We generally regard any health issue at work to be related to the mind, such as stress, anxiety, and depression. However, even those of us working in a low-risk office situation may be coming into contact with things every day that could be damaging to our physical health. So, read on to find out what the dangers in your workplace might be and what to do about them.
One way in which work can do a lot of damage to your physical health is by causing issues with your back and spine. These issues include strains, sipped discs, and even aggravation of conditions like sciatica. These can occur from the position that you are sitting in at your desk, or if you have to lift things either in the wrong way or that are too heavy.
To avoid back issue at work, ensure that if you work at a desk that your chair is set at the right height and supports your back properly. You can ask for a back rest if it doesn’t. Also, familiarize yourself with manual handling guidelines so you know how to pick things up in a safe way, and what the maximum weight you can lift alone is.
RSI or repetitive strain injury is another way work could be affecting your physical health. It usually occurs in the wrists and is a side effect of typing on keyboards with too high, or stiff keys, or not having the correct wrist and arm supports when typing frequently.
Again, this is something that your employer is likely to know about, so feel free to ask them for a more ergonomically designed keyboard, and gel wrist supports. Or anything else that removes some of the pressure on your arms.
Work could also be damaging your health if you are being exposed to hazardous substances without the proper protection. These could be things like chemicals that cause allergies or breathing problems. Dust particles that can damage the lungs, or deadly asbestos that can cause mesothelioma. A mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Luckily, this substance is highly regulated now, although it’s unfortunately still the case that people are being diagnosed with this condition from previous asbestos exposure. So, if this is something that is affecting you or someone you love it’s best to contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to ascertain blame and start your case for compensation.
Also, generally in terms of breathing problems at work, your employer has a responsibility to protect you. So if you are working with dust particles this mean face masks, with asbestos it means protective suits and rebreathers, and with chemicals eye protection, and faces masks. Although some employers will choose to cease the use the compounds that are causing the problem.
Our eyes can also be affected at work, primarily through eye strain, Something that can be caused by working with computer monitors for long stretches at a time. This can result in headaches, more serious migraine and a deterioration in sight.
To prevent this from happening to take regular breaks and perform eye exercise like these. Also ask your employer for a riser so your computer is at the right level to be viewed, as well as a screen filter to reduce glare.
Lastly, work can be responsible for issues with our digestive system. This can be due to psychological stress, something that amps up our flight or fight response, signaling the body to evacuate any food. So it’s possible to make a quick getaway. This of course often presents as a condition like IBS.
Work can also cause digestive issues and even issue with weight because it’s all too tempting to rush through you lunch at your desk, without taking the proper time to eat, savor, and digest the meal. This can lead to problems such as chronic indigestion, as well as weight gain. Caused because we are ignoring the hunger signals that our body is making and not registering the food that we are consuming because we are too busy on Facebook, or replying to those last few emails.
To improve your digestive health at work, always try and eat away from your desk. Also focus on the food that you are consuming, its flavor, texture, and smell. This will make it easier for your body to register that it has been fed, helping you to enjoy your meal and eat the right amount to maintain a healthy weight.