Is Your Job Damaging Your Health?

Is Your Job Damaging Your Health?

Is your job damaging your health without you realizing? Whilst many of us know to avoid the obvious injury risks, there can be hidden long-term health risks that are less obvious. Here are just some of the most common long-term health dangers found in jobs across the world (and how to safeguard yourself against these dangers).

Sitting down all day

Many modern jobs including office jobs and driving jobs are largely sedentary. Sitting down for long periods has been linked with all manner of health hazards – it can contribute to obesity and increase the risk of heart disease. Certain ways of sitting such as craning over a desk all day can also cause back problems whilst having your legs constantly bent can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

It’s important that if you are sat down all day you take measures to make yourself comfortable such as using an ergonomic chair so that you’re not straining any joints. Meanwhile, taking breaks regularly to stand up and walk around could help to reduce other health hazards. If this isn’t possible, you may be able to balance out a sedentary lifestyle by being more active in your free time.

Noise exposure

Some work environments can be very noisy – particularly airports, construction sites, nightclubs and music venues. Periods of prolonged noise exposure can lead to hearing loss over time. This can debilitating and lead to other health problems such as depression.

Many of these environments are required by law to supply ear protection, which you make sure that you always wear whilst on the job. It’s wise to also give yourself noise detoxes – 24 hours of low volume activities could help your ears to recover and heal, preventing conditions like tinnitus.

Repetitive physical tasks

Some repetitive physical tasks can overwork certain muscles and joints and lead to repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). This can include anything from scanning items on a supermarket conveyor belt to operating industrial machinery to typing on a keyboard.

Taking small regular breaks from these activities can usually prevent RSIs from taking hold. If your arm starts to ache whilst doing a task, this is usually a sign that you’re starting to cause damage and you may want to switch out for another task if possible. There may also be specific ways of using tools that can minimise injury, as well as specialist tools that can reduce risks such as non-vibrating power tools.

Chronic stress

Almost every job has its moments of stress - which are usually harmless. However, constant stress can be dangerous. Increased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the blood can lead to high blood pressure, which can in turn increase the risk of heart disease. Stress can also lead to sleep deprivation and exhaustion, by keeping the mind and body constantly alert. On top of this, it could have permanent damage on your mental health, resulting in anxiety or depression.

Taking measures to destress in your free time could help to prevent some of the health dangers of a stressful job. Meditation, taking hot baths, listening to music and exercising are all good stress-busters. Alternatively, you should try to work out what is causing the stress and whether there is anything you can do to erase these triggers – this could involve taking on lowered responsibilities or reporting bullying. If there’s no way to get rid of these stress triggers, quitting your job could be the healthiest step.



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