is your job a health hazard

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Is your Job a Health Hazard?

We are all familiar with the dangers that construction workers and employees in other dangerous fields face on a daily basis, but most people don’t realize the damage that working all day in an office setting can have on their health. Hours of inactivity and staring at a computer can result in back pains, sleep problems, eyestrain and much more.

There are a number of safety regulations and programs in place to help protect workers that are employed in dangerous fields. However, with so many people working in office settings, there needs to be more information provided by employers on how to stay healthy.

is your job a health hazard

Top Health Risks Associated With Office Jobs

1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – This is caused by performing a repeated motion over and over again. Often a result of typing or keyboarding for long hours, it not only causes pain, but tingling, itching and soreness as well. There are special mouse and keyboard pads designed for people with carpal tunnel syndrome.

2. Lower Back and Joint Pain – This is very common among office workers that sit at a desk for hours at a time. It is especially harmful if you have bad posture and do not get up and move around regularly.

3. Eyestrain – Staring at a computer screen or other illuminated electronic device for long periods of time can prove to be very hard on your eyes. Your vision can become blurry, and your eyes may get dry and irritated. Over time, eyestrain can lead to headaches and vision problems.

4. Bacteria – Many office workers do not realize that desks are often 400 times dirtier than a toilet in terms of bacteria. Desks are rarely cleaned thoroughly so the germs continue to grow which can lead to sickness and other health problems.

5. Stress – Stress can not only be hazardous to those working in office settings, but at any job. In general, workers who are have physically demanding jobs will be able to release some of their stress throughout their work day. With a desk job, it can be much more difficult to get any relief from stress. Stress can lead to many health risks such as depression, sleep problems and high blood pressure.

How To Stay Healthy Working In An Office

1. “Stay Active – Finding time during your day to get in some physical activity can help you stay healthy while working in an office setting. Taking a walk on your lunch break will not only keep you healthier, it will give you more energy for the rest of your day. Some activities that can be done at your desk include stretching, meditating and breathing exercises.

2. Proper Posture – One way to reduce the risk of back pain from sitting in an office chair all day is to practice good posture. To help, you should use an ergonomic chair that will offer your back firm support and a comfortable sitting position. Also, make sure to position your keyboard and monitor in positions that promote correct posture.”

3. Cleanliness – Another way to stay healthy in an office setting is to keep your area clean and sanitary. Always keep food and drinks away from your desk unless you have sanitizer to clean up afterwards. Once a week, you should thoroughly clean and sanitize your keyboard, mouse, phone, headset and anything else that you come in constant contact with.

4. Eat Healthy – To stay healthy, watch what you eat during the day. It can be enticing to eat junk food while you are working, especially if your office has a vending machine. Pack some healthy snacks and try to limit the amount of caffeinated beverages that you consume at work. Water will keep you well hydrated, more alert and it will help curb food cravings in between meals.

Office Jobs vs. Dangerous Jobs

One of the main reasons that office jobs are so risky to a worker’s health is because employers do not take the time to make their employees aware of the dangers. According to Attorney David Perecman who supports construction work site safety, employers are required to provide all employees with a safe workplace. Even those who work in what we consider dangerous occupations must be warned of hazardous conditions and receive the necessary safety gear and training to help protect them.

More needs to be done to warn office workers about the potential health hazards they face on a daily basis. Since employers are not required to teach employees healthy work practices, you might want to step up and see what you can do to help.

Consider asking your employer if you can hold a monthly safety meeting or create a group to discuss ways to reduce accidents and illnesses. Once your boss realizes that this will pay off by reducing sick days and accidents, he or she might even let you arrange special parties or outings when your office reaches the goals that you set. If nothing else, you will be helping to create a healthier work environment for you and your coworkers.

Author’s bio: Shelby Warden is a legal researcher and contributing author for The Perecman Firm of New York. David Perecman has spent much of his legal career fighting for injured victims’ rights and addressing workplace safety issues. If you have been seriously injured at work, their firm has handled many cases similar to yours in the past, let their experience get you the right compensation!

Image credited to http://www.flickr.com/photos/29320956@N03/4321749127/sizes/m/in/photostream/

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