Here Are 10 Ways Your Job Could Be Killing You
If you've ever said to yourself "This job is going to kill me", you may not be far off. Here are 10 ways your job could be hurting your health. Happy Monday!
Doctors recommend getting eight hours of sleep per night, but one look around the average office reveals that, for many, it just isn't happening. The bags under everyone's eyes and the drained coffee cups tell the tale, along with a recent survey of more than 7,000 people, 23 percent of whom reported experiencing insomnia.
What's causing the sleeplessness? One of the primary causes of insomnia is stress, particularly stress encountered in the workplace, according to the Mayo Clinic. The sleep-deprived often don't view their fatigue as a reason to call in sick, however, so they go to work and turn in lethargic, sluggish performances that cost employers $63 billion a year in lost productivity, according to a Harvard Medical School study.
Lack of Exercise
A factor frequently implicated in the current obesity epidemic is the sedentary nature of many jobs. The unanimous consensus of the medical community is that a 40-hour-a-week stint at an office desk is a primary contributor to weight gain. As the American job market has shifted from manufacturing work to desk jobs, the problem has only gotten worse.
A 2010 study in The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that the obese were less productive in the workplace than their counterparts of average weight. The study found that rates of presenteeism went up as body mass index (BMI) did, so female employees with a BMI between 30 and 34.9 lost 6.3 days' worth of productivity per year, while males with BMIs over 40 lost over three weeks' worth of productivity. Taken together, the study estimated that obesity among full-time employees in the U.S. cost employers more than $73 billion per year.
Indoor Air Quality
In 1984, the World Health Organization released a report finding that many newly constructed office buildings had flaws in their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These defects affected indoor air quality so severely that they caused conditions such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue, among others, in workers.
Many of the office buildings in the study still stand, with the same ventilation problems they had 30 years ago. Newer buildings are being designed with better ventilation, but until their designs become the norm it's probable that health issues related to indoor air quality will continue
According to the Gallup organization, the average commute from home to work is 23 minutes, but workers with longer commutes reported a larger range of negative physical and emotional conditions. Predictably, these health issues worsened as the length of the commute increased.
The study found that 19 percent of respondents traveled more than 30 minutes to get to work, while 3 percent reported commutes of more than an hour. Those with longer commutes were more likely to report neck and back pain, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Among those with commutes of more than 90 minutes, 40 percent spent most of the day worrying. The anxiety interfered with their ability to feel well-rested and experience enjoyment during their waking hours. The study found that the greater an employee's commute, the more likely it was that productivity would be compromised.
No matter who you are or where you work, there will almost always be one person in your office who gets on your nerves. Most people are able to put those feelings aside, if only for the sake of civility, but there are always going to be employees who see no reason to hold back — sometimes leading to hostile, open confrontations in the workplace.
Public confrontations are awkward and stressful for those directly involved, as well as for the co-workers who have to witness them. They impact productivity, hurt morale, and cause other employees' stress levels to rise. According to the book, "Banishing Burnout: Six Strategies for Improving Your Relationship with Work," job stress caused by workplace incivility costs employers $300 billion a year in lost productivity.
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