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Health Corner: Address your health ailments

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Your employer demands that everyone push harder during these lean times. That’s fine with you—you’re a trooper with a great attitude and work ethic.

But as you dig deeper and expend extra effort, your body may suffer. You may lapse into unhealthy work habits without realizing it.

Note the signals your body sends you. Stay vigilant so that you don’t accidentally endanger your well-being. Your determination to focus on the work at all cost can lead to nagging health ailments that require ongoing (and often time-consuming) treatment.

Consider minor aches and pains (especially in the neck and back) that you experience at your workstation. That’s an indicator of poor ergonomics. Check your workspace—from seating position to desk configuration—to identify hazards.

If you detect discomfort in your lower arms, hands or fingers, you may be repeatedly reaching for files or office supplies in an awkward manner. Whenever you stretch to grab something, notice whether you’re twisting your body in a way that causes stress and strain.

If you find yourself rubbing your sore neck or massaging aching shoulders, determine whether you are craning your neck or hunching over to read your computer monitor. It may be positioned too far, so test to confirm it’s at arm’s length.

How to reduce headaches

By deploying calm yet focused energy in an environment with few or no distractions, you can avoid stress-induced headaches. If your head throbs, evaluate noise and light pollution that swirls around you.

Redirect incoming calls for a block of time in which you concentrate on cerebral work. Eliminate ambient noises (beeping alarm on wristwatch, computer sound effects, etc.). Close your office door. Create a system to alert colleagues not to interrupt you. If your headache consists of eyestrain, assess the evenness of light in your workspace and prevent glare.

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