Stress takes its toll on health

Stress takes its toll on health


alarming Many women suffer from various stress-related ailments.Soon after the excitement and novelty of the job wore off, she began to suffer from the stress of the job.

Long hours at the computer, carrying heavy baggage and regular stress began to cause problems to her health. Soon enough, she was suffering from chronic spondylitis and had to put her job on hold to undergo physiotherapy.

“I could not work on the computer for very long because my arm kept aching. But my job required me to do so and the pain persisted.

It started in college due to working on the laptop for long and now it continues to persist. Then came a point where I could not handle the pain anymore. So I had to take a long leave from my job to undergo treatment,” she says.

Women nowadays suffer from stress — be it school stress, assignments in college, new job, or even getting married.

Women of the 16-35 year age group are under severe stress, frequently going into bouts of depression, anxiety, fits and mood swings.

Accompanying these are the other physical disorders like muscle ailments,
swelling of joints, osteoporosis and arthritis in older women. One of the main ailments is aching and inflammation of the muscles among women. This is caused by carrying heavy bags, constantly working on a laptop or even continuously texting on the mobile.
Sangeetha, a college student says, “Staring at the computer screen for a long time makes my head ache. Constant pressure at college also makes me feel extremely tired and mentally exhausted by the end of the day.”  

Sangeetha and Sneha are just two of the countless women in the City and country who suffer from the various stress-related ailments.

Dr Deepak Sharan, Medical Director of RECOUP says, “Different ailments caused by stress include insomnia, infertility, hypertension, cardiac disorders, behavioural disorders and irritable bowel syndrome. Muscular pain, stiffness, soreness and fatigue are very common in women too. Common causes include intense, repetitive work, static postures, mental stress at work/home, anxiety, depression and job dissatisfaction.”

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a group of overuse disorders affecting the muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands.

The average age of Indian patients suffering from this was found to be 27 years, and nearly half are women. According to a survey conducted by RECOUP, over 50 per cent got injured within a year of starting their first computer dependent job. It is not just people from the IT sector who suffer from this — musicians, teachers, journalists, RJs, dentists, nurses, surgeons, massage therapists, housewives and even children. Youngsters have also sustained RSI from incorrectly using iPods, mobile phones and Playstations.  

Dr Sujay Rao, a neurosurgeon says, “Most of the patients for these ailments are always women but the cause is not exactly known. There have been cases where patients have reported tingling in their fingers and are not able to hold objects. Many computer-related injuries are connected to the posture of the people in front of the computer. Though painkillers are prescribed, they only treat the pain and not the cause. So they should be given in the right dose.”

 As stress at the workplace and college increases, women need to take time off to see to their needs and health to make sure that these ailments do not go out of control.

Things you can do to reduce stress-related health problems

*Try not to carry heavy bags. Carry only the most essential stuff and opt for a smaller bag.
* Do not stoop while working on the computer. The monitor should be kept at eye level and keyboard should be placed at the lower chest level so that the person can easily work.
* Excessive or continuous use of painkillers will not help. See a doctor to help treat the cause.
* Take small breaks between work and stretch those wrists, arms and legs.
* Meditation helps to clear the mind after a stressful day. Or one could even listen to their favourite songs or cook up a favourite dish.

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