4 Ways of Preventing Chronic Diseases in the Workplace

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What is the lifecycle of an average human being like? From the moment a human is born starts the process of schooling, moving on to teenage and adulthood.

After that, they are expected to find work to make a living. While some may be lucky enough to find something they love and enjoy, others will have to do with whatever they get.

No matter what kind of profession you enter, it should be understood that it can come with risks to your health (depending on the nature of your work, some can be pretty obvious while others not so much).

The important point worth mentioning here is not to let your job take over your life; after all, “You can’t enjoy wealth if you are not in good health,” right?

A few minor cuts, scrapes, or late nights once in a while can be considered normal, depending on your line of work.

But what about when your work starts physically or mentally affecting your body? Burnouts, insomnia, migraines, frequently getting sick are signs that your body may be telling you it’s time to slow down.

Of course, not all jobs are equal; some jobs involve high-pressure situations like being an ER doctor or teaching.

While some jobs can be high risk, like being a nuclear scientist (where you could be exposed to radiation) or civil engineering and construction (where asbestos exposure might cause a type of cancer called mesothelioma).

Everyone might be aware of the risks radiation exposure might possess, but very few people are aware of the impact of asbestos on their health.

Sadly, after being diagnosed with terminal illnesses, people choose to pursue litigation through mesothelioma lawyers as compensation for their health.

But, there are ways to ensure you stay on top of potential health hazards in your workplace, regardless of the nature of your work.

 

1. Stop overworking

The number one cause for illness is not maintaining a positive work-life balance. Research has shown time and time again how, quite literally, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Japan, for example, is considered a nation of workaholics. After the regular 8-hour workday, several hours of overtime is the norm, making heart attacks and strokes prevalent among the working class.

The mental stress employees constantly have, results in high suicide rates. They even have coined a term to specify mortality in the workplace known as Karoshi, literally translated as “Overwork death.”

 

4 Ways of Preventing Chronic Diseases in the Workplace

 

2. Be aware of any physical risks

While any work environment can come with physical risks, simple ones can include slipping on stairwells, electrical short circuits or fires, etc.

Organizations must handle these to ensure employee safety. Ensure your organization has a bullet-proof safety protocol, like having a dedicated fire escape instead of elevators, smoke alarms, and emergency lighting.

However, for your physical well-being to prevent long term health issues, make sure that:

  • If you spend long hours sitting in front of a computer screen, take time out to relax your eyes to prevent eye strain. You can look up eye exercises to relax your eyes, ease any discomfort, or use lubricating drops if you feel dry.
  • If you are sitting for long periods, make sure to have a proper posture and not hunch over your desk because that could lead to back pain.
  • Your desk should be at the proper height compared to your arms, and your elbows should rest comfortably on your desk.
  • It should also be at the proper height to rest your feet comfortably on the ground to reduce any strain on them.
  • Suppose you have a job that requires extensive movement of the wrists (graphic designer, painter, working with vibrating tools, etc.), especially of your dominant hand. In that case, you could be at the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Women are more prone to developing this than men because they have a smaller carpal tunnel area than men.

Prevention is simple enough if you take frequent, short breaks to relax your wrists and reduce the force acting on them.

 

4 Ways of Preventing Chronic Diseases in the Workplace

 

3. Limit and control exposure to harmful chemicals

Long-term exposure to certain chemicals can harm an individual’s health. People who are at high risk for chemical exposure include:

  • Salon workers are continuously in an environment where they use chemical treatment fumes and sprays. They can limit their exposure by wearing PPEs or masks and gloves. Switching to “cleaner” or less toxic variants of beauty products can also be helpful.
  • Janitorial staff, due to their exposure to the cleaning products that they use, they are at risk of developing either asthma or dermatitis in the long run. They should wear masks, gloves, and full-sleeved clothing to avoid contact with their skin.
  • Construction workers should wear hard helmets and shoes with proper rubber soles to prevent slipping along with goggles and gloves. They are also at risk of being exposed to asbestos, which might cause cancer.

The best way to prevent over-exposure is to train employees to handle those materials properly.

 

4 Ways of Preventing Chronic Diseases in the Workplace

 

4. Reduce Stress

No matter how much you enjoy your job, it will come with some stress in your life. How you handle it makes all the difference.

Being in a chronic state of stress can have a profoundly negative impact on your body, which might result in either of the following health conditions:

  • Insomnia: To keep insomnia at bay, make sure you always have any relaxing activity at the end of the day to recharge yourself, like drinking a nice hot cup of milk just before you doze off or taking a warm bath. Also, following a nighttime schedule helps.
  • Heart disease: Stress can increase your blood pressure making you more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke.

 

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Conclusion:

In the end, life is all about taking risks and doing something that you enjoy. After all, you only live once, so make sure you live it in the best possible way.

If you find something that you enjoy doing, don’t be afraid to go after it, but make sure you find a proper work-life balance to keep everything in check.

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