Staying Healthy in the Workplace

Staying Healthy in the WorkplaceFrom backache to Repetitive Strain Injury, from stress to lack of concentration, you must look after yourself if you are to stay healthy at work, especially depending on your vocation.

Here are some of the more common workplace ailments and how to combat them.

Back aches and pains 

If your job involves heavy lifting, you should have been taught how to go about it correctly to avoid straining your back. The proper way to lift a heavy object is to bend your knees while keeping your back straight, then to straighten your legs slowly. Alternatively, if you have a job where you are sitting at a desk for long periods of time, then the correct posture will be vital to preventing an aching back. While you are sitting it is important to support the lower back and make sure everything is within easy reach and at the correct level.

Repetitive strain injury

More commonly known as RSI, this can be a crippling and painful injury in joints such as the wrists or neck. It is caused by either bad posture or as the name suggests a repetitive action and is commonly found in computer users or those carrying out repetitive work. Correct positioning is essential in preventing this type of problem if you work at a computer and can also help prevent back problems at the same time. Whatever type of job you do, try not to stay in one pose for a long amount of time. If possible, vary what you are doing and how long you spend doing it while trying to take breaks carrying out other tasks to give your arms and hands time to recover.

Stressful situations 

Combating stress is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your health. This is because stress can affect people in many different ways including making you physically ill with headaches, rapid heartbeat and general aches and pains. The first stage to dealing with stress is recognising that you are stressed. This can be quite tricky to do as often it slowly creeps up but it can manifest itself in making you feel worried and being more irritable and snappy. Luckily there are ways you can avoid it with a bit of careful planning and it mainly involves pinpointing exactly what is causing the stress. For example, if there is too much work to do all at once, try and prioritise. Explain to your superiors if it simply isn’t possible to complete everything in the time allotted instead of worrying, given fair warning most people can be reasonable.

It is also important to try and relax in a stressful situation. Practise deep breathing and relaxation techniques, even maybe walking around the office breathing calmly can be surprisingly helpful in alleviating that panicky fight or flight response. Taking regular exercise can also help, try and get out of the office during lunch breaks or after you have finished for the day and take 30 minutes to an hour to do whatever fitness activity you enjoy. If you have trouble continuing a course of fitness, try mixing it up a little, maybe swimming one day, a long walk on another. It can all help to relax the body and put you in a better frame of mind.

Lack of Concentration

Sometimes constant stress and bad eating habits can contribute to a lack of concentration. It can be very tempting to just pop to the vending machine for a bar of chocolate or packet of crisps but you’re not doing your brain or waistline any favours. Try to plan ahead and maybe take healthy snacks into work. Also avoid too much caffeine, as lovely as that coffee is, drinking water instead can help your brain function better and doesn’t add on the pounds that can also adversely affect you.

All in all, you can look after yourself if you take the time to think about what can help alleviate the various stresses and strains.

This article comes to you from CS Healthcare a specialist provider of mutual health insurance to those that work, or have worked, in the civil service, public service and not-for-profit sector, including their families.

This article is intended as general information only. If you or a family member have any medical concerns, please contact your GP or medic.

CS Healthcare is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority – reg no. 205346. The maximum joining age is 74 years and 11 months unless you are switching from a previous insurer in which case the maximum joining age is 69 years and 11 months.

Daisy Fisher is a freelance health and fitness writer.

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