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3 Simple Health Tips for Your 9 to 5

3 Simple Health Tips for Your 9 to 5
May 02
17:40 2016
The long hours, stress, and sedentary nature of a typical office job have a huge and terrible impact on your health.

Over 80% of Americans have a job that involves sitting most of the day. Sitting for long periods of time is horrible for your body. Sore muscles and a stiff neck are the least of your problems. Sitting at a desk all day increases your risk for the following (even if you work out regularly):

• Heart disease
• Muscular-skeletal disorders
• Obesity
• Diabetes
• Cancer

Professor Alan Hedge of Cornell University recommends changing positions every 8 minutes and taking a 2-minute moving break twice per hour. He also recommends trying your best to maintain proper posture. If you slouch all day, you’re “contributing to a pool of chronic, long-term ailments – including arthritis and bursitis.”

Skipping breakfast is another common habit among working-class Americans. Doing so puts your body into a stressful state and can disrupt your metabolism. People who regularly skip breakfast have an increased risk of being overweight, having high blood pressure, and developing heart problems compared to those who eat regularly within two hours of getting up.

Filling that breakfast void with a fast food lunch is the worst thing you can do. Even the occasional unhealthy lunch has negative effects. A single portion of fast food typically has twice the number of calories than other foods – not to mention loads of oxidized fat.

trafficLong commutes can lead to high cholesterol, high blood sugar, poor sleep, and depression. A study conducted at the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the Cooper Institute in Dallas found that driving more than 10 miles to work each day can increase your risk of anxiety, depression, and general unhappiness.

Far from raising company morale, motivational meetings and team-building activities have been linked to depression. Studies show that when you try to force a person to feel positive for something about which he is unsure, he realizes just how unhappy he is and can fall into depression.

Even your office building can make you sick. The recirculated air inside a building can be up to 100x dirtier than the air outside and can clog your lungs – not to mention the toxic particles, pollutants, and dangerous bacteria flying around in the A/C. “Sick Building Syndrome” refers to the respiratory problems and headaches that commonly plague office workers.

The heat of a laptop, when used directly on your lap, can cause skin problems and can even lower your sperm count.

Working 10+ hours per day gives you a 60% higher risk of numerous cardiovascular problems including angina and heart attack.

Working odd hours can cause weight gain and serious stress. Those who do most of their work at night are at an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes. According to a Harvard study conducted in 2009, those who wake up later in the day had less leptin (an appetite-controlling hormone) and more cortisol (a stress hormone).

Artificial light confuses your internal clock, making you sedentary and sleepy. Not getting enough sunlight (vitamin D) during the day can make it harder to concentrate when you’re awake and harder to fall asleep at night.

QWERTY_keyboardOffices are rife with germs. The average keyboard is just as dangerous as coliforms and E. coli. If not kept clean, your keyboard is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Microbiologists have found that dirty keyboards can have up to 5x more bacteria than your average office bathroom. Other germy spots include handles, doors, faucet knobs, printer buttons, elevator buttons, and handshakes.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which develops from too many hours spent typing, is a painful type of wrist strain that can send pain shooting up your arm. CTS can cause permanent muscle and nerve damage.

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) can occur if you spend too much time with your mouse (hand) in the same position. Upper-limb RSI can develop as a result of a sustained awkward position, movement repetition, or prolonged pressing against a hard surface. RSI manifests as pain in the nerves, muscles, and tendons.

The newest classification of RSI is “iPhone thumb,” a condition that arises as a result of too much texting.

Ditch the high heels! Those pumps might make you feel confident, but when worn regularly can harm your body in several ways. Uncomfortable shoes can lead to muscle spasms, spinal injuries, and chronic migraines.

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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