For most people, the majority of their waking hours are spent in the workplace. More time is spent at work than at home. Therefore, what we do to take care of ourselves during those hours can have a drastic impact on our overall health and well being.
Healthy employees are generally more productive, more constructive, take fewer sick days and have less stress. The financial benefit of being healthy is also good for your pockets in the form of lower health premiums and health costs. It’s a win-win situation for both the employee and employer.
Some of the more common health problems that employees face at work include the following:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Caused by a motion that is repeated over and over again, carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition which can cause tingling, numbness and sharp pain caused when a nerve running through the forearm becomes compressed.
Lower-back and muscular pain
This is caused by several factors including poor posture, sitting or standing for long periods of time, incorrect lifting and movement. This is a common condition for a moving and storage service whereby workers do a lot of manual lifting and bending.
Office workers who spend countless hours staring at a computer screen are at risk for eyestrain. Dry eyes, a headache or a sore neck can be caused by eyestrain.
Bacteria and Germs
We all know that germs and bacteria lead to sickness. People eat at their desks or workstations, share phone handles and never clean their computer mouse. All of these factors result in the spread of bacteria which can cause stomach and intestinal problems.
Joint and muscle problems
Sitting at a desk or standing on your feet all day takes a toll on joints and muscles. The body is meant to move and not remain sedentary for long periods of time.
Employees feel compelled to come to work even on days they are sick and really need to stay home. Doing so spreads germs to other healthy co-workers which in turn results in a chain effect. The rule is if you are not feeling well or have an illness, stay home and spare your co-workers from catching what you have.
So what are some ways to be healthy at work? Listed below are 10 of the best practices to incorporate during your workday.
- Get up, stretch and move several times throughout the day. Adding movement decreases the amount of time you remain sedentary and gets your heart circulating.
- Eat more healthy foods. Bring a healthy lunch to include fruits and vegetables and pack healthy snacks instead of heading to the vending machine.
- Drink more water. Skip the coffee, soft drinks and fruit juices and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Use hand sanitizer. There are times when it is best to wash your hands but for those times that you can’t, keep sanitizer at your desk or in your pocket.
- Manage stress properly. Most workers today live a fast-paced life which can cause a great deal of stress. Try to properly manage your time and priorities at work to help lessen the amount of stress you face during the workday.
- Work ergonomically. The height of your chair, posture, placement of equipment and so many other factors can be placed ergonomically to reduce the strain on your body.
There are numerous health problems that people face at work. If you are going to spend so much time of your life at the workplace, it is important to recognize the factors that contribute to health issues and try to remain as healthy as possible by making changes in the way you live your life. It is usually the small adjustments that you make during your workday that will prevent a life-long health issue.