For most of us, work is a necessary evil. You might love what you do or it might bore the brain off of you - but is it actually bad for you?
If you do the 9-to-5 at a desk, there are an awful lot of things that could be having a negative impact on you. Some of you might know about wonky shoulders from crouching over a keyboard but others might be in for a bit of a surprise.
Below are just a few of the ways your office job is bad for you
BACK AND NECK STRAIN
We’ll start with one of the obvious ones. If you’re a desk monkey, chances are you end up with upper back and shoulder pain sometimes from all that learning forward. Long-term this can lead to serious issues so make sure to sit properly in your chair every day. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your computer should be at eye level, so you don’t strain your neck. Your forearms and wrists should be straight and level with the floor - keep them in an L shape as you work - and take regular breaks to keep your back loose.
Unless it's to go to the loo. It can be so easy to stay at your desk a lot longer than intended if you’re busy. But it’s important to get up and walk about a bit during the day. It gets the blood circulating, wakes you up and can hold off back pain. If you’re not a tea or coffee drinker (which will get you up and strolling to the kitchen a few times a day), try to hold off on emails or phone calls and walk over to colleagues now and again. You will still technically be working, but you’ll get a bit of movement happening and will have a real-life chat too.
Now, this is one we never really think about and, oh, it is gross. Your whole desk area is basically a carnival party for germs. From your phone handset to your keyboard, there can be more than 10 million germs on the average work desk. Keyboards are particularly bad - with more bacteria than a toilet seat but electronic ID badges can be worse. Maybe you’re a neat freak re your own desk, but in communal areas, you can’t stop other people’s germy habits. If you’re concerned, make sure to wash your desk and hands regularly.
This one is even becoming a problem away from our work desks now as we’re on devices with screens so often during the day. Make sure to take regular breaks to give your eyes a bit of a rest and avoid strain. Re-adjusting focus is important too. The expert trick is the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your screen every 20 minutes to focus on an object at least 20ft away for at least 20 seconds. It gives the focusing muscles in the eye a break.
Not only is it very hard to look your best under harsh office lighting, it’s also not much good for your health either. Actually, a study by Northwest University showed that office workers who have more exposure to natural light sleep for longer, have better quality sleep, do more physical activity and have a general better quality of life. So fight for that desk beside the window.