuff.

Yes, I love my job.

A couple suggestions... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774973)

...a not so serious one: delivering rack solutions without the aid of a forklift. ...and a slightly more serious one: if you're tied to a desk, switch out your chair for an exercise ball. Trust me, it's uber comfy and you get to exercise your calves and thighs as well as keeping your back balanced. I'm using one now.

What I did ... (2)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 2 years ago | (#40774993)

My associate and me started our company back in 2007, and the first product we developed was a hybrid DVR/NVR. During the dev process, we had to run around for the cameras testing our motion detection algorithms, and some other more complex stuff such as direction detection, object tracking, etc.

The real fun started when we started selling a few as a kind of public beta, and realized that a) we didn't have any kind of infrastructure to handle major installs b) companies that did this sucked at it, so our attempt at outsourcing the task ended fairly quickly. We went quicker than you can say 75-ohm-impedance from developers to running around town, installing cameras 10 meters above our heads, running hundreds of meters of cable a day, and crawling through service floors.

Sure, the startup quickly grew into a profitable company, the product matured, we hired technicians, got a distribution network, and started working on other products. But even now, 5 years later, I train new technicians myself, and supervise myself any major installation (and I can't just stand there while others work, so every time I go out with the techs, I work just like one of them)

Also, you are required in the company, everywhere, at the same fucking time, so you go from your office, to the lab, to the coder's room, then out to the bank, then to visit customers, then to oversee some installation, then back to the office ...

And that's not taking into account our basketball-brakes (we've got a small court at the company's backyard).

Overall, I do more exercise than I ever did before.

The result: I'm still fucking fat, because that's more related to what you eat than how much you exercise. The amount of workout you would need in order to offset eating like a fucking whale would be gargantuan.

But, hey, at least I'm not sitting at the desk all the time, and I have a lot of fun!

Talking about that, time to walk the dog and go to the office ...

DIY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40775039)

You should Do It Yourself! I started a month ago as R&D Computer Scientist. I have a good salary, a goos health care with dental plan. I even donate 5 bucks by a program inside of the company to charity. Next month start doing gym, if it has a good escort to help me shape my body and reduce my triglycerides, and a supervisor of physical education that I could do technical talk about human body, I start doing it! Probally also reduce smoking.

Cheers,
Phillip Spring.

Minecraft computer (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775049)

Ever seen those minecraft ALU's and other computing devices? Build a real life version of one of those!

Re:Minecraft computer (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775169)

And then run Minecraft on it, obviously.

GIS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40775061)

GIS

Work Life Balance - Get a hobby (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40775093)

Forget about a job that works you out but is a classic desk-it-job at the same time.

Get a hobby, do sports. Meet other people there (you know... people that you do not see at your workday all the time).

This gets you two separated social circles and if you hang out with friends, it's not all the work-guys all the time.

If your (desk) job does not allow you to get such a hobby, get a new one which does (and if you are not allowed a hobby by your job, chances are pretty high other stuff comes short in your life as well).

CIO (2)

hugetoon (766694) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775119)

And play golf

Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40775207)

Join the Army. A side benefit of an IT job there is that you MUST stay fit.

Traveling salesman (1)

lanced (795958) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775229)

Have you considered work as a traveling salesman?

Probably a one-off case but... (1)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 2 years ago | (#40775305)

I just got a job with a social network that promotes active lifestyles. As a result, they want us to be active as employees. Although it's a very small office, they had a shower installed so employees could take a break to go work out, come back, and clean up. If we work out 6 times a month, we get paid an extra $40 at the end of the month (enough to pay for most gym memberships here). While the actual job has unavoidable periods of sitting, at least the company encourages us to get moving when we're able.
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