8 tips you can use to reduce stress at your workplace
By: Aakanksha Bambulkar
Published On: September 28, 2018
Is your work stressing you out? Here are 8 tips you can use to feel better!
Work is satisfying to most of us on many levels. Doing a job we enjoy can provide a meaningful focus in our lives, whilst bringing home a steady income.
Our standard of living hinges on the money we make, while employment is a way of boosting our self-esteem and self-image.
Jobs provide a sense of security, nurture a purpose and is a means of feeding our professional hunger. If you are in the right position in your preferred industry, you are likely to reap the benefits. But the hole is deeper than it looks.
How does a job harm the Indian employer?
The work culture in India varies from that of the west. Indians experience a lot of stress & anxiety at work. Our long working hours, taxing journeys in the traffic, and tight deadlines contribute to workplace induced mental and physical health problems.
Study shows, that about 42.5% of corporate employees in India suffer from depression. The wrong job can be toxic, but it’s even your dream work that can be strenuous. Even a fulfilling job can come with risks, negative impacts and baggage; both mental & physical.
Sure, it’s great to be engaged in your work and enjoy the hours you put in.But is it happening at the cost of your health? Let us take a look at some of the basic things that can affect an employee’s health:
Working in a sitting position
Workers who spend a lot of their time seated at the desk are prone to strains and other injuries related to posture. Poor equipment also adds to this; like an incorrect chair height, inadequate equipment spacing, faulty desks, and many more. All these things contribute to back, neck, and shoulder pain over time.
Working in a standing position
Standing for long periods can make employees fatigued and cause back, neck, shoulder and leg pain. Standing on hard concrete floors can cause undue stress on feet, knees and lower back. The signs take time to show but constant achy joints are one of them.
Working on computer screens and mobile devices
Hunching over your keyboard can cause you to develop a rounded upper back as well as stiffness in your neck and lower back. This can prove to be extremely harmful with time. Working continuously on mobile devices and small screens can also be detrimental.
“Text neck” is the phrase to describe the impact of looking down at your mobile phone all day. Text neck can lead to a number of severe issues like neck pain, spinal misalignment, headaches, back problems and nerve damage.
In fact, there is a study which described “looking down at your phone” as the equivalent of putting a 60-pound weight on your neck.
Juggling the phone
One of the perks of technology is that it lets people work remotely and in relaxed positions. This leads to certain people multitasking and getting into the bad habit of cradling their phones on the shoulder so that they can have their hands free to type.
However, this practice is harmful for the muscles and soft tissues in the neck, shoulder and upper back.
Our strenuous work also affects our eyesight. Eye problems that are caused by the computer fall under Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). This involves a whole range of problems related to eyesight & strains.
Research shows that about 50% - 90% people who work in front of the computer screens fall prey to such problems. Some of the basic health issues that may lead to complex ones, start with a mere headache or arm & back pain every now and then, which may also take the shape of spondylitis.
Solutions to deal with bad postures at work & other problems:
Keep your eyes in line with the computer screen so that you don’t have to slouch to use your laptop or computer. You can also use a pillow for back support.
You can use an ergonomic chair which comes without a backrest and trains you to sit upright without slouching.
While you are seated, every time you think you are sloping or slouching, focus on tightening your core for as long as possible to get back into good posture.
If your work demands being confined to the chair all day, stretching at intervals helps improve your posture and relax your muscles.
Certain jobs demand being on the phone all day whilst writing or typing. Making use of headphones instead of talking on the phone directly won’t strain your neck and shoulders.
Do not remain tied to your desk, get up every 5 minutes and keep changing your position and posture.
This might seem a little irrelevant but drinking water regularly & continuously helps improve the metabolism of the body which in turn contributes to a good posture.
Continuously staring at the computer, laptop or mobile screen strains your eyes.
It’s best to use anti glare spectacles to protect your eyes from UV rays.
It is natural to stay engrossed in the work and not realize that you are in a bad posture, but a little bit of attention can improve our body and protect it from diseases & stress.
How work affects our mental health
Physical health is vital and worse affected due to work stress but so is our mental health; the causes & symptoms of it cannot be seen until they pile on.
1: Job dissatisfaction
People who are unhappy in their work environment might go through problems like:
Conflict with bosses & co-workers
Instances of bullying, discrimination or harassment
Overwork, stress or safety issues
No promotion prospects
2. Discrimination at work
Unlawful discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably than the other person on the basis of:
Race, Colour or Origin
Sex & Age
Pregnancy & Marital status
Benefits of employment to certain employees
Stalling or accelerating certain promotions
3. Dangerous workplaces
Certain people encounter with workplaces that are an actual threat for their health; like:
Working in shifts or late working hours
Hazardous workspaces that make use of chemicals
Breathing in certain toxins from time to time
Who can you turn to for help?
Your family doctor
Career counselor or psychologist
Human resources manager
Friends and family
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