Nowadays, we spend more time in the workplace than anywhere else. And even though a lot of things are good for us, for example, communication with colleagues, joint work and exchange of ideas, there are still many moments that do not coincide with our ideas about a healthy lifestyle.
In this article, we will talk about office work health and safety hazards and how to overcome them.
Open space office
Even if employers pin great hopes on open-plan rooms in terms of teamwork of employees, such offices are nothing more than a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
What to do?
Your health is in your hands, so wash them more often so as not to get sick. Be physically active and take vitamin complexes with vitamin D to boost overall immunity. Try to spend your lunch break in the fresh air and meet the cleaning service representatives with a smile, because largely thanks to their efforts, the hair, dust and microparticles do not rush around the office.
And if you suddenly feel that you are getting sick, you do not need to be a hero and go to work with your swarm of microbes. It is better to stay at home. Intimidating statistics say that 72% of employees go to work sick, even though this is unethical and unprofessional. Staying at home, feeling unwell, you may not become the first link in a chain of sick colleagues, and also show a good example of behaviour to prevent long general sick leave. Also, remember that employee performance is measured, including by his health indicators.
In modern buildings, the outside air remains outside, while the inside circulates without leaving the building and undergoing cleaning – in theory. But in practice, everything looks different: the air we breathe in the office is enriched with various microorganisms, toxic particles emitted by ink from printers and copiers, household chemicals and perfumes of employees, and filters designed for cleaning are in fact a haven for colonies of pathogenic and mould fungi.
Many of you know what the mould that gets into our lungs leads to: allergies, chronic sinusitis, asthma, and chronic inflammation caused by pathogenic fungi and black mould.
What to do?
If you feel unwell from the office air, be sure to ask the person in charge to check the filters. But the best thing to do is turn into an office gardener. There are a large number of unpretentious plants that can purify and ozonize the air, for example, spathiphyllum, ivy, dracaena and various ficuses.
You may be familiar with the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” Studies show that sitting at a desk for a long time is perhaps our most harmful occupation, that brings various risks of diseases, up to cardiovascular diseases. And spending more than a couple of hours staring at the screens of computer monitors, we risk sitting up to a heart attack. And if we also remember about the harm to the back and eyes?
Also, a very common injury that an office worker can get is a concussion due to slippery flooring, falling from a ladder or chair. So, as you can see, your desk can be a very dangerous place.
What to do?
Alternate! Sit, wait, walk around, but at least squat, just don’t be in one position for more than 20 minutes, if circumstances permit. And move! All micro movements (reaching for a fallen paper clip, getting paper from the top shelf of the rack, spinning in different directions, trying to find the source of a strange beeping sound, swinging your feet like a child, while no one sees) will allow your body to slightly disperse the blood and reduce stagnation. Also, make sure to get up from your desk and walk around or outside the office as often as possible. And, of course, solve the problem with a slippery floor and your chair. Get a good quality chair mat.
A bright light has a negative effect on the nervous system, it is constantly in a state of excitement. Offices lead to associations with an interrogation room or torture room, where there is no sleep or rest, only bright light.
What to do?
First, try to work more in natural light, no lamps can replace the sun for us. It has long been proven that working in daylight is more fruitful and has a beneficial effect on the psychophysical state of a person. By the way, the natural alternation of work and rest in accordance with the time of day is also good for your body.
Office work is considered relatively safe – at least compared to cleaning windows on the 44th floor of a skyscraper. Still, everyday office work can be harmful to your health. Make sure to take care of yourself and do everything you can to make your work pleasant and safe.