All the ways your office makes you sick

All the ways your office makes you sick

Cold and flu viruses love big offices! A whole bunch of stressed out, sleep deprived, and generally run-down people clumped together in close quarters just waiting for a flu or cold virus to come along and take them out for a few days. Finding ways to minimize your risk and stay healthy isn't easy with so many obstacles, and although leading a generally healthy lifestyle (i.e. not being terribly stressed out or sleep deprived) is a big Numero Uno on the list of what to do there are definitely other smaller parts to the puzzle that you can do every day. Just how is your office making you sick? Well, do any of these sound familiar?

All the ways your office makes you sick

  • Desks and workstations acting as breeding grounds for bacteria
  • Coworkers coming to work sick (presenteeism)
  • Sedentary job functions
  • Hot and cold temperature extremes
  • Low humidity levels
  • Invisible toxins in the air (mold spores, formaldehyde from furniture, fumes from equipment)
  • Non-ergonomic workstations and physically repetitive tasks
  • Stress as part of the daily routine

That's a lot to deal with! Some tips and ideas on what to do:

  1. Wash your hands regularly
  2. Wash your workstation regularly
  3. Don't eat at your desk (to minimize bacterial growth)
  4. If your office doesn't have a "presenteeism" policy consider approaching a superior about it
  5. Take advantage of any health and wellness programs your company offers
  6. Get moving and take a walk during your breaks and over your lunch hour
  7. Discuss temperature problems with a superior and dress in layers
  8. Avoid staying in the same posture all day and do regular stretches
  9. Set up your workspace to be ergonomically correct and appropriate for you
  10. Develop and maintain healthy stress-relieving habits like regular walks, meditation, or even just thinking of something funny
  11. Don't write off fatigue, malaise, and other symptoms of depression as nothing. Take them seriously and take advantage of programs that your company may offer to help you assess how serious it may, or may not, be.

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