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Seth Zenz | Imperial College London | UK

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For a particle physicist, efficiency is…

Segmentation fault and ergonomic rest break
…taking a software-mandated ergonomic rest break while your code is recompiling anyway.

Ergonomic injuries — i.e. strain from typing, bad posture, etc. — are actually among the most common injuries for experimental particle physicists, because our jobs usually involve many hours a day sitting in front of a computer. My lab takes such injuries extremely seriously, which is why I have software to remind me to take a break and stretch every so often. It may sound silly at first, but the advice of my colleagues who have been in the field longer is that ergonomic concerns are quite real, and that it’s worth taking whatever steps are necessary to avoid them. (And that’s why, although I might not get paid much, at least I have a nice chair.) So I almost always follow my ergonomic software’s advice to the letter — I even took an extra few seconds’ break to make up for any strain I might have incurred while taking this picture!

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