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Health risks at the office


office health risks

Photo: Shutterstock


Having an office job might mean less physical labour when compared to other occupations, but the risk of potential health hazards waiting to happen remains the same.


Here are some of the ailments office workers are plagued by and steps that can be taken to prevent them:

Eyestrain

Office work typically requires you to spend extended periods of time in front of the computer, subjecting your eyes to the glare of the monitor screen in the process. Inevitably, this practice could result in your eyes becoming more sensitive, feel too dry or too watery and cause blurry vision. Exhaustion, headache and a sore neck may also accompany these symptoms.

Prevention: A few tweaks might do the trick to reduce unnecessary strain on your eyes. For example, you could turn down the brightness of your screen or increase the font size to avoid squinting. These little changes might not seem like much, but they certainly do add up if you consider the long hours spent staring at the glare of the monitor. Additionally, don’t forget to give your eyes a break once in a while; that report won’t go anywhere.

Back problems

As the name implies, having a desk job means spending time sitting at your desk for hours on end, and often in a seat that does not provide your back with the kind of support necessary. This could ultimately lead to aches and pains in your back, especially in the lower region of your spine.

Prevention: Taking regular breaks from your desk could be a possible solution, but if you’re wary of incurring the wrath of your boss, you could opt for some leg stretches instead. You can do this by stretching out your legs and reaching for your toes, holding this pose for 20 seconds. Alternatively, you could give yourself a hug by placing your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder to further release tension in your back.

Adjusting your screen and the height of your chair will also help you to maintain good posture throughout the day, preventing muscle strain.

Bacteria

You’d be surprised to find out that a seemingly neat desk could be home to a surprising amount of bacteria, a result of all the times you’ve turned it into a temporary lunch table without giving it a good cleaning afterwards. Doing so has led to food remnants weaselling their way in between the keys on your keyboard or into other nooks and crannies.

Prevention: Ready a bottle of hand sanitizer and some antibacterial wipes at your desk and give it a good wipe down once in a while, especially if that’s where you frequently have lunch. This will also offer you a little bit of protection from germs sprayed into the air, when your colleagues cough or sneeze.