The stress, long hours, and sedentary nature of your modern office job are sucking the life out of you — literally.
And it’s not just the tight deadlines, stress-eaten bagels, and sneezing coworkers that are doing you in. Even your keyboard can be out to get you.
From the printer to your supervisor, the dangers presented in a typical office can have real effects on your physical well-being and mental health. Need a reason to overhaul your habits? Look no further.
Vivian Giang and Kim Bhasin contributed to an earlier version of this article.
Sitting for lengthy periods is terrible for your body. Aches and pains are the least of your problems -- sitting too much can lead to an early death. You face a higher risk of muscular skeletal disorders, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more, even if you work out regularly.
Around 86% of American workers sit all day at work. If you're one of them, Alan Hedge, a design and ergonomics professor at Cornell, recommends you change to positions every 8 minutes, and take a 2-minute 'moving break' at least twice an hour.
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.'
Always on the run and don't have time to eat the most important meal of the day? Doing this consistently will put your body in a stressful state and disrupt your metabolism.
People who don't eat breakfast have a greater risk of high blood pressure, being overweight, and having heart issues compared to those who regularly eat within two hours of waking up.
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 it's possible that even very small amounts can cause chest pain and irritation.
Laser printers do this, too, and they also release toner particles that can get in your lungs and blood stream, which could lead to lung disease and other ailments.
One Swedish study cited by the Washington Post found the chronic stress of a bad boss was linked to an elevated risk of heart disease -- and the longer you work for that person, the worse the problem seems to become.
That's just the beginning. Other studies have shown that working for an unfair boss may contribute to a host of other complaints, including depression, sleep issues, high blood pressure, and being overweight.
Those who mostly work in the evenings -- such as programmers -- are at greater risk for Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
As tested by Harvard researchers in 2009, people who woke up later in the day showed a decline in leptin, a hormone responsible for curbing appetites, and an increase in the stress-related hormone cortisol.
Not getting enough sunlight can make it harder to fall asleep and more difficult to concentrate when you're awake.
Artificial light doesn't just give your skin an unflattering greenish cast -- it also messes with your internal clock, making you sleepy and sedentary.
A study in the 'Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine' found that employees who weren't exposed to natural light at work slept an average of 46 minutes less a night than their peers with windows -- and the sleep they did get was less restful.
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.
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.
Those power woman pumps you're wearing might make you feel tall and confident, but they're also harming your body in surprising ways.
Between 2005 and 2009, women's visits to doctors for their feet increased by 75%, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
Wearing uncomfortable shoes can lead to spinal injuries, muscle spasms, and even chronic headaches and migraines. Furthermore, the more pain you feel, the more likely you'll sit for longer periods, which leads to a slew of health problems on its own.
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