Many people have desk jobs which can be harmful to your overall health. But how do you know if your work life is damaging your health?
According to the Daily Mail, sedentary working lifestyles are causing 90,000 unnecessary deaths a year. They say adults who sit down for at least eight hours every day must do at least an hour’s daily exercise to undo all the harm. Lack of exercise is second only to smoking as a predictor of early death – which is ahead of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Scientists say the findings highlight the need to increase physical activity and reduce sitting for long periods of time. Dr Per Ladenvall, at the University of Gothenburg, said “The benefits of being physically active over a lifetime are clear. Low physical capacity is a greater risk for death than high blood pressure or high cholesterol.”
So, if you have a desk job, do you suffer from any of the following?
- High blood pressure
- Bad back
- Aching limbs
- Restless legs
At your desk job, do you regularly?
- Sit for long periods of time
- Go a long time without getting any fresh air
- Feel tired after sitting at your desk all day
- Rarely leave the office or immediate desk area
- Feel genuinely unwell after being at work for a prolonged period of time.
These are just some of a whole host of side effects of working at a desk job and also some of the indicators to give you an idea whether your work is causing these problems. If you have identified a few of these symptoms, there are some things you can do during your working day to help reduce your problems.
Remember to move every half an hour
By move, we don’t mean getting up for a run. We know it is unrealistic to go jogging every half an hour when you’re meant to be working! Moving can mean simply stretching. There are lots of stretches you can do to help your back and joints from getting stiff. Try raising your arms in the air and inhaling slowly, for instance. Reach up high and stretch your back. You can also use your desk chair in several stretches. Do a few minutes here and there throughout the day, and you’ll be surprised how much better you could feel.
Eat More Fruit
Fruit is good for concentration and or productivity in the workplace. Fruitful Office, a fruit delivery company in the UK, have a section of their website dedicated to the different fruits and their benefits in the workplace when you eat them in place of unearthly snacks, like crisps and chocolate. This includes grapes, which are rich in natural sugars. Natural sugars stimulate the brain so we can think faster and recall information more quickly. Bananas contain energy-boosting natural sugars which keep the motor running during those long hours in the office. Pears are also good for you. Pears contain a high level of fibre which is an essential element in the human diet. It helps to limit sugar levels in the blood stream, and aids the functioning of the digestive system. In addition, fibre helps to regulate and reduce cholesterol levels.
Speak to your boss
Remember that if you’re really concerned with your health and think your office job is affecting you, you can talk to your HR department. They have a duty of care towards you, and should listen to your worries and make any appropriate amendments – e.g. they might do something as simple as moving your desk next to a window with access to fresh air. They could also review your breaks and projects.