Office Job? It Could Be Ruining Your Health

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Keep hand sanitizer at your workstation
If fellow employees are sick then you risk catching their germs too. Pexels (CC0 License).

While most women know that certain work environments, such as construction and manufacturing, carry dangers, not everyone realizes the health risks of an office job. The reality is that an office environment isn’t automatically safe. So if you are in an office, be aware of how it could be ruining your health. Then, act accordingly to either lessen or avoid those problems altogether, if possible.

Office Job Aches and Pains

Let’s start with the most obvious one. You’re problems already aware of, and might have the experience of, body aches and pains. Often, this discomfort is a result of doing the same task in the same position for hours on end.

When it comes to office furniture, not investing in posture-changing chairs and adequately positioned desks can lead to long-term back pain. If your office job involves using a keyboard regularly, some of the suggestions at http://www.rsiprevention.com might help you. For example, make sure your keyboard is at the right height for you and take the time to stretch your hands. These measures can reduce your risk of developing severe repetitive strain injuries.

Among the best ways to prevent those aches and pains is to find opportunities to break up the monotony. If you can do something that doesn’t involve typing for half an hour here and there, do it. Don’t forget to get up from the desk and stretch your legs every hour too. You can even ask the boss if they have any errands you can do while on your feet so you get the green light.

Telephones, health, and office jobs
Talking a lot by phone at work can compromise your health.

Speaking Up

For lots of women with an office job, when you’re not on the computer then you’re on the phone or talking with co-workers. But the level of communication that many careers involve is quickly becoming a health issue. Especially in call centers, where vocal cord damage is a real danger. If you work in such an office job, take breaks between phone calls and drink plenty of water.

Lighting at your office can be problematic
Take breaks at the computer to deter eye strain and other issues.

Go into the Light

There are a lot of offices that don’t give you access to natural light. This might seem like no big deal, but links between feelings of lethargy and depression link to poorly lit environments. Not to mention the increased risk of workplace accidents such as tripping. When paired with computer use, it can be even riskier. As https://www.atriushealth.org explains, constant exposure to a computer screen can lead to:

  • Eye strain
  • Migraines
  • Higher risk of nearsightedness

Thus, take breaks from your office job when possible. That includes getting away from your desk when eating lunch. Another tip is to surround the computer with task lighting, such as a lamp, to help reduce the contrast between the screen and its surroundings, making it safer to use.

Working in an older building? Dangers may surround you
Poor air quality and other issues can make your office environment less than optimal. Speak up about health conditions, if necessary.

How’s Your Office Job Environment?

It’s not always about what you do for work either. Sometimes, where you work can make as big a difference. Poor air quality in the workplace, affected by the state of ventilation and cleanliness, can be dangerous to those with respiratory conditions like asthma, for example. Then there are the materials still present in some buildings.

Asbestos and lead paint have been banned from construction since 1989 and 1978, respectively. But, as per https://www.lawsuitlegal.com, there are still ongoing successful lawsuits from employees who develop mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. Not all older buildings have been updated to modern standards.

There’s a growing danger too in photocopiers that don’t undergo proper maintenance. When not taken care of, these machines can produce lethal levels of ozone. If you’re concerned about your work environment, speak up or you risk it ruining your health.

Mental health concerns at the office
An office job can be a major cause of stress. Talk to your boss or find ways to overcome stress to achieve good mental health.

All in Your Head

Unfortunately, it can be more difficult to talk about mental health at work because many people don’t want to deal with the stigma or fear looking weak before their colleagues. However, the workplace is one of the leading causes of stress.

If you don’t believe you can talk to your boss, then try to figure out ways to overcome stress on your own. This might mean therapeutic steps at home or with a professional, but it also means tackling any underlying issues at work causing stress.

If you’re being pressured into taking overtime, for instance, put your foot down. Also, if you find it difficult to keep a work-life balance, consider asking for more flexible working conditions.

Don’t Forget Sick Coworkers

Of course, you can just as easily get sick thanks to other people. Offices are a hotbed of disease during cold or flu season. Not everyone gets vaccinated and not everyone practices proper hygiene either. In the workplace, it’s not going over-the-top for you to be doubly secure about your own hygiene. That might mean you keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk to use as needed. That small measure can have an immediate impact on how at-risk you are of catching what’s going around.

Sedentary office lifestyle and health problems
Sitting too long at an office job can cause bone disorders.

Death by Sitting

There’s been more media attention lately on the dangers of sitting down for too long, whether that’s at an office job or elsewhere. It’s true that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to:

  • Increased risk of heart attacks
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • And more

But sitting for too long can cause a lot of other health problems too. Bone disorders, muscle degeneration, and even cancer are being touted as some of the dangers attributed to sitting down for too long.

Beyond improving your posture, a sedentary office job has to be accompanied by a more active lifestyle outside of the workplace. Many women have even taken to using standing desks to mitigate many of the dangers.

Final Words on Health Risks of an Office Job

If you have a real health and safety concern, whether it’s physical or mental, talking to your boss about it can help you make a real difference. It’s never worth suffering in silence and jeopardizing your health to keep things convenient and calm at work. Lastly, your employer has a responsibility to ensure that the work environment isn’t affecting your health.

After reading this post, do you think your office job is ruining your health? Why or why not?

27 COMMENTS

  1. Most of my working hours are spent in front of a computer. I go through this all the time.
    Again one great post from you and some great tips too. Besides the real life topics you choose to write is what i admire the most about your writing. Keep inspiring ☺😊

  2. Great post. As someone that works in an office, it truly can be a toxic environment. Poor natural lighting, sometimes poor air quality and sitting all day really take a toll. Great tips to try to fight it!

  3. Great post… very well written and documented (I checked out all the trackbacks 😉 ) So interesting–> risks involving Asbestos: totally new to me…
    Thank you for sharing such relevant information, CB … Hugs! 😀

  4. I never worked in an office where I was strapped to a computer for 8 hours a day. But the classroom had its own dangers – mostly the unhealthy air we all breathed. By and large, schools have horrible air circulation systems. Viruses were trapped in schools for 6 months during the winter. Kids would go home sick, get better, and return to school only to get sick all over again. Helpful post, Christy!

  5. Oh I work in a public hospital in the basement and we have no light! In summer, I make it my mission to go for a walk outside on my lunch break. It does wonders – good for your mind and getting your daily dose of Vitamin D!

  6. Working in a medical office that sees patients all day adds its own risks to your health. Not only could you catch an illness from a coworker, you also add to the mix every single patient and whomever accompanies them to the mix, not to mention the air flow from the door being opened fifty or more times a day.

  7. I just started writing my blog about my pain experience.. it took far too long to finally realize that all of my pain was from the mere amount of hours I spent sitting. I went through a lot of testing, trial and errors to figure out what was wrong with me. I finally gave up on my office job, left, and that’s when I knew for a fact the pain was thanks to sitting. Not everyone believes this could have such an impact but it does!

  8. This is a great post. I have worked in an office environment for several years and find myself explaining to doctors “I’m stuck at a desk all day.” My new job has a lot of natural light which is fantastic, but I do have to make sure I get up and moving every so often!

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