More wealth but no health

Professional Hazards

A good working habit is as crucial as a good job. Unfortunately in some occupations, the work environment can affect one’s health.

And the people in such professionals have to bear with this as they are left with no other choice.

For instance, traffic personnel have to deal with a set of health problems ranging from chest congestion due to pollution to joint pain due to standing for long durations.

Those who are in manufacturing units are highly prone to musculo-skeletal disorders because they have to work in uncomfortable positions for long hours. So if one is aware of the occupational hazards of his or her job, it becomes easier to find solutions to the resulting health problems.

“In college, I used to be very active and participated in many outdoor activities. I was very healthy and even had a good physique. When I started working, I used to work for nearly 10 hours a day and most of the time, would sit in front of the computer. Due to less physical activity, I became obese and the work pressure caused psychological stress.

Due to unhealthy dietary practice, I also got acidity and gastric trouble. At the age of 35, I had lost all my energy and enthusiasm,” says Nagaraj, a professional who regained his confidence after a lot of medication and counselling.

“Now, I have joined a sports club and play badminton every day. I never skip my meals. I have food on time and also have stopped eating unhealthy items. Everyday, I do a couple of stretching exercises, especially for the neck and back. In today’s world, we cannot do away with our jobs. But we should not let our health get affected by our working habit,” he says.

Health problems vary from profession to profession. Raveesh, a lecturer, says that the nature of his job causes low back pain, eyestrain and voice disorders.

“Standing for hours is very tiring and the powder of chalk (calcium sulfate) which we use for blackboards causes skin and eye irritation. As I am young, I may not feel all the repercussions today. But in a few months or years from now when my health starts getting affected, I will not be able to do anything. I understand that the damage is cumulative and irreversible. Hence, I regularly do some exercises to relax, eat food that has Vitamin A to protect my eyes and meditate for sometime to maintain my cool,” he says.

Depending on the nature of work, one has to fix one’s lifestyle accordingly to have a good physical and inner equilibrium.

“It is better to take brief breaks than working at a stretch. It helps preserve your health and sanity. Working for long hours can weaken one’s immune system. If your work involves a lot of physical activities, you can do some exercises to relax. But if your work involves less physical activity, then you should go for some heavier exercises,” says Anuranjana, a fitness expert.

According to her, it is not that people are unaware of their occupational hazards. It’s just that sometimes, even knowingly, they are too lazy to change their lifestyle.

 “If one wants to lessen the damage, one has to change his or her lifestyle. Trying to change overnight is not good. One should take one step at a time so that there is less chance of failure or getting overburdened. Those who don’t like exercising can choose sports, dancing or even aerobics. There should be a healthy habit of everything from eating to sleeping. If you exercise daily but have no control over what you eat, then the exercise will not help you anyway. So take the step at the earliest – know your work and its implications on your health. Consult health practitioners who will tell what you need to do and follow it religiously for a better tomorrow,” she adds.

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