As the world economy shifts towards the service sector, office jobs are becoming more widespread than the classic working-class hard labor.
Irrespective of the nature of the job, be it a blue-collar factory employee or an accountant at a big city firm, all jobs affect our well-being in one way or another. People who do manual labor jobs are prone to life-altering physical problems, while office employees are exposed to the risks of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. At any rate, we have to take a few precautions to extend our lifespans and improve our well-being. Here is how the nature of the job affects your health.
Long-Term Physical Pains
Whether the job implies manual labor or standing still for extended periods of time does not matter, because both physical activity and lack of movement in excess affect the body.
Old-fashioned manual labor certainly has its benefits but will become taxing on the body after a certain age. Familiarizing with the workplace ergonomics is very important because finding out what parts of the body are the most exerted can tell us which one needs more focus.
People who spend their working days standing need special footwear to adequately protect their musculoskeletal system from further damages. Sneakers and standard boots might work for a while, but manual laborers need to learn how to choose the best insoles if they want to keep working past their 40th birthday.
The total lack of movement is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Sedentary jobs are associated with an increased risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Ironically enough, sedentarism can cause physical pains as well. Back and eye pains due to hunching over the desk and staring all day at the screen can be as taxing to the health as picking up boxes and mixing mortar for a living. Standing desks are not much better because they can lead to leg cramps, backaches, and constant fatigue.
Various Types of Diseases
Short-term, construction workers are constantly exposed to work-related accidents and injuries due to machine malfunction or random objects falling on them. One Reddit user commented that while he was working with a house painting crew, a colleague accidentally injected latex into his finger. The doctors had to amputate the finger and cut his hand open to get the paint out.
Asbestos is one of the main dangers construction workers face daily. This type of debris can trigger a condition called asbestosis. The asbestos stored in the lungs over time causes scars that prohibit proper breathing and eventually lead to cancer.
Despite being relatively secure from a safety standpoint, desk jobs are far from a safe haven. Sedentary jobs have an 82% chance to cause fatal cardiovascular diseases. In addition to this, standing jobs prevent the body from burning an adequate amount of calories.
Desk jobs can cause the sick building syndrome, a term coined by the EPA. It describes experiencing feelings (or the sensation) of having comfort and health issues related to the time that they spend in a particular building. This is mainly caused by spending days on end in environments with recirculated air, with limited exposure to natural air. It can lead to mood swings, lower productivity and increased fatigue.
Insomnia, Depression and Mental Health Problems
Constant repetition of the same tasks is almost universal, no matter the nature of the job. Boredom can occur if you are not particularly passionate about your job. While boredom is not necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to unhealthy, even dangerous behaviors. While not being a direct cause of mental issues, it can certainly be a component.
Moving on, if you’re going to a job that you hate, the constant state of negativity that you are put in can increase stress to dangerous levels. The effects of stress are widely known, and they include fatigue, constant irritability, generally bad psychological well-being that eventually manifest themselves physically.
Working a job with strict deadlines and guidelines can lead to depression and mental fatigue. Losing sleep due to nightmares and never-ending anxieties about work can cause people to lose sleep. Adequate brain function, creativity, physical health, and productivity are highly dependent on the quality of sleep. Other effects of bad sleep or sleep deprivation include vision impairment, decreased the ability to make good judgment calls and declining reaction time. If you are having trouble in this department, you can increase the quality of sleep by decreasing the room temperature to a cozy 18 degrees Celcius. Detaching yourself from work-related concerns will also help.
Manual labor and desk jobs both have their pros and cons, and they even share some of the health concerns. People who work sedentary desk jobs are exposed to heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Manual laborers are prone to great physical pains and disabilities later in life. No matter the nature of the job, everybody must be aware of the health concerns and take the necessary measures to prevent them.
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