If you’re working an office job, you might think you’ve got a fairly cushy work situation. The environment is relatively comfortable, so it couldn’t be bad for your health, right? Think again. Office jobs can actually put your health at risk in a variety of surprising ways.
Sore From Sitting?
While it might be comfortable to sit during your work day, sitting at your desk job might actually be causing a variety of health problems or worsening existing health conditions. Sitting at your desk with poor posture can contribute to joint pain and stiffness, sometimes even worsening existing joint problems. In all U.S. states, one in 25 working-age adults face work limitations they attribute to arthritis. Sitting with poor posture at your desk all day can make life more difficult for this significant percentage of the working population.
What should you do to protect your health from sitting all day? Rather than investing in an expensive standing desk, try getting up and moving around during your work day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a lap around the office on your coffee break. Moving will help break up the amount of time you’ve been sitting during the day, helping keep you safe.
Close Quarters Spreading Germs
Even if you keep your desk neat and clean, the office can be a shockingly germ-filled place. The air inside a building can be up to 100 times dirtier than outside, largely because the air in your office is filtered and circulated throughout the building constantly. Instead of getting fresh air, you’re breathing germ-filled, polluted air day in and day out.
To preserve your health and the health of your coworkers, if you feel yourself starting to catch a cold, take some time off instead of trying to work through it. Infected adults can pass on the flu beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming noticeably sick. If you can’t skip work, do what you can to keep others around you healthy; wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and limit behaviors that might spread illness.
Modern Additions Creating Problems
While technology in the office might make the workday go more quickly, it could actually be causing damage to your eyes and brain chemistry. A recent survey found full-time workers spend an average eight hours every weekday in front of a screen. This can result in strained, sore, and dry eyes. Additionally, blue light has been connected to a variety of health issues, particularly insomnia and sleep problems.
If your job requires you to look at screens for extended periods of time, see if you can purchase a pair of blue-light blocking glasses to wear during the work day. These filter out the harsh blue light from your screen, reducing the harmful effects of long-term technology use.
Additionally, spending extended periods of time indoors can be bad for your health. Studies show that levels of certain organics average up to five times higher indoors than outdoors, and when inhaled they can contribute to health problems.
A lot of parts of your office job could be causing you health problems, but there are a few ways you can help address them quickly and easily. How do you plan to improve your health at the office?