5 Ways Your Job Could Be Killing You
Work can obviously pose a major stress on your body. Whether you work at a desk in an office for eight hours a day, or you haul freight on the loading docks for ten, you should be aware of the health risks you face on the job.
You need to work to live, but you also need to know exactly what’s standing in the way of ideal health. It’s smart to minimize the health threats you face every day.
Here are some of the ways your job could be killing you.
- Unclean Air
Many studies detail the flaws in office and factory HVAC systems. These flaws can lad to illnesses among employees, including headaches, nausea, fatigue, and allergies.
The risks are magnified for factory workers. According to an article on industrial ventilation systems and their effect on workplace health by RoboVent, experts in clean air, “If you work in manufacturing, particles hazardous to your health may very well be airborne … [including] fumes, dust, and smoke. But that doesn’t mean the technicians and factory workers need to breathe all those toxins that can have short- and long-term health effects.”
Companies should take steps to reduce the amount of airborne particles that affect workers’ health by installing safe air-filtration and ventilation systems that collect, clean, and recycle contaminated air.
- Back and Neck Pain
Sitting hunched over a desk all day can lead to severe back and neck pain, the same as steady manual labor. The human body was not designed to sit all day long, nor was it designed to do heavy work for hours on end.
Both activities can cause long-term issues that may result in surgery. Taking frequent breaks, practicing safe work techniques, and maintaining proper posture, no matter what your job is, can reduce pain and stiffness.
- Limited Exercise
For people who sit at an office all day, the limited exercise can pose serious risks to health. The CDC recommends exercising at least 150 minutes a week in order to avoid obesity and other health problems, but for those who have a sedentary work regimen, that might not be sufficient.
You’ll want to look at ways to increase your movements throughout the day. Here are a few suggestions:
- Carry a pedometer and set a goal to take at least 6K steps per day. Increase the goal in increments until you can do 10K steps each day.
- Don’t go for the closest parking spot. Park farther away so you walk more to the office.
- Take the stairs. Even if you work on the 20th floor, at least get off the elevator on the 17th floor and walk the remaining three flights.
- Walk other places instead of rolling. It’s easier to roll your chair to the filing cabinet or a coworker’s desk, but get up and walk instead. This will reduce stiffness and increase your daily exercise.
- Join a fitness class or two to motivate you to exercise regularly.
- Chronic Pain
Both manual laborers and desk workers can experience severe chronic pain in various parts of their bodies. For desk workers, it’s back and neck pain, eyestrain, and carpal tunnel. Manual laborers more often suffer back and neck soreness, arthritis, and frequent injuries that result in lifelong discomfort.
“Offices that don’t invest in ergonomic workspace equipment, such as chairs with adequate lumbar support, risk facing a workforce composed of ibuprofen-popping employees, whose physical ailments significantly slow their work,” says an article from CNBC.
Smart companies should hold frequent safety trainings and maintain proper safety measures at all times to reduce the number of accidents.
- Lack of Sleep
Chances are if you look around your workplace right now you’ll notice multiple cups of coffee, bags under your coworkers’ eyes, and at least one person falling asleep at his desk. People who work full time usually don’t get enough sleep.
According to a CNN report, 23 percent of full-time workers experience insomnia as a result of work, and their lack of productivity loses companies $63 billion annually. The report suggests that companies should work on solutions to fix the problem of lack of sleep instead of simply treating the symptoms.
Providing stress counselors, avoiding overtime, and providing flexible schedules can significantly improve the sleep problem in the office.