5 Alarming Ways Work Is Impacting Our Health
Research reveals how work is affecting our stress levels, weight, schedules, joints, mental health and home life. TLL gets some experts tips to help you take back the reins.
One in five mask stress as a physical illness
Research on 1,001 full-time UK workers found that 56% admitted to suffering from stress and 42% call in sick claiming a physical illness, when in reality it’s a mental health issue.
According to nutritionist and fitness instructor Cassandra Barns, “When we’re stressed or anxious, we’re in ‘fight or flight’ mode, rather than in ‘rest and digest’ mode”.
Cassandra suggests taking hemp could help deal with daily stressors, rather than running away from them, “Phytocannabinoids are natural substances found in the hemp plant, and research has suggested that some phytocannabinoids can have anti-anxiety and calming effects on the nervous system”.
White collar weight gain
A survey found that 28% of employees are offered gym passes, workout facilities or wellness benefits; however, 63% aren’t taking advantage of them. This suggests a need to shift afterhours exercise incentives to on-the-clock incentives to get everyone moving.
“Exercise is an appetite suppressant, stimulating the release of feel good hormones, stopping the need for the food you are craving,” explains Cassandra. Exercise will not only put a smile on your face, it will also speed up your metabolism so you can continue to burn calories at your desk – win, win!
“When you exercise, your body continues to be metabolically active in order to build the muscles you have trained, so it requires calories as fuel to maintain your muscles even when you are sitting doing nothing. The more muscle you have, the more calories you use up and the more fat you will burn,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville.
Grab a colleague and nip to a fitness class on your lunch break; “Find a workout buddy or a class that you love, so exercising doesn’t feel like a chore. Exercising on your own can be a joyless experience, but exercising with others in a class can be motivating and fun,” recommends Cassandra.
Women are ‘too busy’ to make health appointments
Bupa Health Clinics’ research found that millions of women are avoiding health appointments because of a heavy workload. Work-life balance is crucial not only for your wellbeing, but also your health!
If that 3 pm slump results in you staying later as it simply takes you longer to complete your tasks, try taking a superfood supplement for a natural boost. Specially designed to fight stress and fatigue, it can release energy naturally, help concentration and balance the nervous system so you can tackle that to-do list!
Back pain linked to mental health problems
Back pain can be associated with anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.
As many of us sit hunched over our desks on a daily basis, wellness expert Jacqueline Harvey recommends getting outside, even for just 10 minutes here and there throughout your working day, “Get out into nature and natural daylight as much as possible. We can find ourselves going from office to car or public transport to home, barely venturing outside. There is nothing like a brisk walk on a crisp winter’s day”.
Checking work emails harms you and your family
With many of us now freelancing, flexible work boundaries can easily become work without boundaries, affecting not only the employee’s health and wellbeing, but also their families.
Remember, your health is the most important thing in your life; “Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It helps to make lists of what is, or is not a priority, and to tackle the priority tasks first. This can give you a sense of control over your life,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville.
Dr Marilyn Glenville is a leading nutritionist and author of Fat Around the Middle
Jacqueline Harvey is a wellness expert, fitness trainer and author of Body Cycles
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