Keeping fit could improve your performance as a DBA

superman dbaIt is not uncommon for a DBA to work long hours.

In addition to the 9-5 standard, there will requirements to stay later after work to meet deadlines or because there is a problem with a production server that requires your attention. 50-60 hour weeks can become the norm and there may also be an on-call system in place which you may be part of.

There is a lot of pressure on you and sometimes you or your fellow workers might think you are Superman πŸ™‚

Exercise is important

Now I’m no health expert. I am no fitness expert either and do I keep fit? Well I try but I certainly don’t do as much exercise as I should. In the summer time, I am probably fitter than at any other time in the year because I am playing cricket every week. I try to ensure that I exercise in the gym during the week and practice my game in the cricket nets.

I do this because I am competitive. I like to do well for my team and it gives me a personal buzz if I leave the pitch knowing that I have performed well. I attribute my success to years of hard work in practice and my performance has generally been better when I have trained in the gym both leading up to the start of the season and during it.

runningIt’s a “no brainer” really. I am fitter so my capacity to do more on the pitch is greater. My mind is focused on the game for longer periods and my body does not give way to fatigue during the game. I am more alert, feel stronger and my performances with the bat usually reflect how good my fitness levels are. I am reaping the benefits of my hard work.

So you can see where I am going with this right?

This is not new advice. Keeping fit is good for you and in my opinion, you can be a better DBA if you are fit. Obviously there is more to it than just keeping fit, you have to have the skills and also the drive to be a good DBA.

Since I have started training for the coming cricket season, I am already feeling more alert and generally happier. My life feels less stressful although it has not changed at all in any other way. I am still very busy at work but perhaps I am working more productively because I am fitter.

I am also trying less to work later unnecessarily and instead, I go to the gym on those days. Consider if those things you want to get done before you go home can wait until tomorrow and perhaps if you really cannot afford the time to exercise, then you need to hire more help.Β You are not Superman and shouldn’t push your body for too long because you will burn out.

My mother always said “eat your greens”

fruit and vegI’ve got an incredibly sweet tooth and I am putting in lots of effort at the moment to eat better by cutting out sugary things. Again, this is not new advice but you won’t get fit just by exercising, you need to eat well too.

Reduce your intake of all things not good for you. So alcohol, smoking, caffeine, fatty and sugary foods, and instead eat and drink more healthy.Β Eat less red meat. Eat more fruit and vegetables, white meat, fish, drink more water. You get the idea.

Ensure that you learn new things – keep your brain fit and active.

Keeping your brain active and ensuring that you learn about new topics is important. Database server products are forever evolving and keeping current can be difficult due to time.

It’s important to learn as much as you can about the products that you are using. You might come across a problem which can be solved quickly because you have read an article on that topic. Take time to read forums and newsletters. Make it part of your routine. Even if you read one article a day, imagine how many new things you would have learnt by the end of the year!

Ask your manager about training courses and certification to supplement your development.

And finally, ensure that you rest up

sleeping dogYou’re working hard and exercising but its important to rest and unwind.

The demands placed on you as a DBA both mentally and physically are different than playing cricket but are in no way lesser and in many ways are far greater because of the responsibilities placed on you.

There is a lot of pressure on the DBA to keep that server running like clock-work and to meet deadlines so do whatever you can to ensure that you are as fit and healthy as you can be.

You may become a better DBA as a result.


It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUpon
About Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a DBA working with SQL Server since version 7.0. He has a wonderful wife and two beautiful children. He loves database technology, playing cricket, and blogging. He is passionate about sharing his experiences as a DBA and learning more to further his understanding and knowledge. You can follow me on Twitter, check out my Facebook page or follow me on


  1. Great article!
    “Keeping fit could improve your performance as a DBA” – this is 100% truth.
    I feel better after workouts. It improves mind abilities and i do not need coffee anymore πŸ™‚
    Don’t forget that physical exercises stimulates the release of endorphins, so it really will make you happier if you move your body :>
    By the way, you can find many apps that will track your activities. One of them is endomono which i use. I do running, eliptical, weight lifting etc. If you install it on phone with gps you can track all way, speed + time and other useful stats πŸ™‚
    My profile:


    • Andy Hayes says:

      Hi Michal

      Thanks for the great comment and link.

      Your stats there are pretty impressive. I’m not doing anywhere near that amount of miles yet but what I am doing is making me feel so much better.

      I’ve also noticed that my waistline is shrinking. That will save me buying some new trousers πŸ˜‰

      All the best


  2. Jeferson Bezerra says:

    Hello Andy!

    Congratulations for the excellent article!
    Take this opportunity to thank you for all articles, as I am currently studying to work as a DBA and SQL Server, checking your articles, I found that I learn a lot from them!
    As of today 7/22/13, the next step your website / blog.

    Thank you for the tips on SQL Server and also for tips on health!

    Jeferson Bezerra (Brazil)

    • Andy Hayes says:

      Hello Jeferson

      Thank you, I am glad you liked the article. πŸ™‚ Good luck with your studies. Becoming a DBA is a wise move for your chosen career πŸ˜‰

  3. Sanket muley says:

    Hello Andy,

    Thanks for another awesome article. You are dead right about fitness directly affecting our performance.

    I am a regular trekker and adventure junkie in addition to just taking up a DBA role in my company. From slogging throughout the week for more than 12 hours a day, having a physically exhausting trek or two every week mentally revitalizes me to the core.

    I also want to thank you for the long list of articles written by you on Administration and Performance. Rather than googling anything, i am developing quite a habit to turn to your articles to help me out in my hour of need. You really make things easy to understand an implement. Thanks a lot and please keep up the good work.
    I am sure there are hundred if not thousands like me who are able to pick up DBA activities because of your help.


Speak Your Mind