Is Your Career Harming Your Health


You may readily admit that your career is less than ideal due to compensation or satisfaction, but did you know that it may be harming your health? There are several ways that your job might be hurting you. Watch out for these easily overlooked hazards.

Creating Mental and Emotional Strain

career health

Image via Flickr by sun dazed

Do you love your job? Are you one of the lucky few who wake up jazzed for your next day at work, feeling happy to head to the office? If the answer is no, the daily grind could do very real damage to your health. People who have consistently low job satisfaction report higher levels of depression, excessive worry, and sleep troubles. They have lower overall mental health than their highly-satisfied counterparts.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s hoping to power through your current workplace struggle, it’s worth noting that your stresses now may contribute to troubling mental health symptoms in the future. Low job satisfaction has a cumulative effect. You can begin seeing the long-term impact of a troubling job as early as age 40. The best way to protect yourself from the strain of an unpleasant workplace is to actively pursue a work environment where you’re comfortable, content, and satisfied.

Producing Physical Pain

While many people may describe their jobs as being “a pain,” for some this is quite literally the case. Labor intensive jobs put an obvious physical strain on the body. In other professions, however, the effects are subtler. Airline pilots, co-pilots, and flight attendants are exposed to low levels of radiation on every flight. Health care professionals are regularly exposed to illnesses that may end up sending them to the doctor as well. Veterinarians, forest rangers, zookeepers, and others who work with or near animals are at regular risk of experiencing bites, scratches, and other injuries.

Even sitting at a desk job can create physical strain. Sitting still for long periods of time can shorten your lifespan and cause a wide range of health problems. All that time in your chair can produce insulin resistance and increase your chances for heart disease. Though it’s not easy to find the right balance, you can begin by identifying the most dangerous aspects of your job and brainstorming ways to minimize or counteract them.

Forcing a Longer Commute

Commuting to work is more than just a hassle. It’s actually hazardous to your health. People who commute more than 10 miles to work each day have higher blood sugar levels, increased anxiety, and higher cholesterol. If possible, move closer to your job. A shorter drive is better and a brisk walk to work is best for your health all around.

Another option is to seek out employment where you can eliminate the commute entirely. Many companies now support telecommuting if you can do your job just as efficiently from home. Direct selling businesses like Amway allow you to set your own schedule and work wherever it’s most convenient. Escape the monotonous trips to and from work whenever you can.

Exposing You to Unsafe Air

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a growing concern both in the home and in the workplace. While you’re in control of the air quality at home, and have the ability to change your HVAC filter, seal against leaks, and keep hazardous items out, you can’t affect the same level of change in your workplace. If you don’t have a vigilant office manager who’s on top of IAQ, you could suffer from indoor air pollution, including biological contaminants like dust mites, chemical dangers such as cleaning products, and unseen particles related to anything from smoking to sanding.

If possible, find out who’s in control of managing IAQ in your building and make sure the proper maintenance routines are in place to keep your air clean. Highlight the link between productivity and clean air to help get management on board with your campaign for more breathable air.

While nearly every job comes with some hazards, there’s a lot that you can do to minimize these. Protect your health by doing all you can to choose a workplace that’s safe, satisfying, and easy on your health.

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