Former Chief Scientist Officer

5 Work-related Health Risks by Martin Lloyd Sanders

5 Work-related Health Risks by Martin Lloyd Sanders

As a strong advocate for public health and safety, and Director of Safety, Emergency, and Environmental Compliance for the FOH/PSC, Martin Lloyd Sanders often reminds friends and family that “too much work can kill you.”And the worst part about spending all your days working is that it not only affects your mental and physical health, it also affects your relationships. Here he shares the top five work-related health risks.

According to Martin Lloyd Sanders, these are the top five health risks that employees are exposed to:

1. Stress

For Martin Lloyd Sanders, stress is the No. 1 health risk that all workers are exposed to; some more than others because of the nature of their jobs. Some of the signs that you are stressed at work include apathy, bouts of anxiety and/or depression, fatigue, and insomnia. Usually, employees experience stress when they feel pressure at work and they feel they are unable to meet expectations.

Too much stress can have serious consequences on one’s health; not least of which is having a heart attack or stroke.

2. Obesity

If you spend eight hours a day (sometimes more) behind a desk, you are a prime example of someone living a sedentary lifestyle and this could easily lead to obesity. When you lack the physical activities necessary to keep you fit and healthy, you could gain weight and if combined with poor diet, this weight gain could easily develop into obesity.

3. Poor nutrition

Whether you’re behind the desk almost all day every day or you’re always on the go to meet clients, there’s a huge chance you’re not watching what you eat, says Martin Lloyd Sanders. From relying on fast food take out for your daily sustenance to not eating properly (eating quickly to get back to work), these and other unhealthy eating habits contribute to poor nutrition. And if you keep this up, your body’s bound to suffer. Illnesses/diseases may develop, you could feel that you’re always out of energy before day-end, or you’re always moody and irritable. Believe it or not, much of these has to do with what you eat and how you eat.

4. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Slaving away on the computer eight hours per day and five days per week can have serious consequences on your hands, fingers, and wrists. Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by numbness, pain, and/or a tingling sensation on the fingers and wrists. This is caused by swollen ligaments and bones in the wrists, which develops from the repetitive typing motion.

5. Lower back pain

Another very common health issue that employees experience is lower back pain. This could be caused by repeatedly carrying heavy objects (which could be part of the job description), sitting behind the desk or staying on your feet all day. In other words, staying at a sedentary position for almost eight hours per day increases your risk for lower back pain. Incidentally, this is one of the most common reasons why employees miss work, says Martin Lloyd Sanders.

Disclaimer: This article was prepared by Martin L. Sanders in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of the USPHS, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the United States government.


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