If a desk job offer comes with a packaging then it should have a health warning that says “too much sitting is dangerous to your health”. Over the years a number of health risks have been observed in people working behind the desk. This includes higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and musculoskeletal disorders. Unfortunately, majority of the jobs today involve being tied to the computer for most of the day. If you have a job that entails prolonged sitting, then you may want to take a look at these work related health risks and how it can be addressed.
Sitting for long periods of time is like having a sedentary lifestyle, even if you are productive during the time spent on the chair. The lack of movement in a desk job can result to unhealthy metabolic changes such as increase in cholesterol levels, body fat, or insulin levels. All of which may lead to serious health conditions like stroke or heart attack and diabetes. Physical activity is essential in minimizing the risk for developing metabolic syndromes so even if you are stuck behind the desk try to move your muscles from time to time. This can include changing positions or stretching your legs from time to time, standing up for time to time, walking a bit during break time.
Musculoskeletal disorders like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, and Tension Neck Syndrome are also work related health risks for people who spend most of their time working on the computer. Repetitive stroke in the keyboard over a period of time may cause carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is characterized by pain or numbness in the hand, wrist, or forearm that gets worse when using your hands or wrists, occasional tingling sensation, and stiff fingers. Strengthening the muscles on your hand, fingers, and arm as well as observing correct posture can help prevent this condition.
Most employers today recognize these risks and have taken measures to safeguard their employees’ occupational health and safety. Some companies in the call center industry even went to the extent of investing in ergonomic solutions for the workplace. Treadmill desk, exercise balls for chair, and laptop stand are some tools that can help protect employees from these work related health risks. Just remember, the employers take care of the tools and workplace environment but it is up to the employees to observe proper posture and make use of these tools to be healthy.
David Castillo Dominici