7 Ways Your Desk Job May Be Killing You

desk jobLots 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.

5. Boredom

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.

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"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life."
-John 3:36.

July 23 2011 at 2:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It really is sad that children are expected to do school work 8 hours a day. We only get one childhood. As long as the government expects kids to live the lives of middle aged accountants, they will have the same health problems as middle aged accountants.

July 23 2011 at 2:13 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Desk job? What a conflict in terms. Try getting a reel job and actually DO something. Pencil pushing morons, that`s all they are.
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.
Copper (oinker) on the beat, what a joke, around here in cedar rapids ia, all they do is sit on there a holes and wait for the out of state company to tell THEM who they have framed for the day.

July 23 2011 at 1:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

this article is lame

July 22 2011 at 11:20 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Ed Baggett

The only advice I believe is good, is to COUNTER-BALANCE your life with "opposite" activity. If you have an office job with a sedintary lifestyle...get out & excercise or go walking or do physical workouts. If you are in construction work, with physical labor....go home & rest or do some reading, chill out with moderate alcohol use, not ABUSE. Keep the brain working....I am a crossword puzzle game freak, also unscramble words games.

July 22 2011 at 11:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Any job can be dangerous to your health. Years ago, I was sent on an errand from work and a truck came through the light and almost got me. I do find these tips helpful and the link for the American Optometric Association. I have to say, this is one of the better articles I have read on here since there was little hocus-pocus involved.

July 22 2011 at 10:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Amazing. These are thought of as “killing you”? As opposed to, say, construction work in which one is required to be out in the elements in all weathers, and lifting heavy weights, and working with jackhammers? Any one of those has potential for much more serious physical abuse to the human body than the seven described here. Eye strain? Really? As a desk worker almost all my life, I know that physically speaking, I had it easy. It is about time to stop whining and trying to prove how bad we have it. AAARRHG!

July 22 2011 at 7:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to couponsal's comment

yes, you are totally right! my husband has been in heavy construction for 40 years and had a heart attack 3 yrs ago. goes to work every day in all kinds of weather. i work with a lot of people in an office always complaining! feel like telling them to see if they can do a day of physical laboro! keep cool!s a

July 22 2011 at 8:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have done both types of work at complete opposite ends of the spectrum and I much prefer the physical work. Sitting at a desk makes for a long day that never seems to end plus you can hardly eat anything without packing on the pounds. I am 100% ready to give up my desk job and go back to physical labor.

July 23 2011 at 7:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really don't care what they say..I work from home in front of a computer at a desk and I am HAPPY!! HAPPY!!. I don't have to qet up and deal with traffic-I don't have to deal with ppl-lunch break is just a hop downstairs (I never miss my favorite shows LoL) I love it. I don't have 2 worry about what I wear-an because I am so content my productivity has qone up.

July 22 2011 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really don't care about the health issues here. I'm tired of always having to struggle financially. And if these desk jobs help lessen, my life, then great!!.

July 22 2011 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to percydakota1014's comment

True enough; the quality-of-life and financial benefits trump any of these not-so-much dangers. Who is writiing this stuff, and what is the hidden agenda? Protecting their own cushy desk jobs?

July 22 2011 at 8:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


July 22 2011 at 5:28 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kigtniu's comment
Wasup Crown

ha ha very funny...I am an IT specialist for Microsoft and assist about 30 clients a day so....I would tend to disagree....

July 22 2011 at 8:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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