Common health issues employees face

One of the critical qualities of a successful employee is resilience. Employers need workers to turn up and be productive, so they can confidently plan for future work. However, maintaining our health is challenging, and many common issues can impact our ability to thrive. 

Here we offer a guide of some of the most common health issues, how to avoid them, and how to get better.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Our gut is susceptible to the stresses and strains of the modern workplace. Indigestion seems to be a common feature of most of our lives – as we always aim to keep the antacid close. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a lot more severe and can be debilitating. It can cause abdominal pain and cramping. It also results in unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation. In short, it can make it impossible to feel comfortable to leave home to go to work.

Managing IBS involves a mixture of measures related to lifestyle, diet and exercise. There are many problem foods that you will learn to avoid, as they will trigger a period of illness.  You also need to manage your stress levels, which can have a significant impact on your gut. Therefore, it is essential to have a balance between work and life, making sure there is time for relaxation and exercise.

Mental health challenges

The pace of our lives has also had an impact on our mental wellbeing. Stress could trigger our fight, flight and freeze mechanism, which floods our body with helpful hormones if we were being chased by a bear. However, when all we need to deal with is meeting a tight deadline, the hormones instead cause us to feel high levels of anxiety.

There is no doubt that it has become easier to talk about mental health problems, and this is a good thing. Even though this could explain why it seems more prevalent, we are likely contributing to our issues with our fast-paced, pressurised living. Consequently, slowing down and better managing your work-life balance is essential.

Making sure you get enough exercise but also that you make time to slow the world down is your best precautionary measure. You should also try to avoid caffeine, alcohol and processed foods, which can make our mental state more unstable.

Back pain

It is commonly known by employers that back pain is a common reason to lose time. Lower back pain is often a consequence of our seated position. We are all a little sedentary, and we slouch. This crunches our muscles and joints, causing our aches and pains.

The measures to help will seem counter-intuitive when you are in pain. However, moving and following the instructions of your physiotherapist, who will encourage exercises, will relieve some of the problems caused by our bad postures. To avoid the issue altogether, it is vital to have the right ergonomic chair in the workplace and to undertake regular movement and exercise. You should look to go for a walk quite regularly throughout the day.

Other strains on the body can cause equally troublesome problems, such as Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). CTS is a pressure on the median nerve in the wrist that results in numbness, weakness and more. This condition is a result of working at a computer for excessive amounts of time. As with your back, you need to hold your wrists in the right ergonomic positions, using appropriate equipment to relieve the stress as you type.

Infections

When lots of people work together in close quarters, there will likely be a rapid spread of bacteria and viruses that can result in an infection. Your keyboard has many more germs lurking on its keys than your toilet seat. The crumbs that fall around you as you work at your desk attract creepy crawlies, which in turn bring disease with them.

Your employer should take responsibility to keep the office clean. However, you should also take responsibility to improve the conditions in the workplace too. Hand sanitiser and wipes for your work area will make a significant difference to your chance of infection. You should also take care to eat away from your work area, which would be beneficial for your mental health too.

Summary

The pattern you might have noticed is that common health issues are often caused by a lack of balance. Therefore, your best way to build the necessary resilience is to eat well, exercise regularly and spare time to relax.