Many people have a desk job, but all that sitting can take a toll on your health. While you don’t want to put work on the back burner, you should be taking steps to protect your health so that you don’t suffer from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weight gain or other health issues. Take the following into consideration so that you can be successful at work and stay healthy at the same time.
You might think that the health risks associated with your job are only something to worry about when you’re in the office, but that’s not true. Research from the University School of Medicine in St. Louis, along with the Cooper Institute in Dallas, found that people with a long commute to and from work are at a higher risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as increasing the chances of developing depression. This is true no matter whether you drive or take the bus or tube to work. Unfortunately, the only solution here is to find a place to live that’s closer to your workplace.
Office Air Quality
Many offices are filled with stale, toxic air that can lead to respiratory issues. Mould, exposure to printing materials and cleaning chemicals can all lead to difficulty breathing and in some cases, may even raise your risk of lung cancer. Working in well-ventilated areas is the best solution to this issue, as is getting outside and getting fresh air as often as possible.
If you work in an office, you are likely well aware of the plethora of snacks, including crisps, chocolate and candy bars that are always available in the break room or the vending machines. Coupled with the propensity to go out for fast food at lunchtime, and office workers have an increased risk of weight gain and obesity, which can also lead to other health complications, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Packing a nutritious lunch and keeping healthy snacks on hand can help you resist the temptation of overeating junk food. Keep an eye on salt, sugar and fat content of your snacks to avoid high cholesterol.
One of the biggest issues with an office job is that you spend so much time sitting down. While there’s no way around the time you have to put in at work, there are plenty of ways to stay active. Take a quick walk around the building every hour or so, go for a walk on your lunch break and take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you need to deliver a message, do so in person, rather than emailing or calling. These little things will add up to helping you ward off health problems associated with sitting too much.
Not everyone works the traditional 9am to 5pm schedule, but working off hours can really take a toll on your overall health. Studies done at Harvard found that people who work long hours or who work at night and sleep during the day are at an increased risk of weight gain and stress hormones, which can lead to heart disease, obesity and cancer, and diabetes. While you can’t help your work schedule, you can stay healthy by finding time to exercise, eating nutritious foods and seeing your doctor regularly.
Germs in the Office
Another big thing that you should be worried about at work is the germs that linger all over the place. Testing finds that many keyboards have more bacteria, including E.coli and staphylococcus than a public bathroom. They are also living on printer buttons, the communal coffee pot, doors, and taps. You can even pick up nasty germs by shaking hands with co-workers.
Staying healthy at work isn’t easy, but making a few tweaks to your workplace routine can help you stay healthy and ward off many of the illnesses and diseases associated with a sedentary job. Talk to your doctor if you are still having health issues.