Warning: Your job may be affecting your health

You may attribute the pain in your neck and shoulders to overexertion at the gym. Or maybe overwhelming fatigue means the onset of a cold. In fact, these and other maladies might actually be symptoms associated with work-related conditions.

Office jobs aren’t typically known for being hazardous to your health, but they’re not without risk. The signs of office-related disorders are more covert and consequently often ignored. Eventually these aches, pains and illnesses can adversely affect the quality of your performance and even knock you out of commission for extended periods of time.

Below are three common office-related ailments and tips on how to avoid them:

Oh, that aching back

Sitting at a desk all day takes its toll on your body. Observe the rules of office ergonomics to ward off pain and stiffness:

  • Relax your shoulders and keep your back straight with your feet resting flatly on the floor. If you don’t have an ergonomic office chair, use a small pillow to give your spine extra support.
  • Stretch frequently to avoid stiffness. If possible, get up and walk around the office for a few minutes throughout the day.
  • Use a headset to prevent neck problems caused by cradling a phone.
  • Avoid overreaching by keeping frequently used items no more than 10 inches away.
  • Type with your wrists in a natural position to prevent strain.

Overworked eyes

Blurred or double vision and headaches mean you need a break from staring at the computer screen. Be sure to position yourself 18 to 30 inches away from the monitor. Rest your eyes periodically by focusing on something else every so often. Blink frequently to keep your eyes lubricated and consider putting a filter over your computer screen to reduce glare.

Post-lunch lethargy

Hitting a wall by mid-to-late afternoon is a common complaint among office professionals. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep energy levels at an even keel during working hours. A brisk, short mid-afternoon walk gets the blood flowing and provides a mental break. Eschewing a high-carb lunch for a more protein packed meal can keep you from spiking, then crashing later on in the day.

Don’t shrug off persistent twinges or sinking spells as impending sickness or a consequence of age. Practice workplace wellness by adopting healthier routines at the office.

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