7 Ways Your Desk Job May Be Killing You
Lots of Americans view a desk job as a sign of career achievement. After years of, say, waiting tables or nailing roof tiles or being the cop on the beat, the ability to sit in a cool office all day while you work is viewed as finally making it.
The problem is that sitting behind a desk all day isn't particularly good for the human body, which is designed for motion. Even if workers get the minimum amount of exercise each day as recommended by experts, including at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity five days a week and two to three weekly sessions of weight training, it's still not enough to undo the damage done by hours of sitting in front of a computer or TV, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
But sitting all day is only one risk factor related to working behind a desk all day, according to BusinessInsider. Here's a few more ways that a desk job may be killing you:
1. Using hot laptops
Despite their name, laptops are best not used on your lap -- at least not when they get hot. The heat generated by your mobile computer can damage skin and, in men, affect sperm counts, since the heat can raise the temperature of the scrotum, New York University researchers have found.
2. Working long hours
Pulling more than 11 hours a day can cause heart problems, including substantially elevated risks of heart attacks and heart pain, European researchers found.
3. Staring at a screen
It's not uncommon for people to report vision problems after beginning a desk job that includes staring at a computer monitor for extended periods. The American Optometric Association says that the most commonly reported problems are eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain.
4. Beating tight deadlines
Anyone who's ever had to meet a strict deadline knows how stressful it can be. And that stress can affect learning and memory, BusinessInsider notes, citing a recent study by the University of California, Irvine.
Let's face it, work can be -- and often is -- boring. But that boredom isn't healthy. It can actually shorten lifespans, according to a study conducted by University College London, which found that those who are bored are more likely to die young, and from heart disease or stroke.
6. Grimy keyboards
Computer keyboards believe it or not frequently harbor far more bacteria than bathrooms, BusinessInsider says. And those bacteria, which can cause a range of infections, can be dangerous.
7. Typing way too much and keeping the computer mouse in the same spot
Both can result in painful injuries caused by putting too much strain on nerves and tendons.
- See the entire list of BusinessInsider's 15 Ways Your Desk Job Is Destroying Your Body.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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