10 Signs Your Job May Be Damaging Your Health (And What To Do About It)

Today’s 24 hour lifestyle can have detrimental effects on your emotional and physical health – and nowhere more than in the workplace. If any of these symptoms apply to you, your job may be affecting your health.

You work long hours : A study in Europe revealed that constantly working overtime can damage the health of employees. Staff working over 10 hours or more a day on a regular basis faced a 60% higher risk of heart related problems in comparison to those who didn’t work overtime. In addition, working more than 11 hours each day increases the risk of depression.

You are exhausted by your daily commute : Spending several hours a day travelling to and from work by car, bus or train may have an adverse effect on your health. People who walk or bike to work are generally more energized and ready to face the day. Commuting by train, bus or car often leaves workers feeling exhausted and lethargic.

You can’t sleep : Insomnia is generally caused by stress – and more often than not stress at work. Concerns over job insecurity, unrealistic deadlines and a company that demonstrates a stark lack of concern over the well being of its employees all contribute to sleep deprivation.

You feel out of control : Many professionals report a strong sense of a lack of control in their career, primarily caused by unsupportive bosses, hostile co-workers and uncertainty in the workplace. This can increase feelings of resentment and anger, both of which are related to heart disease and depression.  If you experience physical symptoms of distress, such as nausea or palpitations, make an appointment with your doctor to assess your overall state of health.  Ongoing chronic stress can lead to long-term health problems.

You suffer from regular headaches, backaches and neckache : Prolonged, regular use of computers can cause headaches and eye strain. On top of that, long periods sat in one position can lead to problems with your joints, spine and tendons.  Ask your boss to invest in an anti-glare computer screen to reduce headaches. Take regular breaks and request annual eye tests. An ergonomically designed chair may alleviate some symptoms, together with regular breaks away from your desk. Eight hours sitting at a desk every working day is not conducive to long-term health benefits.

You’re putting weight on : Combine a sedentary job with too much convenience food at lunchtimes and weight gain is inevitable. An inactive lifestyle can result in a variety of associated health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

You just can’t concentrate : If your desk is cluttered with mountains of ‘to-do’ lists and reminders you’ve ignored, it’s likely that you are suffering from overload. 

You’re short-tempered with your colleagues, customers, family and friends : If you are snapping at friends, family and colleagues on a regular basis,  you are probably suffering from classic signs of burn-out.  You need to take a vacation or take a step back from your life to assess what is causing the areas of stress.

You work shifts :  Employees working shifts can often experience more serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, ulcers and depression.  The fatigue from working irregular hours and the knock-on effect on your body clock can also contribute to an increased risk of injury.

You dread going to work : According to the Human Relations Journal, employees who remain in a job as there is no alternative yet hate every moment spent in the office are more likely to suffer from related health problems. In the meantime, if you have no option but to continue where you are, take regular breaks, avoid working long hours and get plenty of exercise.

If you recognize yourself in the above symptoms, these five additional tips will help you to take a step in the right direction to improve your physical and emotional well-being :

Monitor your diet : Avoid artificial stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine.  Eating a low fat diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can help to maintain your energy levels, rather than relying on soft sugary drinks and fast food. Look into the effects of garcinia cambogia, as some of that can help you with your energy levels.

Manage your time : Avoid late nights in the week.  Try and get up at the same time every morning, even at weekends, to avoid that lethargic ‘Monday morning’ feeling.  Create manageable to-do lists and set goals that are realistic to help you to focus.

Exercise : Regular exercise – just three times a week – of moderate intensity will improve your sense of well-being and help you to manage your weight.  Create time in your schedule – either before or after work or during your lunch hour. Remember to consult your doctor if you have not exercised for a long time or have significant weight issues.

Seek support : Prioritize your tasks, delegate what you can and request a review with your manager if you believe you are being overloaded with work.  It is not in anyone’s interest for you to take on a workload that is over and above your capability. 

Work flexible hours : Speak to your boss to see if you can either work flexible hours or work occasionally from home. For example, eliminating the commute to work just once a week will contribute to reduced stress levels and increased productivity.

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