Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 ways your job is bad for your health

When Monday morning roles around and we stumble out of our comfy beds, we all have that sneaking suspicion that somehow this isn’t good for us.

It turns out that our suspicions are right; your job is bad for your health and in this article we tell you why those long hours, boring days and stressful tasks are bad for us.

The emails
When emails became a part of our working lives we all celebrated. No more letter writing, no more communication problems and no more dodgy half-readable faxes. However, researchers have found that the birth of emails was not as good as we first thought.

They found that people who check their work email regularly are in fact more stressed and less focused than those colleagues who have no access to their work email.

Death by office chair 
Although we can’t all do yoga or bop around to the latest dance craze whilst typing up our paper work, sitting down at your desk could be killing you.

Studies have found that those adults who sat down in a chair for 11 hours each day had a 40 per cent increased risk of dying than other workers who only sat down for an average of four hours every day.

Boredom makes you sick
If the very thought of work makes you want to yawn then pay attention: boredom can make you sick. The University of Lancashire found that workers who were continuously bored turned to coffee, smoking, alcohol and chocolate in an effort to try and perk themselves up.

As well as picking up bad habits, other researchers found that workers who complained of chronic boredom were two and half times more likely to die before the expected age due to either a heart attack or a stroke.

To work or not to work?
Although very few people would choose unemployment over paid work, it would seem that our mental health may benefit from not working opposed to working in a job we hate.

The Australian National University discovered that people who felt like they had no control at work, or had low pay or little recognition for their efforts had poorer mental health than the participants who were unemployed but who later moved into a better job.

Out of office? 
We all do it. We clock off, leave the office, fight our way through the thousand other commuters and once safely inside our front doors, BING – a new work email.

The distinction between office hours and downtime has never been so blurred and this is having a negative effect on our health. Studies have found that those workers who check their emails at home after work have higher levels of stress and poorer concentration.

Longer hours make you smoke
Did you know that, on average, Americans work 1,778 hours in total? Wherever you are in the world it is likely that you are facing an increase in the amount of time you spend at the office.

Yet, these increased hours are having a major impact on our health and studies have found that these longer hours can lead to you smoking more, exercising less and seeing the doctor less frequently. 

Night owl shifts 
We all know a shift worker and we all know that they have very odd sleep patterns. Although their night-owl ways seem harmless enough it would seem that this unnatural sleep cycle is causing shift workers serious problems.

People who work shifts are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and women who work shifts are more likely to develop breast cancer than those women who snooze their way through the nights.

The promotion
Lets crack open the champagne and blow up those balloons – a promotion is surely a reason to celebrate? Well, according to studies your promotion may not be quite as good as you originally thought.

Although a heavier pay packet may have its perks, the stress and extra hours associated with climbing the career ladder can lead to a decrease in workers’ mental health by around 10 per cent.

Desk jobs give you wrinkles
Many of us get that 3pm slump, but if you have a desk job do you ever actually slump down onto your desk? If propping your head up on your hands sounds all too familiar, be aware that touching your face constantly in this way can lead to dry skin and premature ageing.

Work on your core muscles and your back to build the strength that should help you resist leaning on your hands at work.

It’s a sad and shocking fact but out of every nine workers in your workplace will develop some sort of anxiety disorder within their lifetime.

A study in New Zealand found that one in seven women and one in 10 men who had high levels of pressure at work had difficulty with their mental health and half of the participants had some sort of anxiety disorder as a result of work.

Nursing home/child-care workers
According to, nearly 11 per cent of those people working in this field report a bout of major depression.

Food service staff
A combination of low pay and exhausting jobs make this the no. 2 career that can cause depression.

Social workers
Dealing with every imaginable crisis can make this a very demanding, stressful job.

Health care workers
Doctors, nurses, therapists are included in this group of people whose jobs entail erratic, long hours where lives are literally in their hands.

Artists, entertainers, and writers
The combination of irregular paychecks, uncertain hours, isolation, combined with their lifestyle may contribute to their depression. According to the website, creative people may also have higher rates of mood disorders.

Teachers get all sorts of demands from all sorts of people - from their students, parents to the schools themselves, plus they take home their work most of the time.

Administrative support staff
Unpredictable days plus taking orders from all directions while they hold very little control may be the cause for depression for people who hold these jobs.

Maintenance and grounds workers
Frequent night shifts, irregular hours, and being called on when something goes wrong to clean up other people's messes make this a tough job.

Financial advisors and accountants
Being responsible for handling other people's money and bearing the guilt if their clients start losing money can make them depressed.

Long hours, coupled with uncertainty of income due to working for commissions may cause depression.

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