4 Hidden Ways Your Office Job is Hurting Your Health

Office employees around tableYou’ve heard the warnings about sedentary desk jobs leading to bad health and even a shorter lifespan due to sitting all day. However, there are other, less obvious ways your office job may be hurting your health. Learn about these four hidden health dangers and get tips to combat them. 

 

1. Lack of Natural Light Impacts Sleep

Not getting enough sunlight can make it hard to fall asleep. A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that employees who weren’t exposed to natural light at work slept an average of 46 minutes less per night than co-workers who had windows. In addition, the sleep of the group that only had artificial light was less restful. 

If you don’t have windows in your office, try taking a walk outside at lunch or even a 10-minute stroll around the parking lot on breaks. If you have an option to park farther away from your office, the morning walk to your building can also serve as a source of natural light. 

2. Work Stress Can Cause Weight Gain

Our bodies are programmed to release cortisol when we are stressed. While the extra energy we get from cortisol was a good thing when humans needed to escape predators, it actually leads to weight gain for people in today’s culture. 

Psychological stress can actually change how your body metabolizes food according to a study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. In healthy women, a greater amount of daily stress led to a decline in resting metabolism and higher insulin levels. The study showed that one stressor per day could result in gaining nearly 11 pounds per year. 

If constant tight deadlines, bickering coworkers, or an impossible boss are stressing you out on a regular basis, find a healthy way to reduce stress. Regular exercise, taking time for a favorite hobby after work, or even counseling can all help reduce stress. 

3. Weak Muscles are Tied to Workout Injuries

If you’re dedicated to your desk job but also put a lot of energy into intense workouts, you may be putting yourself at risk of injury. Sitting for long periods of time can inhibit and weaken key muscles in your core, hips, hamstrings, and glutes. These same muscles are used for running, cycling, and more. Common injuries that can result from weakened muscles being subjected to intense workouts include tendonitis in the knee and Achilles tendon as well as lower back pain.

Make sure your exercise routine includes ways to strengthen your core, hips, hamstrings, and glutes. Also review the intensity of your workouts. You may get the same benefit from a slower paced exercise time while also lowering your risk of injury. 

4. Typical Office Eating Habits Can Drain Your Energy

The doughnuts the coworker brought in or the fast food you grabbed for a quick lunch can add calories and cause a slump in your energy levels. Consider planning for lunches over the weekend and prep the night before if needed. Keep high-protein snacks on hand, such as yogurt or nuts. By having healthy meals and snacks at hand, you’ll be less likely to give in to the office sweets or a last minute fast-food run. 

 

Boost Your Health with Primary Care and Counseling Services 

LeBauer Primary Care helps professionals of all ages achieve their best health with both preventive and sick care. Our primary care offices accept adult and pediatric patients. Counseling services are also offered at each of LeBauer’s nine primary care locations to help patients better handles stress. Request an appointment online for either primary care or counseling. You can also learn more about our primary care providers

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