Occupational diseases are a real challenge in any profession. One does not need to have a dangerous blue-collar job to get a whole bunch of occupational diseases; it’s enough just to become an office worker. It’s true that all the hours spent sitting at a worktable have their effect on the health. There has been already formed a list of ailments that can develop over the years of sedentary work. Let’s sort out what the most common ailments affecting the ability of white-collars to work are.
Dry eye syndrome
It’s quite common among office workers. Long hours spent at the computer, especially when reading carefully and attentively, cause excessive opening of the eye fissure and it is not closed for a long time. Due to that, the stability of the tear film protecting the eye is disturbed and that provokes the feeling of eye fatigue, burning and sand in the eyes. In order to avoid such problems it’s recommended to have 10 minutes per hour for the eyes to rest from the monitor. Also it’s beneficial to drink more water and blink more often.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
When working with a computer mouse, the hand is twisted unnaturally. If you are using your mouse for long hours and do not have any breaks, then you may likely feel pain and swelling of the hand as well as numbness and loss of sensation in the fingers of this hand. These symptoms indicate a circulatory disturbance or pinched nerve. One study has shown that every 6th office worker suffers from this condition. To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome doctors recommend having a mouse that suits best the anatomy of your hand as well as placing hands in a correct position when using computer and taking regular breaks to do some hand exercises.
Problems with the nervous system
Emotional exhaustion and burnout, chronic fatigue and irritability are the most common consequences of overloading the nervous system in office workers. Intense working rhythm, the need for making decisions on the run, lack of sleep, stress, unhealthy psychological climate at work, lack of recreation and overtime work lead to sleep disturbances, apathy and depression.
Degenerative disc disease
It’s one of the most common conditions in office workers. It’s the sedentary position lasting for hours that has the most negative effect on the spine. It causes dystrophic processes in the intervertebral discs; these discs lose their natural elasticity, become flat and the vertebrae start pinching nerve endings, hence the pains in the neck and in the small of the back. To prevent these symptoms you should change your sitting position as often as possible (at least once every 30 minutes). Short breaks to do some exercises for the neck and back will do you good as well.
Sedentary lifestyle and improper position of the legs (e.g., sitting with your legs crossed) lead to varicose veins. Stagnation of blood in the veins of the legs leads to the pains in the calf muscles, spasms and swelling of the legs by the end of the working day. Prolonged sitting position also causes varicose veins in the pelvis (and that in its turn is a major cause of hemorrhoids).
The list of office ailments includes much more disorders. But one thing every office worker should remember to avoid most of them is that adequate physical activity, healthy eating and positive thinking are the keys to a healthy life.