We all need those jobs of ours and many of us happen to love them, too. Enough that we’re willing to put up with a few less-than-favorable conditions from time to time. But one thing you shouldn’t be putting up with is the kind of risks your job might be adding to your health. Nothing is worth staying in good shape. Here are a few of the dangers and how you should consider tackling them so they’re no longer a problem.
Ergonomics Is King
A lot of jobs are done nowadays sitting at a desk. Whether you’re working at a computer, designing on paper or making phone calls every day. Being too sedentary can cause some serious musculoskeletal damage. If you’re unlucky, it can contribute to back pain you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life. But the right furniture setups can help you significantly mitigate those risks. Getting chairs with proper back support and desks that put you on a level where you don’t have to crane your neck up or down to look at your work are a lot better for you. Beyond that, it’s important to take a 2-5 minute break now and then to get up and walk around.
The Dangers Of Standing Around
Some people might believe they’re out of danger because they spend their time standing instead of sitting. You might have even got a standing desk for your desk work so you don’t have to sit all day. Unfortunately, standing for hours on end can be just as harmful. Even more so if you spend all day standing on a hard surface. To mitigate those risks, those who spend their days standing should get equipment like desk mats. The added stability and give of the mat means that there’s a lot less pressure being directed down to the base of your feet. With your weight more spread out, your legs, back, and knees suffer from a lot less stress.
Aches and pains in your joints and back aren’t the only danger of spending all your day working at a computer, either. The screen itself can be the source of a lot of headaches. Literally. The contrast of a screen on an otherwise poorly lit environment can have a lot of effects. Eyestrain isn’t just painful, it can be a symptom of your vision getting worse. The longer you spend using a computer without a break, the more it can increase your chances of stress, as well. If you feel like you never get away from your screen, you should offer to take on another task away from it from time to time. Run some errands that don’t involve staring at a monitor.
Why You Should Say ‘No’ From Time To Time
If you want to get ahead in your career or you really want to contribute to a goal in your workplace, you’re likely not going to be a stranger to overtime. Especially with the monetary incentive to stay behind for a little longer. However, while overtime has plenty of benefits, it also has some risks. It’s been shown to be one of the top contributors to developing stress in the workplace. Some people feel like saying no to overtime will put them in a bad position with the boss. However, you have to learn to say no. Especially if you’re already starting to feel like has you running ragged at the moment.
Keep Your Hours Manageable
Not everyone has much of a say of when and how much they work. If your job affords you a little extra flexibility, however, you should consider using that flexibility to work less at night if you can. Being active too late in the night, especially if you’re using computers, can have a real negative effect on your sleep. Losing sleep isn’t just one of the main contributors to emotional and mental health difficulties like stress and anxiety. It’s also going to negatively impact you physically and mentally in how you handle work. You’ll be feeling fatigued, a lack of focus, and much less enjoyment of your job. If you can catch your sleep in the day time, then that’s some consolation, but it’s best to try and stick as close to your natural body clock as you can.
The Importance Of Air Flow
Not all of the dangers of the workplace are immediately noticeable. Your workplace might have traces of harmful chemicals in the air. It might just have clogged up ventilation and air conditioning that isn’t doing its job properly. The fact is that a lot of impurities in the air can have some serious repercussions for your health. If you suffer from respiratory conditions like asthma, it can bring on attacks and make your condition even worse. If you don’t, it can very well cause them. That’s why it’s important to try identify what kind of cough you have if you’re suffering one. The longer you leave respiratory difficulties unchecked, the worse they can get.
Survive The Flu Season
Air purity is also one of the factors that are going to contribute how hardy you are when it starts cycling through the flu, cold, and strep seasons. The workplace is one of the worst places to be when they strike. If just one sick person comes in it puts everyone at risk. So, you need to guard yourself against that risk. The best way to do that is to be serious about your hygiene. There are obvious tips like making sure you wash your hands after using the bathroom before opening the door with a hand towel. It’s a good idea to use hand sanitizer often and wipe down your keyboard and desk every time you sit down to it. People might think you’re a bit of a clean freak, but you’ll be sitting pretty while they’re fighting off a bunch of maladies.
A lot of the dangers mentioned above are either easily solved with a piece of equipment, or they can be solved by just talking to your employer (if you have one) and highlighting the risk. Most of them will be just as eager to stop you from hurting yourself on the job as you are.