If you think about where you spend a lot of your time, your workplace probably comes close to the top. Which is why its important to consider how unhealthy your workplace could be, and what you can do about it. Breathing electronically cooled air and sitting in unnatural positions will take its toll, and making some simple changes could make a huge overall difference to your health and wellbeing. I’ve been testing out some easy changes, and these are the eight I’d recommend everyone makes...
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Air conditioning is common place in most workplaces now, but it’s actually quite bad for you. It sucks the moisture out of the air, which means our lungs get less moisture too. And while it’s a necessity while we are on holiday, it’s not too good when you are sat in it for 45 hours a week. Counter it by making sure you stay hydrated, and keeping your eye out for the symptoms, including headaches, tiredness anddry skin. Slowly up the amount of water you drink to between ten and sixteen glasses per day, and you’ll soon feel as good as new.
2. Sugar Lows
It’s built into every woman that skipping meals will help us to lose weight, and look our best. Umm...nope. It just means our sugar levels plummet, causing us to feel ill, and sugar cravings. So you’ll give in, and get a chocolate bar, but an hour later you’ll need another, and the loop will continue. Think you might be suffering? The other symptoms are exhaustion, snappiness and headaches. This is surprisingly easy to counter, by eating good foodregularly. Stick to high energy, healthy snacks such as raisins, nuts and dried fruits, and keep them to hand for when hunger strikes. Then snack on foods which have a low GI, such as porridge, which means they release energy slowly, for longer.
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Everytime you turn something such as a mobile phone on, you create an electromagnetic field. Experts have analyzed these and found them to be harmless, but some people believe that they have an increased sensitivity to them, and sufferfrom headaches, fatigue and rashes due to it. If you think you might be a sufferer, try using an ear piece rather than holding the phone to your head, and spend your lunch hour and breaks away from electrical items.
Stressis an odd thing. Everyone gets a little bit, and some point, and some people regard things such as missing an episode of their favourite programme as stressful. Stress is also a serious condition, though, and your workplace could be making you much worse. The symptoms tend to be headaches, insomnia, depression, nausea, and sometimes even heart problems. The cure? Well, seeing your doctor is a good idea, as they’ll be able to help you to break down the problem and find suitable solutions, including medication if necessary. You can take steps to de-stress yourself, though, such as going for a walk or doing aerobics. Physical exercise causes your body to produce a chemical which breaks down stress, and should help you to feel better. In a rush? Do a quick jog around the block, or run up and down the stairs.
5. Repetitive Strain Injury
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How much time do you spend typing, or using a mouse? Well, this isn’t a normal position to have your wrists and hands in, and puts you at risk of getting repetitive strain injury. Which I’ve had several times...It’s painful! It can even get so bad that it could end your career, and prevent you from ever being able to comfortably use a computer. Upgrade your mouse and keyboard for a ‘natural’ one which is shaped to support your arms better. Stretching and flexing your muscles in regular breaks is also a good idea, and if you start to suffer from numbness, tingling or aching, try to take a break from the computers for a while.
6. Unclean Surroundings
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Don’t blindly trust your work cleaners. A recent study tested fifty keyboards from an office block, which had been in use for three months. Four were so covered in germs that they were destroyed as health risks, and fifteen had more germs then there was on the office toilet seat. Take some antibacterial wipes to work, and make sure you take responsibility for keeping your desk and equipment clean and tidy, to prevent getting unnecessary illnesses!
7. Working through Illness
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Going into work when you are suffering from the flufeels like it should get you Employee Of The Year award, but your colleagues and boss won’t thank you. You’ll spread the condition around, as well as covering your office in germs, and you aren’t really up to getting much work done anyway. Stay home, and explain to your boss that you are happy to work from there, or offer to come in and have a meeting with them about work you could do without the risk of infecting anyone else. You’ll recover much faster, too!
8. Not Taking a Break
We are terrible at taking breaks and keeping ourselves refreshed and focused. Working days are getting longer and longer, and we are getting fewer and fewer breaks, which means we are putting our body throughmore stress and labour. Take a break! Just a few minutes to stretch your legs and refocus will do your health an untold amount of good, and will make you more productive too. So everyone is a winner!
Don’t put your health at risk because of a bad workplace. Instead, take these steps to keep it clean and make it as healthy as possible, and always get any recurrent symptoms checked out by your doctor if they begin to concern you. After all, your healthis worth more than that overtime! Have you got a tip for keeping your office healthy? I’d love to hear it!
Top Photo Credit: donsutherland1