Your health isn’t a hobby that you can pick up and drop whenever you like. It’s something that needs attention through every part of every day. However, there are times where that focus is dragged away or even actively battled by the other responsibilities in life. In modern life, one of the responsibilities that seem to butt heads with your well being more often that it should is at work. What are the risks and what can you do about them?
Don’t forget to breathe
If you look up the most common kinds of injury caused in the workplace, you might see that slips, trips, and falls are your biggest risk. However, the data often tends to ignore the very real dangers that stress pose. Not just to your mood, stress affects you physically, contributing to back and joint pain, a lack of sleep, and even heart health. If you’re dealing with too much overtime, being thrust into a new work environment, or pushing yourself too hard, you need to know when to scale it back. This includes relaxation techniques such as meditation, aromatherapy, and even exercise to work off that stress.
The toxicity of the workplace
Sometimes, the problem is a lot more acute than general work stress. Hostile workplaces are a huge contributor to the negative effects on mental health. In many workplaces, women are at a lot more risk of encountering this toxicity than men. In a piece written by Benedict Morelli for Huffington Post, it’s argued a huge number of companies fail to protect employees from sexual harassment and discrimination. Two forms of workplace hostility that affect women proportionally more than men. In those cases, knowing your rights and seeking counsel when your boss isn’t standing up for them is a piece of recourse all must be aware of.
Who has the time?
Beyond the stress factors of work, you have to consider what it deprives you of, as well. For most people, it takes away a big chunk of the day. When you’re dealing with work, it’s not always as easy to get your fitness time in, for instance. Many people are tackling this issue by finding the time to work out at their desks. Finding extra exercise time, as suggested by Beth Skwarekci, such as walking or cycling to work for your commute can help you keep fighting for your health, too.
The dangers of the office
There are risk factors in every workplace. But some are less recognized than others. Even if you have a desk job, you could be doing long-term damage. A lack of lighting and constant use of the computer can lead to both eyestrain and problems with migraines. Meanwhile, poorly chosen furniture without a focus on ergonomics is one of the leading causes of back pain and repetitive strain injury, two conditions that are popping up more and more frequently in office workers.
Work and wellness aren’t just about avoiding accidents and injuries. It’s also about the long-term damage that can be done by stress, hostility, sedentary work life and even taking up so much of your day. Be aware of the risks and be aware of what you can do about them.
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