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Is Your Job Hurting Your Health?

By Careers Desk

Thursday, December 6, 2018.

It seems unfair that we’re forced to work long hours just to survive financially, but as well as robbing us of our time- some jobs can also take our health. There are a number of health risks that lots of jobs can pose, and so knowing what these are (and taking steps to prevent them) is important. Here are three ways that your job could be hurting your health.

Shift work

As humans, are bodies work on ‘circadian rhythms.’ These are cycles of around twenty four hours, our internal clock if you like. This means that you tend to feel energised at roughly the same time each day, and feel drowsy at roughly the same time. It’s massively affected by things such as darkness and light, meaning that if you work varying shifts your circadian rhythm can be disrupted. This can lead to low mood and depression, lack of energy and sleeplessness. We’re working to a set body clock, and messing around with this is of course going to cause problems. Long term night shift work is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, as well as metabolic problems, heart disease, ulcers, gastrointestinal problems and obesity. Rotating shift workers often don’t get enough sleep, and this can cause its own set of health problems. Even things like daylight saving times can affect our circadian rhythm, and it’s becoming more and more accepted that these changes cause more harm than good- you can read more about this here. Many of us will work a shift based job at one time or another. But it’s worth bearing in mind the health consequences. If you’re able to move to more standard working hours in the future by being promoted, changing careers or even starting your own business then this could be a good thing for your health.

Workplace dangers

Our employers have a duty to keep us safe, however things can go wrong. If you work in a particularly risky environment, you could fall from heights, get burned with water or chemicals, have something fall on top of you or be hit with a vehicle. Other workplace dangers have surrounded things like asbestos poisoning and pesticides in agriculture. These have later gone on to cause health problems that people weren’t aware of at the time. Make sure that you have the most up to date training in your role, and that health and safety procedures are being followed to the letter.

Being too sedentary

These days, the majority of us work online, sat at desks in front of computers. This means there’s a large portion of the day that we’re not moving much at all. This can lead to lowered fitness levels, poor muscle tone and weight gain. One way you can get around this is by using a standing desk, or even investing in under desk exercise equipment. Get onto your feet as much as you can, even it’s just a walk around the building at lunchtime. Try and incorporate more exercise into your routine outside of work to try and balance things out a little.

Is Your Job Hurting Your Health?

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