Is Your Office Job Making You Sick?

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We all have days when we feel under the weather, and we’d rather stay in bed than go to work. Most of the time, this is because colds and sickness bugs are flying around or we’re desperate to catch up on sleep. However, it is possible to develop illnesses as a result of the daily grind. If you’ve noticed symptoms or you’re worried about the impact your office job is having on your health, it may be time to take action. Here are some common work-related illnesses, and some tips to help you overcome them.

Back pain

When it comes to work-related illness, there’s no other logical place to start than back pain. Back pain is the most common work-related affliction affecting millions of people across the world. Many of us have jobs that involve spending long periods of time sitting at a computer. Although this doesn’t seem like a particularly stressful or dangerous situation, sitting in the wrong position can cause serious problems for your back. Posture is incredibly important. If you’re hunched over, or you’re reaching for the keyboard, this means that your spine isn’t straight, and the surrounding muscles will be under increased strain. If you do suffer from back pain, it’s always a good idea to ensure that you maintain good posture, and take regular breaks. When you’re sat down, your spine should be straight, and your shoulders relaxed. If you find it uncomfortable to sit for long periods, ask your boss about using a standing desk and alternate between sitting and standing. You should also consider seeing your doctor.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of repetitive strain injury, which is common among office workers. Most commonly, carpal tunnel syndrome arises as a result of the repetitive action of typing. When you’re typing all day, every day, this can take its toll on your wrists. Symptoms include tingling, pins and needles, and numbness in the fingers, and pain in the arms and wrists. These symptoms occur when the median nerve, which is responsible for controlling the movement of your fingers, becomes compressed. In some cases, a visit to a wrist surgeon may be required, but often, rest is sufficient to ease symptoms. As this is an overuse injury, it will often get worse with time. If you take a break, this can give your wrists chance to recover, and you should find that you feel more comfortable. To avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, make sure you’re not stretching to reach the keyboard, and take regular breaks.

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Stress

We all have days when work stresses us out. But if stress is a permanent feature, or you feel like you can’t cope, it’s important to speak to your boss. It may be possible to share your workload with colleagues, take time off or come to a more flexible agreement with relation to your working hours.

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We all know that things like smoking and drinking too much can affect our health, but have you ever stopped to think about whether your job could be damaging your health? If you have an office job, you’re not immune to illness just because you’re not exposed to harmful chemicals or you don’t work with heavy machinery.