Though working at a desk might not seem dangerous as dangerous as many other jobs available, over time, sitting at a desk does put strain on your body. Over time, that strain can do quite a bit of damage to your body. Working at a desk can effect several aspects of your health, from your eyes to your back to your heart.
To combat these effects, you need be aware of them so you can come up with a wellness plan that helps you avoid some of the common health issues office workers struggle with.
If you work in front of a computer, then you could be staring at a screen for upwards of 11 hours a day. Over the course of a few months, that could result in a unique condition known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), also known as Digital Eye Strain. This syndrome can result in redness, inflammation of the eyes, fuzzy vision, and chronic eye pain. These symptoms are caused by a combination of poor lighting, screen glare and the distance from you to your computer. Some other factors, such as vision problems that aren’t being corrected for, may also contribute to the strain you experience looking at a computer screen.
In order to avoid CVS, you should rest your eyes for a few moments at least once every 20 or 30 minutes. Try using the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes, take a twenty-second break to look at something at least twenty feet away. This will help decrease eyestrain, which will help keep your eyes healthy.
Lack of Exercise
Being sedentary is going to increase your risk of countless health complications including obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Studies have revealed that a sedentary lifestyle can also increase your risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
To combat those medical issues, you must try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. You can work out at a gym, or you can walk, run or bike your daily commute instead of driving, provided you live within a reasonable distance. Those who can’t exercise before or after work should speak with their managers about training during their lunch breaks.
Poor Blood Circulation
When you sit down for long periods of time, getting blood to your extremities becomes very difficult, and that extra strain could damage your heart. Many experts believe that a lack of regular movement will increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and other cardiovascular issues.
Once every hour, you should get up and move around to promote blood flow and increase your heart rate. During those breaks, you might want to stretch as well so that your muscles get plenty of oxygenated blood. Stretching will help keep your muscles from getting stiff, keeping you flexible for longer.
Chronic Back Pain
Back problems are frighteningly common among office workers, and many people who work at a desk struggle with chronic back pain. In addition to investing in an ergonomic chair or seat cushion, you should also consider heading to a back pain clinic. At one of those clinics, a team of specialists can uncover the root cause of your back pain and help you come up with a long-term treatment plan. That treatment plan might include different treatments without relying on over-the-counter pain medication and instead of using exercise, or natural pain relievers, along with physical therapy, pain management medications, injection therapy or a new diet. Yoga and similar light exercises can also help ease and prevent back pain as well as helping your posture.
One of the best ways to avoid these health issues is to schedule regular checkups with your medical team. Those healthcare professionals will catch and treat relatively minor medical complications before they become chronic problems.