Is Your Work Life Damaging Your Health?

Is your job making you ill – that’s the question I’m asking in this post.  Work can be tough for just about everyone. There’s nothing particularly surprising about that. It’s completely natural to find yourself unwilling to even get out of bed from time to time but when this starts to be the rule than the exception, then there’s a chance that you may have more of a problem than the standard job frustrations.

Is your job making you ill? Woman stressed at work with a lever arch file over her ears

A really bad job can have a serious negative impact on your life in a lot of ways. It can take away a passion for something you used to care about, it can damage your personal relationships, and sometimes, if it’s really bad, your job can actually end up being hazardous to your health.

It might seem unlikely, but there’s actually a much better chance than you might think that your job is damaging your body in some pretty significant ways.

In order to help you prevent this from happening, here are a few ways that your work can damage your health, and what you can do to stop it.

Is your job making you ill?

The hours are too long

Is your job making you ill - selection of clocks and pocket watches

There’s an incredibly dangerous assumption made by far too many employers that their workers are always happy to do overtime. Not only that but many employees are made to feel as though they don’t actually have any choice in the matter, particularly if their employer is disorganised and is not using HR software to help organise workflow. People often think that they will be punished, passed over for promotions or worse if they don’t volunteer for every single piece of overtime that comes up.

Now, there’s nothing wrong overtime in and of itself, but when it starts to take up huge amounts of your life, then it can lead to some serious problems. Exhaustion is one of the most common sources of workplace illness after injuries. If you’re working something like fifty hours a week then you’re not going to be able to concentrate, you’re going to feel exhausted all the time, and it’s going to negatively impact just about every aspect of your life. Not only that but studies have shown that people who work for ten hours or more a day are at increased risk of heart disease as well.

Make sure that you speak to a member of human resources to find out what your rights are. You’ll find that your employer can’t penalise you just for wanting to work your contracted hours. Then you can take more time to rest, and you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll be a more productive employee as well.

You hate what you do

Few things in life are more frustrating than getting stuck in a job you hate. Spending eight or more hours a day doing something that you’re not even remotely interested in can be enough to practically suck the life right out of you. Not only is it inevitably going to be very boring, but working a job like this can make you lose all sense of direction in life.

Feeling like their job is pointless is one of the most common complaints among people suffering from depression. If you feel as though you’re suffering from depression, then you should always speak to a professional, but you might also find that the best thing to do is to remove yourself from that job altogether.

Of course, being unemployed and doing nothing isn’t really going to solve the problem either. The best thing that you can do is to find a job that you really love.

If you’re the artistic type, then try something creative. Becoming a freelance writer or blogger is a fantastic option and gives you the kind of creative freedom that might be otherwise lacking. Being able to do something that you genuinely care about it going to help you find a much greater sense of direction and purpose in life, potentially helping to pull you out of that malaise.

Too much pressure

Not everyone is meant to be a manager or business owner, and that’s just fine. After all, sometimes you don’t want your work to be your entire life. This is especially true if you have kids.

With kids, you’ll find yourself tired enough as it is without also dealing with employees, business finances and all of the other pressure and responsibilities that come with a high-level position.

Stress isn’t just something that can cause problems with your mental state either, too much stress and pressure from work can have a nasty impact on your physical well-being as well. Stress has been linked to heart disease, hair loss, weight gain, as well as many other alarming symptoms.

If you feel as though the amount of pressure that your job is constantly dumping on you is causing you real harm, then it might be time to step back. Perhaps you need to drop down to a position with slightly less responsibility, or it might even be worthwhile dropping down to part-time hours in order to spend more time focussing on your family life.

Whatever is best for you, it’s a good idea to talk to your employer. The chances are that they’ll be more than happy to support you and help you find an appropriate balance. This also might be a sign that you’re not working the right job. A career where you’re in charge of other people such a management role might simply be too much pressure and you’d be better off doing something with a little easier. Retail and service industry jobs allow you to stay busy and active without constantly piling on the kind of pressure than an office manager might deal with.

You’re constantly sitting at a desk

Far too many jobs these days leave people just sat behind a desk for eight hours a day or more. Not only does this mean that many people are spending their entire days completely sedentary but it can also lead to some pretty serious back problems.

The vast majority of people who work desk jobs and spend their days at a computer aren’t sitting in a position that is either safe or comfortable. There are a few ways to deal with this.

A standing desk is a great option and can also allow you to stretch your legs and stay active even while you’re working. You can also get padding and back support for office chairs that encourage you to maintain the correct posture all day.

Even something as simple and easy and just standing up and doing a short walk around the office every half an hour or so can work wonders to combat the stiffness and soreness that can often result from spending all day sitting behind a desk.

There are also plenty of jobs that you can do instead that allow you to stay active. Working in a retail store allows you to be on your feet moving around all day and landscaping and gardening are often ranked as some of the healthiest jobs available.

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It’s often surprising to people that many of their health issues can often be chalked up to their work life. Luckily, as this list shows, many of these things can be dealt with pretty easily before they become too serious. However, if you find that any of the symptoms that work can cause become severe or overly persistent, then it’s crucial that you go and see a medical professional immediately – for you or your partner.

They will not only be able to advise you the best possible ways to counteract the effects of your job, but the doctor may also want to sign you off sick for a little while until you’re fully recovered. There’s no sense trying to push yourself too hard when all that’s going to happen is that you’re going to burn out and make things far, far worse in the long run.

There’s nothing wrong with needing some time away from work to rest and recover. Not only is it going to do you a world of good but it’s also going to help you come back to work feeling more fired up and ready than ever.

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  1. 6 April, 2019 / 10:08 pm

    This is an important post. Probably most people never think of their job as being bad for their physical health. Not to mention their mental health. Learning how to perform a job that you can do at home is a great answer to this problem, I think.

  2. Susie Wilkinson
    15 September, 2018 / 12:57 am

    Sadly, not enough people realise the impact that work can have on your health. Some years ago I had a breakdown caused by the stress at work and I vowed I would never let it happen again. It took a while to recover, but now I only work part-time, and I have a job in a Children’s Centre, so every day is different and I’m never just sat a computer for long, I also do not work directly with any colleagues, so I’m my own person, perfect for me!

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