If you’re used to the hours of sedentary, stressful working conditions that come with your office job, you may want to know that this kind of working environment is killing you a lot faster than you think.Aside from the stress that comes from tight deadlines, plenty of things you do every day in the workplace are slowly chipping away at you.
From the printer to your keyboard, the dangers presented in an office can have real effects on your physical well-being, just as mental strains can hurt you in the long-term.
Sitting for lengthy periods is terrible for your body. Aches and pains are the least of your problems -- it can lead to an early death. You're at a higher risk of muscular skeletal disorders, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more, even if you work out regularly.
If your job requires you to sit most of the day, it's best if you get a sitting device that allows you to straighten your poor posture. If not, you're 'contributing to a pool of chronic, long-term ailments -- including arthritis and bursitis.'
In order to get workers excited about the company's mission, employers may host team building exercises or motivational meetings.
But research has shown that forcing people to feel positive for something they're unsure about can actually 'highlight how unhappy they are' and, ultimately, will make them even more depressed.
The EPA calls it 'Sick Building Syndrome.' The air inside a building can be up to 100 times dirtier than outside, and you're exposed to a variety of unhealthy gases and chemicals. There are pollutants in the air conditioning, toxic particles, dangerous bacteria and mould all flying around, especially in buildings that aren't well taken care of.
Photocopiers are a source of potentially deadly ozone if the filter isn't periodically changed, and even small amounts can cause chest pain and irritation. Laser printers do too, along with toner particles that can get in your lungs and blood stream, which could lead to lung disease and other ailments.
Anyone can experience skin problems from the heat if you use a laptop on your lap instead of a desk or or stand, but there's particularly concerning news for men. NYU researchers found that laptops can raise the temperature of the scrotum, which would affect a man's sperm count.
Even though computer screens don't give off radiation, the strain from staring over long periods of time can cause harm to your vision, though many effects are temporary. Beyond that, you can also experience headaches and migraines.
Over-illumination can cause you many more problems than an everyday headache. Our body treats over-illumination as total darkness, so it messes with our internal clocks. Health problems can include a particularly high level of fatigue, stress, high blood pressure and an increased risk of certain carcinomas.
Boredom can actually shorten your life, according to researchers. A study from University College London showed that those who complain of boredom are more likely to die young, and those who report high levels of tedium are much more likely to die from heart disease or stroke. It also puts you at higher risk for workplace accidents.
Keyboards can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not kept clean. Microbiologists found that keyboards can even have up to five times as many bacteria as a bathroom, and can include dangerous ones like e.Coli and coliforms -- both commonly associated with food poisoning -- along with staphylococcus, which causes a range of infections.
Your keyboard isn't the only bacteria farm in the office. Door and faucet knobs, handles, elevator and printer buttons, hand-shakes and more all are hotspots for bacteria. Microbes are everywhere, and some can even kill you.
Excessive amounts of typing is a well-known cause of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which is a painful wrist strain that can go up your arm. CTS can get bad enough to cause permanent nerve damage and muscle wasting.
You get stressed out when you have to meet a strict deadline, which can affect your learning and memory according to Science Daily. This sort of short-term stress can be just as bad as stress that lasts weeks or months.
If your mouse stays in the same spot all day, you can be prone to repetitive strain injury (RSI). Upper limb RSI occurs when your tendons are straining more than they should for long periods of time, which can be because of movement repetition, a sustained awkward position, or prolonged pressing against hard surfaces.
Most office-folk go out for an unhealthy lunch once in a while -- some more than others, but even the occasional indulgence has its negative effects. A portion of fast food usually has around double the calories to another similar food of the same size, and they have a lot of oxidized fat, which increases the risk of heart disease.
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