No job should cause permanent damage to your health. Whilst certain occupations have obvious dangers, others have mode hidden hazards that can take effect over a longer period of time. Here are just several common health dangers in the workplace to look out for and what you can do to stop these health issues deteriorating if you’ve started to spot the early signs.
Stress is starting to wear you down
Stress is said to be the biggest killer – it’s been directly linked to heart attacks and strokes. When we’re stressed we release a hormone called cortisol which can cause achy muscles, high blood pressure and a lack of sleep if we have chronic amounts of it in our body. If quitting your stressful job isn’t an option, you should make sure that you’re giving yourself enough time to destress at the end of each day as this will help to flush out the cortisol. Do leisure activities that make your feel good, whether it’s exercise or listening to music or having a bath. Don’t be afraid to also give yourself a holiday if you need it to give your body a break.
Sitting down all day is making you overweight
If you spend all day sat behind a desk or a wheel and you’ve noticed that you’re starting to gain weight around your waist, it could be time to start working those abs. When constantly sat down, the abdominal muscles aren’t given a chance to work. Some office workers go to extremes such as sitting on an exercise ball whilst working, but you could simply do sit-ups in your free time if this isn’t an option for you. Make sure that you’re also moving around and being active both inside and outside the workplace. If you need to be glued to your desk all day, ask your boss if it’s possible to invest in a standing desk if you feel this will aid your health.
Staring at a computer screen hurts your eyes
Many of us spend all day sat behind a computer. If you’re getting headaches from staring at a screen or having to squint to see the screen, it could be a sign that the computer is causing damage to your eyes. Book an eye exam if you’ve been starting to squint as you may need to start wearing glasses or contact lenses to prevent further deterioration. Make sure that you’re taking frequent breaks from the screen and try to get enough sleep at night – your eyes are more likely to get damaged when you are already tired.
Loud noises are affecting your hearing
Certain work environments can be very noisy. High decibel levels can start to affect hearing in the long run. If your getting ringing in the ears or have noticed that you’re turning the TV up louder, it could be time to start protecting your hearing. Most jobs with high noise levels such as construction work and airport work supply ear protection that can be worn on the job. In other jobs such as a nightclub or music venue, you may have to take action yourself – going on a noise detox when not working could give your ears the rest they need to recover.
Your hands are achey and you’re starting to lose your grip
If you’ve worked with power tools your whole life, used a computer mouse or done any kind of repetitive motion, you could start to feel it take an effect on the feeling in your hands. Arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow are all repetitive strain injuries that can develop over time from doing a continuous motion. If you feel your arm starting to cramp, this could be an early sign that you’re headed for one of these injuries. There are ergonomic work tools out there that can combat these RSIs – consider investing in these to protect your health or persuading your boss to invest in them.