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08th Oct 2012

Cubicle Quarantine: Is Your Desk Job Putting Your Health at Risk?

In this day and age the vast majority of us spend at least several hours a day working at a desk. But is your desk job having a negative impact on your health?

If you’re a career woman, chances are you spend at least eight hours of your day sat on a chair in front of a desk in a cubicle.

Yes, unfortunately in this day and age, most jobs revolve around an office atmosphere and take place at a desk. But is your desk job damaging your health?

We all know that inactivity is bad for us. Too much sitting can not only make us gain weight and/or suffer from back related problems, it can also shorten our lives. Yes really.

Here are some of the major health problems associated with desk jobs and here is how you can combat them…

Diabetes: Yes, diabetes. Stressful working environments raise your risk of a heart attack by a whopping 88 per cent, but did you know that sitting all day can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes?

We’re not kidding. According to scientists at the University of Leicester, sitting for prolonged periods of time could cause you to develop the illness. So how can you keep yourself healthy? Well it’s important to keep your blood bumping.

Every hour take a quick bathroom break and have a walk around your office. Adding some extra movement to your working day will also stave off any muscle aches and pains and help to lower your stress levels.

Varicose Veins: Varicose Veins are those horrible, lumpy veins that appear on the backs of your legs. They’re caused by sitting for prolonged periods of time and once you get them, it can be very, very hard to get rid of them.

An easy way to prevent yourself from developing varicose veins or spider veins would be to start wearing tights. Tights can compress your legs which actually boosts circulation. If you’re more of a trousers girl then fear not. Simply do some leg exercises under your desk. Pump your legs like you’re on a swing, rotate your ankles and do a few leg stretches.

Regular stretching can help you to avoid any muscle pains.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Believe it or not but, despite what urban myths would have you believe, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more common in women’s wrists than in men’s (yes, we were shocked too…).

Carpal Tunnel is caused by repeated movements – such as typing and awkward wrist and forearm posture. In order to keep yourself free from Carpal Tunnel, take a five minute break from typing every hour and make sure to rotate your wrists and stretch your arms for a few seconds every half an hour. If possible, start using an ergonomic keyboard.

Sore Eyes: We all know that staring at a computer screen all day isn’t exactly good for your eyesight but when it’s your job how can you protect your peepers? Again, like with everything, breaks are key.

Every twenty minutes, take your gaze away from your computer screen and stare at something far away for twenty seconds.  This will help to relax your eyes and stop you from straining them.