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Office Work Bad for You

unhealthy office workers

A round of recent studies have confirmed the health risks inherent in sedentary office work. The Zambian Independent Online has recently summarised the main maladies associated with office work.

Colon cancer

People who work in sedentary jobs for 10 years or more double their risk of colon cancer. Some make a link between prolongued sitting and higher blood sugar levels and damaged insulin levels, correlated with the development of colon cancer. In any case, physical inactivity itself can mean a greater cancer risk.

“Even small amounts of physical activity can be good for your health,” says Dr Claire Knight of Cancer Research. “They add up over the course of the day – and the more active we are the more we can help reduce our cancer risk.”

Deep vein thrombosis

New Zealand researchers found that a third of those admitted to hospital with DVT were office workers spending hours at their computers.

Stomach trouble

Your keyboard may well be filthy. Consumer group Which? found that out of 33 keyboards swabbed for food poisoning bugs, four were considered a potential health hazard and one was “condemned.”

Turkey neck

Constantly looking down at books and reports or at the computer screen can cause unwanted neck creases and saggy jowls, warns cosmetic surgeon Dr Michael Prager.

Weight gain

Office workers who don’t get up from their desks and walk around every hour can gain about a kilogram in weight every year.


Less than four percent of employees drink seven glasses of fluid a day, according to a recent survey of 1,000 UK office workers.

Back pain

Fifty percent of office workers who use a computer complain of lower back pain, according to the charity BackCare.

Pot belly and a bigger bottom

Slouching puts strain on some muscles while weakening others, leading to an increased likelihood of a pot belly and a bigger bottom, says Sammy Margo, a spokesman for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.


Long periods of sitting down increases the pressure in the blood vessels in your bottom which causes piles.

Crow’s feet and eye problems

Squinting at a screen takes its toll on your face, says plastic surgeon Prager, causing wrinkles and crow’s feet.

And according to the Health & Safety Executive, staring at a computer screen for hours can also cause “tired eyes, discomfort and temporary short-sightedness.”

Screen-staring can also increase the risk of glaucoma, according to a study in the Journal Of Epidemiology.

Source: Independent Online


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