Health & Diet

Your Job May Be Killing You

By Katrina Caruso

Find out what you can do about it.

You’ve probably heard by now that sitting is the new smoking. Prolonged sitting—as you may do at your desk—has been linked to physical pain and heart disease. However, a standing desk isn’t going to fix all of our problems (and can cause back pain), and it’s not just the physical nature of a desk job that’s hard on us. Many of us are at risk for problems such as burnout, anxiety, and depression. Here’s how you can take better care of yourself on the job.

Things you can do at work:

– Adjust how you sit

  • Fix your posture. Sitting up straight will reduce back strain.
  • Make sure your feet are flat on the floor.You’ll find this more comfortable, and it will help you to sit straighter.
  • Align the computer screen with your eyes.This will help you to avoid neck pain and eye strain.
  • Keep your elbows close to your bodyand your wrists straight; the latter is of utmost importance when you use the mouse.

– Move more:

  • Don’t eat lunch at your desk. This is a bad habit that stops you from getting up and enjoying your break. Instead, go for a walk, visit another department, or just move to the break room.
  • Get up more often. Ideally, every 30 minutes, you should change up your routine so your body and mind can get a physical and mental break.

– Fine-tune your workflow:

  • Break down your projects. Have a Friday deadline for a big project? Break it into smaller tasks spread over a few days and start with one task that will take 20 minutes.

Other suggestions:

  • Download an app for meditation. Meditation has been proven to help with de-stressing. Give your brain a break and take 10 minutes to breathe.
  • Add exercise into your week. Find something you like to do that (walking, running, dancing, yoga, etc.) and make time for it.
  • Use your health insurance. If you’re already experiencing pain, it’s time to see a professional about it. Go get a massage, or make an appointment with a physical therapist or osteopath.

Photo: iStock/Wavebreakmedia.