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Common workplace ailments, and how to avoid them

04 Nov 2014

Our bodies are not designed to spend more than 8 hours per day sitting down – and yet, that’s exactly what most of us office-bound folk do. That’s why prolonged sitting can result in a myriad number of health problems. More and more people are trying to break the habit, whether its through frequent breaks to walk around or by switching to standing desks. However, that’s not an option for all of us – that’s why we’ve listed a few of the more common workplace health issues and how you can keep them at bay.

 

Stress

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No matter where you work, or even how much you love your job, it’s going to stress you out at some point. A little stress needn’t be a bad thing – a lot of people do their best work under a little stress. A lot of stress over a sustained period of time, however – that’s dangerous. Stress can sap your energy, can impair your emotional as well as physical well-being and can generally bring you down. The first step to dealing with stress is to recognize that there is a problem; for some people, this is a lot harder than it sounds. Eliminating or minimizing contact with the things that cause stress is the second step. The third step is to make yourself a priority – no matter what, ensure that you get some time to yourself every day to recharge.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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Anyone who uses a computer these days should be aware of carpal tunnel syndrome. Caused by pinched nerves in your wrist due to repetitive hand movements, carpal tunnel can cause excruciating pain and seriously impair your productivity. If you, like most people, use a keyboard and mouse everyday, then you need to watch out for this problem. An ergonomic workplace will go a long way towards ensuring your safety – adequate wrist and arm support is essential. If unchecked, carpal tunnel often requires surgery; so this is a problem better avoided than cured.

 

Computer Eye Strain (CES)

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Most people – 90% of workplace computer users, according to a study – suffer from computer eye strain (or CES) at some point. If your eyes are red, dry or suffer from twitching, then you need to get them checked out as soon as possible. Regular checkups help monitor your CES, and eliminating glare or harsh light from your workspace will also help keep it under control. To be on the safe side, try ensuring that the brightness of your monitor is adjusted to the time of day and do some eye exercises every once in a while.

 

Lower Back Pain

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Back pain accounted for a third of work-related health issues around the world, according to a recent study. A third! If you’ve ever suffered from back pain, you know how miserable it can be. Activity is key to combating this – get up every now and then and walk around. Go get a glass of water – bonus, drinking lots of water is a healthy habit to have – or just chat with some colleagues on the other side of the office. When you are sitting, be very mindful of your posture – ensure that your back is well-supported. Exercise also helps reduce the risk of back pain, as a strong core helps with proper back support.

Everyday, more people succumb to health problems caused by their workplace lifestyle. With these tips, you can ensure that you’re not one of them.

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