Some things in life are just unavoidable. Chores are one – no matter how much you do, there will always be more piling up. The same goes for needing to eat and drink water. And for most people, having a job is necessary to get by in this society. And there is a wide range of careers you can choose from, from teaching to engineering, medicine, nursing and wait staff and everything in between.
A typical job that lots of people have is working in an office. From sales roles to HR consultants to managers, administrative staff and more, these office workers keep companies running smoothly week in and week out. Yet working a desk job can come with some health risks due to the sedentary nature of the work. However, you can mitigate these health risks with valuable strategies and tips, which this helpful article will share. So, read on to discover all you need to know about mitigating the health risks of desk-based jobs.
Invest in a Height Adjustable Desk
Investing in a height adjustable desk is a great way to mitigate health risks associated with desk jobs. A significant risk of working in an office is that you don’t get up and move much. Due to this, you are prone to gaining weight, becoming stiff and sore, suffering from poor circulation and other risks. By standing while working, people can burn more calories, increase blood flow, and reduce their risk of these health issues. In addition to physical health benefits, standing desks may also offer improved mental wellbeing. Studies have suggested that height adjustable desks can increase energy levels, reduce fatigue, and improve mood. Standing may also promote greater focus and productivity, which can be particularly beneficial for tasks that require mental concentration.
Poor Posture and Back and Neck Injury
A common risk of office-based jobs is that you can be prone to poor posture as you work, which can increase your risk of back, neck and shoulder strain. If you slouch in your chair or sit awkwardly, you will put undue pressure on your body, and you could walk away at the end of the day feeling stiff, sore and tense. In the long term, this can lead to various issues, including permanent back, neck or shoulder injuries.
A great way to mitigate this risk is to ensure that your posture is correct and that you sit according to best practice ergonomic principles. Ergonomics is the method of working at a desk to mitigate the risk of strain and sprains, and you should look into this if you feel your posture is poor or if you leave work each day feeling sore.
Suppose you feel as though your workstation is not ergonomic. In that case, you should ask your employer to bring in a specialist ergonomic assessor who will assess your space and make recommendations to bring it up to standard for ergonomic appropriateness.
Mental Health Risks
Some office jobs can be incredibly stressful, especially management or other roles where you have much responsibility, or you oversee budgets, marketing campaigns, or other activities with multiple stakeholders and deadlines and pressure from the levels above you. This stress can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or even significant breakdowns.
The way to mitigate the risk of mental health issues at an office job is to be proactive with your self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone, but some everyday activities include exercise, hot baths, engaging in hobbies and interests, speaking with close friends and family, meditation, yoga or mindfulness practice.
As well as a solid self-care routine, you should consider talking to a professional if you feel your mental health is suffering because of work. A qualified psychologist or counsellor can provide confidential and evidence-based treatment to support you in working through your mental health issues.
Human eyes weren’t designed for staring at blue-light emitting screens for eight hours a day. However, for many of us in desk jobs, that’s precisely what we do. Prolonged screen exposure can cause various issues, including dry eyes, tension headaches and eye strain or fatigue.
There are a few ways you can mitigate this. Take regular breaks from the screen, even if to pause for a few minutes and look out the window or above your monitor. If possible, schedule meetings in a meeting room away from everyone’s computer so you can brainstorm in person and give your eyes a rest. If you wear glasses, you can ask your optometrist to install blue light filters in your lenses. And you can also tweak your computer’s display settings to reduce brightness and blue light.
A Healthy Conclusion
This helpful article has shared some common health risks of desk jobs and how to mitigate them. From under desk bikes to ergonomics, we’ve covered what you need to know to stay healthy when working from an office.