The average UK citizen will spend 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime. That’s nearly one-third of your whole lifespan. It’s tricky to think of anything that else that consumes so much of our lives and influences so many different areas of it. But the one area that may often go overlooked is just how much our jobs can impact our health. Whether it’s mental or physical, our working life can, and most likely will at some point, have a tangible effect on health. So here are 5 ways that your career may be affecting yours.
We’ve already established how many hours you will spend at work in your lifetime. Now picture all those hours spent staring at a laptop with your shoulder hunched and imagine just how much damage that’s doing to them. Is it any wonder all those aches and pains start creeping up on us? Practise sitting up straight with your shoulders back. It’s a small change, but one you will be grateful for in the long run. And if you’re already starting to feel the effects of all those hours sat in an office chair, don’t be afraid to ask your employer to order chair support attachments, they’re designed to alleviate back pain and improve your posture. Remember to look after your back – you won’t get another!
A good night’s sleep truly can work wonders for our general wellbeing, as well as providing our bodies the chance to fully rest and recuperate. Being well-rested improves our cognitive capability, our immunity, and even fertility! But our jobs can get in the way of this. So whether yours is keeping you up all night worrying about tomorrow’s to-do list, or you’re arriving at the office early and staying late which is cutting into your sleep time, it’s time to start prioritising your sleep. The NHS warns that failing to do so can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. If you struggle to switch off, get into the habit of writing everything you need to do the next day down in a diary to empty it from your mind.
In a study taken by CareerBuilder, 45% of respondents reported that they had put on weight whilst at work. Whilst those afternoon biscuits may not seem so harmful at the time, once they become a habit that’s where you might start to be in trouble. We’re not saying never have a treat at work (we know full well that some days it’s needed!), but just be wary of how often you are reaching for that biscuit tin. It might be cliché to say, but when you need that sugar fix, try fruit instead and see how you feel after it. You could also try going for short walks at lunchtime to take a break from all that sitting – it might help clear your mind a little too.
In 2017 we did a study that revealed that 1 in 4 people in the UK are unhappy at work. So for anyone who is dealing with high stress levels or increased anxiety as a result of their workplace, know that you’re not alone. But also be aware that things don’t have to stay this way. If your work load is weighing you down or you’re having issues with a colleague, talk to a manager or someone you trust. You’ll feel better for getting things off your chest and they may be able to help you find a solution. You know what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. And stop checking those work emails on weekends or days off.
A job that makes you happy can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Finding a role where what you do all day leaves you fulfilled can add a spring in your step and walking tall. But more than that, it can give you a great sense of wellbeing and pride in what you do, boosting those serotonin levels right up. So if you’re unhappy in your current position, maybe it’s time to make a significant career change and find a job that truly speaks to you.
When it comes to your health, can you really afford to carry on in a job that’s detrimental to it? See what roles are available today on CharityJob.