When we think of work health and safety, usually we think of the really dramatic stuff, whether it’s slips, trips, and falls, accidents with machinery, or otherwise. However, there are ways that your work might be affecting your body that are quite as immediately noticeable but are no less real. Here, we’re going to look at some of the more gradual health risks people face at the workplace, and what you can do about them.
Pressure on your back and joints
A lot of us either stand or sit in one position for a lot of the workday. Whether you’re at a reception desk, in an office chair, or otherwise, this sedentary lifestyle can make it a lot more likely for constant aches and pains to be part of your life. The best way to combat this is to make sure that your workspace is ergonomic, supporting the parts of the body where pressure can build up but, even more importantly, take the time to get up and move every once in a while. Even at-desk exercises can help you ensure your body isn’t stiffening up too much.
Listen out for your hearing health
A lot of workplaces, even offices, can be noisy. Not only can this be distracting and frustrating, but it can begin to affect your hearing, as well. Exposure to excessive levels of noise is a leading cause of hearing loss. Visiting your audiologist is a good idea to check for any signs of hearing loss and, even if they aren’t currently there, they can make recommendations on hearing protection that can reduce your risk in the future. Once you lose your hearing, you don’t get it back.
The effect on your chronic health
It’s not just acute parts of the body that can suffer as a result of working too much without taking the time to focus on your health. It can have a profound impact on your long-term health, with overworking being a risk factor in most of the common chronic health issues, including Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This is even found to be true in people who have a normal body mass index. As such, it’s important to arrange a physical now and then to ensure that you’re not putting yourself at great risk of life-long health issues.
The many impacts of stress
Stress isn’t just a state of mind, it’s a factor that can lead to and exacerbate all manner of health issues. This includes problems with the aforementioned aches and pains, as your body becomes more tense, leading to more pressure on your back and joints. It can also affect your ability to sleep at night, which can wreak havoc in a range of ways. Aside from finding stress-busting methods you can use to get some relief, consider if you’re taking on too much overtime or otherwise pushing yourself too far with your work.
Hopefully, the points above make you a little more aware of the work risks that can apply to so many of us, and what you can do to start counteracting them.