Is your office environment doing damage to your health? Workplace accidents aren’t the only source of danger to life and limb. Here are five common ways your workplace could be hazardous to your health — without you even knowing it.
Sickness can spread like wildfire in the workplace, especially if it’s a close, sealed environment. Air conditioning can recycle germ-filled air and spread the disease to an entire office space. If your workplace is too warm, bacteria can thrive — too chilly, and employees become susceptible to colds.
Get fresh air if possible. Open a window or other outside ventilation. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. If you’re sick, don’t go into work. If an employee comes in sick, send them home!
Stress can be a silent killer. Stress can lead to poor health, muscle aches, impeded productivity, and worse. Beyond the potential trouble in the workplace, excessive stress can make an employee susceptible to cold and flu viruses, leading to missed deadlines, missed work, and a vicious cycle of further stress.
Make sure your employees’ workload is balanced and manageable. Look at creating a stress management policy in the workplace to keep employees from overstressing themselves.
Repeated motions, such as typing, writing, or moving objects repeatedly, can cause pain and injury in the hands and wrists. Carpal tunnel can also be characterized by numbness or tingling. Left unattended or ignored, carpal tunnel can get worse over time.
Stretch frequently to relax tension in the wrists. Make sure to set up your desk ergonomically to avoid inadvertently causing yourself injury. Take breaks from mousing or typing, or switch to a different kind of mouse, like a trackball.
Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle can literally shorten your lifespan. Beyond the lack of exercise that comes with sitting all day, sitting can also cause back problems, stress, and circulation problems.
Take frequent breaks. Take a walk around the building or around the block. Do some simple stretches, either at your desk or wherever you have room to move.
Staring at computers and screens all day puts a strain on the eyes. Over time, eye strain can cause fatigue, headaches, productivity issues, errors, and most of all, stress.
Make sure your workstation is properly lit. Look out for glare from other light sources like windows, which can cause eye strain. Adjust the brightness settings on your computer to make reading off it easier. Take breaks to look away from the screen and give your eyes a chance to look at something else. If the problem persists, consider getting an eye exam — maybe the problem isn’t with the screen at all.