When we were kids, we were often asked what we want to be when we grow up. Some people pursue those early aspirations and become the person they envision themselves to be. Some people settle for jobs that pay the bills. Some people seek jobs that they are passionate about.
Wherever you are right now, it is important to note that no matter how much you love your job – it will never love you back enough that you need to sacrifice your health for it.
According to Great Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there are around 13,000 deaths each year from occupational lung disease and cancer that are estimated to have been caused by past exposures at work, primarily to chemicals and dust.
James Patterson is an inspiring author. He once mentioned in his works to try and imagine life as a game in which we are juggling five balls. The balls represent work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day, you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.
This quote should make you realize how important it is to take care of oneself even when hustling hard.
While Worksafe Services agrees that it is your employer’s obligation to ensure your safety while you are working for them. It is your responsibility to make sure that while at work, you are healthy too.
Listed below are suggestions that will help you to stay healthy at work.
- Avoid getting postural problems
For those people that have the usual 9 to 5 grind, their job involves sitting long hours, staring at monitors, or answering phone calls. With these little and repetitive movements, it creates back problems and sore muscle that are hard to ignore.
The prolonged position can create muscle imbalance, wherein one muscle is overworked and becomes tight, while the opposing muscle is unused and remains slacked, making it unbearable to continue to work sometimes.
The best solution to these problems is to break the cycle of repetition.
Make it a habit to move as much as possible. Stretch your legs or wiggle your arms – you don’t need complex routine. As long as your muscle is not on the same slack position while the other one is not, you will not be prone to muscle imbalance.
- Keep on pushing, but know when to ‘tap out’.
If your body is telling you to rest, you should listen. No matter how many piled out workload that you have, your body needs to rest and refuel. You are more productive when healthy.
Take a time off, use your leave credits. If your company offers sick leave, use it wisely. You’ll never know when your body needs it.
- Apply or wear enough protection, especially when working outdoors.
Working outdoors has its own hazards.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) discovered that the number one issue for outdoor workers in Australia is sun exposure. Too much sun exposure leads to heat stroke and skin cancer.
If left untreated, heat stress can lead to heat stroke; a life-threatening condition where the body’s internal systems shut down because of 40-degree increase in the body’s core temperature. It is important to note that while working outdoor breaks monotony; it is also prone to occupational hazards.
To avoid this kind of issue, always wear enough protection. Use sunscreen, head gear and drinking a lot of water to avoid dehydration.
- Health is in the ‘eyes’ of the beholder
Staring at computer monitor all day can also cause eye radiation and eye strain, both leading to losing eye sharpness and ultimately blindness if not handled right.
To prevent eye strain and discomfort in an office environment, you can reduce the glare and reflection from your computer, tilt the screen so it reflects below eye level. We also recommend using negative contrast screens. If you are using eyeglasses, you can consult your eye specialist on what type of protection they can add to your glasses. Some eye specialists offer protection against computer radiation. Ask around for more options.
- A cliché, but still ignored: proper diet and exercise.
According to Dawn Jackson, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, three out of five Americans are overweight.
Some jobs require you to sit all day answering phone calls or making emails. Sometimes we give in and stuff ourselves with fast-food and junk foods. We’ve been working really hard; we definitely need those sweet treats to compensate for our dedication.
However, this ends in gaining unhealthy weight. We feel bloated all the time. We are always tired. Health complication arises. While it is good that we let ourselves splurge to delicious food, we should also be kinder to our own body. Proper diet and exercise is needed. Eat nutritious food, exercise more. Drink more water. It is a long process but we have to start somewhere for our own good.
To excel at your own career and getting recognized by your contribution is probably one of the best feeling in the world. But it doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice your well being because of it. Always make yourself a priority and everything else will follow. Take care of yourself more while hustling.