We spend the majority of our day at work, making it imperative that we take care of ourselves while we are there. By making your health a priority, you can increase your productivity and overall job satisfaction by following some simple guidelines.
The work you do, as well as how you do it, can have a significant and lasting effect on your health, whether you work in an office, hospital, factory, building site, vehicle, or even outdoors.
Fortunately, there are stringent health and safety procedure guides for employers, who are always working to improve the safety of our workplaces. In addition to their efforts, if we want our work life to be entirely healthy then we need to take responsibility for our own safety and workplace habits.
Sprains Are A Pain
It’s an everyday scenario. You’ve been working in the same position all morning, but now your back is aching and seized. You still have to get the task finished before you go home and need to push on for the next three hours. By the time the knock-off whistle blows, you are in absolute agony and it’s almost an impossibility to move, sound familiar?
The cause of your aches and pains could be due to a repetitive movement or a sustained posture that has caused a muscle imbalance where one muscle group is overworked and becomes tight, while the opposing muscle group is unused and remains slack.
Over time, this overworked muscle tightens even more to the point of fatigue, while the opposing muscle weakens and is no longer able to support the joint adequately. This increases your risk of injury.
Repetitive labour, such as digging, using a computer mouse or even just sitting for long periods of time, can cause muscle imbalances. The best resolution to these difficulties is to break the cycle. You can do this by alternating your activities and diversifying your day.
Be sure to stretch. You don’t need elaborate stretching systems; if you extend correctly, it will feel good, it’s as simple as that.
It is also necessary to take regular breaks every 15 to 20 minutes for two to three minutes at a time. You should aim for a couple of 20-minute breaks throughout the day as well.
New research implies that sitting sedentary for hours a day can significantly raise your risk of death from heart disease and it is, therefore, essential to take career health seriously. The following measures may help:
- Never ignore any warning signs your body sends out to prevent or minimise further injury or illness.
- Adjust your work conditions to decrease the demand on your body.
- Take regular breaks, but make them count.
- Avoid foods which are high in either sugar or caffeine (or both!) as the energy-hit is very short-lived.
Take care of your eyes and ears
Staring at a screen all day not only strains the muscles of the eye, but it can also dry them out and cause fatigue. Fortunately, preventing eye strain and discomfort in an office environment is relatively simple.
The amount of reflection and any glare from your computer can be improved in various ways, tilt the screen until it reflects below eye level and choose negative contrast screens, for example, dark characters on a lighter background. Make sure to take eye tests every two years; some employers provide these as part of their employee care packages. If you are over 50, this should be done every year.
If you spend most of your work hours sitting in front of a desk, ensure you are sitting in the correct position in relation to where your computer sits. If you are not sure about what the correct posture is, you could always ask your line manager for a workplace health assessment to help you. It’s really important to take those regular breaks if you work on a computer a lot.
Support your back
You can easily reduce any risk of back pain by adjusting your chair so your lower back is adequately supported which in turn will reduce the amount of strain placed on your back. Remember your knees should sit slightly lower than your hip level. Your chair should be set at such a height that you can access and use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms in a straight position which is level with the floor.
Feel The Earth Beneath Your Feet
To ensure optimum comfort, place your feet directly and flat on the floor. You could request a footrest they don’t reach, which allows your feet to rest at a comfortable level for you. Try not to cross your legs though as this may cause problems including varicose veins and tired legs.
Work harder to look after yourself while hard at work and this will not only help you to feel better but work better too!
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