Certain jobs come with obvious hazards such as handling chemicals or climbing ladders. But, there are other hidden hazards that can do their damage over a longer period. Here are some of the biggest dangers to look out for at work, and how you can prevent them from harming your health.
Sitting down too long
Many occupations from driving roles to desk jobs often involve sitting down all day. This sedentary lifestyle can result in a number of health problems. Knees can get damaged from constantly being contracted. Posture can be affected by constantly being craned over and stomach muscles can wear away from being used infrequently. All in all, sitting down too much could be contributing to back pain, arthritis and obesity. Ergonomic chairs can be effective to cancelling out these effects. But, taking breaks to stand up and walk around can have much bigger impact. You could even consider buying a standing desk if you work in an office.
Staring at a computer screen for long periods
Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can cause a strain on the eyes that has been termed computer vision syndrome. Prolonged computer use can lead to presbyopia in some cases, affecting your ability to focus on both objects that are close and objects that are far away. Booking an eye exam can help you to determine whether you are suffering early signs of vision loss. Meanwhile, when it comes to reducing the risk of vision loss, taking frequent breaks from staring at a screen is a must.
Certain work environments can also take their toll on the sense of hearing. Construction sites, airports and nightclubs are just a few of noisiest work environment in which decibels often exceed healthy levels. Such prolonged exposure to noise can result in permanent hearing damage. You can usually reduce the risk of hearing loss by wearing protective equipment. If you feel that your sense of hearing is already starting to suffer, you can always get a hearing test to check.
Other repetitive strain injuries
Various other activities can cause repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritus. Such activities include typing, using a mouse, using vehicle foot pedals or operating machinery. There’s not much you can do to limit these activities other than taking regular breaks. Stretches can sometimes help to prevent further injuries, whilst other jobs may be able to provide safety equipment or special ergonomic tools to reduce this damage.
Stress is by far the most serious work-related health hazard. It may cause heart disease in the long run, potentially leading to strokes and heart attacks. You may not always be able to avoid stress (although no job should put you under chronic stress). That being said, you can fight the effects of stress. Get enough sleep and take part in stress-busting activities such as exercise or simply having a bath at the end of each day.
Feature photo: Energepic / Pexels
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