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Is Your Job Hazardous To Your Health?
Life & Style - Health & Fitness
Okay, sure, the daily work grind can be challenging, but hazardous? Well, according to current studies, yes. But there's some good news, too: you can undo the damage, whether you spend your days behind a desk or stand around all day.

You Sit All Day Long

News Flash: Sitting too much is bad for you. Not only does it place pressure on the low back and tailbone, causing pain and even sciatic nerve trouble, but two recent studies also found that the more time people spend on their butts each day, the more likely they are to die of cancer or heart disease.

Undo the Damage: The way to ward off both back strain and the scarier, more serious health effects of sitting is fairly simple. For five minutes every hour, get up and do something — a trip to the bathroom or the watercooler works, but the more active you can be, the better.

You Type All Day Long

Spending 20 or more hours a week in front of a computer can put someone at risk of wrist injuries. Often the damage is severe enough that surgery is the only real cure, he says. That's why prevention is so crucial.

Undo the Damage: "When you're typing, keep your wrists in a neutral position," says John Lloyd, Ph.D., a certified ergonomist in South Florida — never rest them on your desk or hold them up too high. "Ideally, your forearms should be supported on armrests."

Interesting Fact:  "During "that time of the month," your body retains water, including in the arms and wrists, which increases pressure on the nerves," Lloyd says.

You Work All Night Long

One major study found that night-shift nurses were more likely to end up getting breast cancer than those who worked during the day, and other new research found that night-shifters are more likely to have irritable bowel syndrome.

Undo the Damage: "Once you get home, decrease the room temperature in the bedroom, pull down the shades, and use earplugs to block out interruptions," says Joseph Cilona, Psy.D., a psychologist in New York City.

You Stand All Day Long

People, especially women,  who stand for more than eight hours a day have significantly higher rates of varicose veins than those who are on their feet less, research has found.

Undo the Damage: It seems counterintuitive, but after a long day of putting pressure on your legs and feet, the smartest thing to do is move them. "Sitting with your legs up can relieve engorged veins and soreness temporarily, but increasing circulation by moving around is the best thing," says Andrew Kwak, M.D., a varicose-vein expert in Bryn Mawr, PA.

You Stress All Day Long

Where things get ugly is if the pressure becomes chronic. This is because your body and brain are constantly flooded with stress hormones like norepinephrine and cortisol. That can lead to extra belly fat, and increased blood pressure and risk of heart disease, says business psychologist Debra Condren, Ph.D., author of Ambition Is Not a Dirty Word.

Undo the Damage: Physical activity can stop the production of cortisol and get rid of tension held in your muscles. Though any kind of physical activity will work, intense cardio like jogging or stair climbing may work best.

Work is work, sometimes great, sometimes…not. But with a positive mindset, and becoming more attentive to your body’s needs, you can not only make it through your day and stay healthy, but you can be more productive – and even happier!

By Sydney James, BDO Staff Writer

02-Nov-2010 , Copyright © 2005-2010, All rights reserved.

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