Modern jobs can seem like dream jobs when you are first getting into them. When you compare a desk job to a job that demands physical exertion, it may seem that the health aspects of work go in favour of the people who don’t exert themselves physically on a daily basis. There are far fewer opportunities to get injured, and there is no physical strain on the body.
What most people who are new to these kinds of working conditions don’t realize is that there are numerous negative effects that prolonged sitting in front of a PC can have on a person’s health. The ailments of modern IT professionals and other desk workers range from physical problems to mental issues that these kinds of working conditions cause.
It’s easy to completely disregard these things at first, since it takes some time for the symptoms to develop, but if you don’t take action to prevent them, they can have a very serious impact on your health and your life in general.
Take breaks from sitting down
Your biggest enemies are the prolonged sitting sessions, which can have an impact on various health aspects. As your posture slowly deteriorates (if it wasn’t already bad before you even got the job), your joints start aching, you lose your flexibility, and you start to have less and less energy. These are just some of the things that can be caused by prolonged sitting, and this is how you can fight it.
Every time you take a break, whether you are taking a real break, talking to a colleague or just planning your next course of action, make sure you stand up, walk around, stretch out and give your body the time to recuperate.
Exercise is a must
Regardless of the fact that you strive to take regular breaks from sitting down at the office, you still need to have some physical activity in your free time. You can even do some exercises at the office. A lot of people who work in IT have hobbies and pastimes that are related to using tech. Whether it’s gaming, social media (via phones or PCs), or watching TV, these activities all include sitting down or lying down.
This is why taking up some physical activity is a must. Start running or riding a bicycle. Jump on that treadmill or get a gym membership. Of course, you need to persevere at whatever you choose to go for so you can actually reap the benefits.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a real issue
Due to the fact that your mouse hand is constantly in the same position and making the same movements over and over again while you work, it is quite probable that you will develop carpal tunnel syndrome. You might experience problems with tingling sensations in your thumb, index and middle fingers, which are caused by the constant pressure on the median nerve.
You need to catch this on time and take steps to resolve it. There are remedies that can help you get this under control without too much trouble.
You are what you eat
Finding a good diet that fits your lifestyle can be tricky, but if you let yourself go and rely on the quickest and easiest meals, which usually ends up being fast food and other unhealthy options, you can get yourself in a whole lot of trouble.
In a lot of cases, people tend to go overboard with bad carbs, fats and sugar intake, which puts a big strain on your digestive system and causes massive weight gain. Obesity can become a real issue, really fast. Furthermore, your cholesterol and blood pressure can go through the roof, which can lead to heart problems and other serious issues.
Get enough sleep, for God’s sake
All of this will be for naught if you don’t allow your body and mind to get the rest they need to keep working properly. Even if you do everything else right, if you allow your hectic schedule to destroy your sleeping habits, you will not be able to make your health gains last. Not getting enough sleep means that you won’t have enough energy, that you will be easily irritated, and that you will lack motivation to get through your day.
In some cases, people have legitimate sleep disorders that prevent them from organizing their lives properly. In other cases, sleep troubles are nobody else’s fault but our own. Make sure you are not stepping on your own toes with the decisions you make before you actually decide you have a sleeping disorder.
There are concrete steps you can take to get your sleep pattern in order, and if you still can’t sleep after this adaptation period, consult your physician.
You need to take the hazards of your modern desk job seriously or they can escalate into problems that are not easy to resolve. If you manage to get these health issues under control, you will improve the overall quality of your life and be happier and more active in your free time.
Furthermore, you will be able to handle stress more efficiently and avoid allowing it to hit you where it hurts. The progress of your career and your decision-making abilities are also impacted by the state your body and mind are in.
Keep in mind that this is a lot to do and that the adaptation period may be difficult. Prepare for this mentally and don’t expect things to happen over night. The benefits are clear and they should be enough to motivate you in the beginning.
If you think that you may waver in your decision, partner up with a friend, colleague or somebody else so you can keep each other in line when the motivation module in your brain fails to start up. Good luck!