Getting that high-paying desk job can be a dream come true or your worst nightmare. Desk jobs can be killers, literally. More and more studies are coming to light on the effects office jobs have on your health.
Not only is stress a major negative factor, but long hours, sedentary work environments and the vices people use to cope with these stressors contribute to the rampant ailments and diseases that plague our country as well.
However, you don’t need to quit your job just yet to improve your health. There are simple, everyday things you can do to make your desk job more beneficial to your longevity.
Stress doesn’t take just a mental toll, it takes a toll on your body as well. You can even be put in a stressful state without stepping one foot in your office by skipping breakfast in the morning. All hungry people can understand this.
Once you’re in the office, strained work relationships can lead to high blood pressure, depression and heart disease. Your risk for these diseases only gets worse the longer you have these stress-inducing relationships.
The hours you work can also lead to an increase in the hormone cortisol, which is consistently linked with stress. The later your work starts and ends, the worse it is for your body. Although most people stress out when they have to meet a deadline, these short-term bouts of stress can be just as harmful as stress experienced over a greater stretch of time.
Working Day in and Day out
More hours can sometimes mean more pay, but it can also mean more risks of developing harmful diseases. Depending on where you work, even breathing in the air can have negative effects on your health.
Research has shown that air inside a building can be much more toxic than the air outside. Air conditioners can be the home of many harmful substances such as mold, bacteria, and pollutants. Even photocopiers and printers can impact your health from ozone leaks and toner particles entering your lungs.
The longer you work at a place with these kind of conditions, the more at risk you are. Just working 10 hours or more in an unclean environment increases your chances by half to experience a heart attack in your life as opposed to people who work less hours.
Although there’s nothing better than lounging on the couch after a long day of work, when doctors deem that sitting is the new smoking, it makes you think twice before sitting down. There are risks of sitting too much since people’s bodies are not designed to sit in chairs for long periods of time.
The more we sit, the slower our metabolism becomes, making it difficult for our bodies to turn food into energy. That unconverted food turns into fat, and when that fat accumulates over time, it can lead to obesity. Obesity has its own plethora of problems, including arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.
Being overweight can also lead to hernias. This is when organs and tissues poke through damaged muscles. Although hernias can be repaired by a hernia mesh, organ removal, nerve damage, and other serious side effects are attributed to this kind of procedure. Medical malpractice problems still exist, so be careful with your body and what you do with it.
When faced with problems in the office, many people try to find ways to ease their state of mind. However, these ways usually cause people more harm than good in the long run. Smoking, drugs and overeating are some of the many vices people use to help them with their stress, but alcohol is one of the most common one people turn to.
Although drinking alcohol may make you feel relaxed at the moment, studies have shown you actually feel more stressed out afterwards than you did before. Not only that, regularly returning to alcohol can make you develop a dependency to it. This can wreak havoc on your liver and heart.
Something else that people don’t think about is that alcoholism can’t be left at home. While it’s totally legal to smoke or eat 14 cheeseburgers for lunch at many workplaces, it’s highly frowned upon to be intoxicated at most jobs. Alcoholism seeps into every aspect of your life, including your place of work. Watch out for warning signs of alcoholism in the workplace to keep you and others safe.
Take a Stand
If you are affected by all these forms of stress, you don’t need to draft a letter of resignation quite yet. Preventing these diseases while still keeping your desk job is entirely possible. These simple ways to improve your fitness apply to any sedentary activity:
- Work at a standing desk.
- Take short breaks and walk.
- Stay hydrated.
- Stretch and change sitting positions while sitting down.
- Have a yoga ball for a chair.
- Take an extra step and work on a treadmill desk.
Working at a desk can lead to death, but it doesn’t have to. Implement these tips and you can live a long and happy life when you’re in and out of the office.