8 Health Risks Office Workers Face Daily

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consultIf you work in an office, chances are you’re sitting at your desk for a better part of the day. Though you wouldn’t think a desk job would cause too many workplace injuries, the truth is that it happens more often than not. Sitting for long periods of time without movement can wreak havoc on your body. The trouble is that many office workers don’t even realize it until it’s too late.

Knowing what can come from sitting for long periods of time can help you to stay proactive about your health and prevent serious complications. Below are a few of the most common workplace health issues related to sitting too long:

1. Weakened Leg Muscles

When you’re not using your leg muscles often they can become very weak. Not applying weight to your legs for a better part of the day can lead to what is known as muscle atrophy (weakening of the muscles). Weak muscles ultimately make it easier for your body to become injured and it will become more challenging to hold your body weight.

2. Weight Gain

Another issue with sitting for long periods of time is weight gain. Moving periodically gives your muscles the opportunity to release lipoprotein lipase molecules, which are necessary to process the fats and sugars stored in the body.

3. Hemorrhoids

If you’ve encountered several hemorrhoids lately, it could be the direct result of sitting for long periods of time. Hemorrhoids occur when the veins found in the rectum are swollen. Though there are several reasons this happens; sitting too long and being overweight are at the top of the list. While you can simply treat them with over the counter natural hemorrhoid products, you still want to make changes to your lifestyle, such as walking more and losing weight.

4. Hip and Back Problems

Your hips and back can take a real beating from sitting all day. When you sit your hip flexors shorten, which can cause pain when walking. For those who have poor posture, your back can begin to hurt from all the pressure applied throughout the day. Failure to stretch can result in chronic pain.

5. Anxiety and Depression

Movement and exercise release endorphins, which are necessary for improving the mood. When you’re sitting for seven to eight hours a day, your endorphins are lowered which gives way for mental health concerns like depression or anxiety to kick in. Studies have proven that getting up and walking around every 20 to 30 minutes can greatly improve your mental state of being.

6. Heart Disease

Sitting can even have a grave impact on your heart. Studies have found that people who sit for more than 23 hours in a week are at greater risk of developing some form of heart disease. Other studies have supported findings that those who sit for long periods of time have an increased chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

7. Diabetes

diabetesglucoseWith obesity being one of the number one risk factors for diabetes, it’s no wonder that sitting for long periods of time could increase your chances of developing the disease. When sitting for long periods of time, enzymes found in the muscles begin to change. This in turn leads to increased blood sugar levels and lower insulin tolerance levels which can result in type 2 diabetes.

8. Blood Clots (DVT)

For office workers who don’t get up and move around, the possibility of developing a clot is higher. Deep vein thrombosis (a form of blood clot) is most commonly located in the legs. While clotting is a natural occurrence in the body, when it develops for no reason (meaning no cut or injury) it could be life threatening. Clots can easily break off and travel to other parts of the body causing serious damage along the way.

It may be easy to assume that you’re safe if you’re working behind a desk all day. However, this is far from the truth. Aside from talking with your employer about ergonomics and comfortable office furniture, it is very important that you get active. Taking a walk around the office, going for a stroll during lunch, and even hopping up to socialize with coworkers on occasion can decrease your chances of developing serious health issues in the near future.

Daily Aspirin Is Good For Some Men, Not Others

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Interesting article from last months Harvard Men’s Health Watch provided by PRWeb…..

pillsDaily aspirin is recommended for those with existing cardiovascular disease. For otherwise healthy men, the small potential benefit of aspirin must be weighed against the risk of unwanted bleeding.

For men who have had a heart attack, stroke, or other problem related to clogged arteries, the benefits of taking aspirin outweigh the risks. In this group, the benefits include preventing a first or repeat heart attack or stroke or dying prematurely from cardiovascular disease. But in otherwise healthy men, the balance of benefits and risks shifts, according to the October 2014 Harvard Men’s Health Watch.

The best research to date shows that men who have not been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease glean no overall benefit to taking aspirin every day—including men at higher risk, like those with diabetes.

In otherwise healthy men, aspirin prevents some non-fatal heart attacks, but not strokes. At the same time, it can cause harmful bleeding in the digestive tract. Aspirin use has also been linked to small bleeds in the brain which, though uncommon, can be deadly. In fact, aspirin causes more cases of worrisome bleeding than almost any other medication because so many people take it.

The point at which the chance of being helped by daily aspirin outweighs the bleeding risk varies from person to person. This is why experts recommend an individualized assessment.

“You have to be more thoughtful when considering aspirin for prevention in people without known cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Christian Ruff, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “You need to assess the risk of having a heart attack or stroke and also the risk of bleeding.”

Some men take a daily aspirin without checking with their doctors. That’s not a safe move. “Although you don’t need a prescription for aspirin, you should treat the decision to use it as if it were a prescription drug,” Dr. Ruff says.

Read the full-length article: “Aspirin: Heart healthy but know the risks”

Also in the October 2014 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch:

* Do some prostate drugs cause cancer?

* Tips for success for those who need to go gluten free

* Secrets of living until your 80s and beyond

* How to keep your get up and go.

The Harvard Men’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Is Half Hour Of Daily Exercise Enough?

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stretchbridgeFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very important article that I had to promote from News.com.au written by Fiona Baker entitled Is Half Hour Of Daily Exercise Enough?. As you know, we have discussed here many times about the obesity epidemic facing the youth of the world, for adults and children. Obesity related illnesses are up, including heart disease, cancer, weak joints, asthma, and type 2 diabetes. Experts state that improving your diet, exercise, adequate sleep, and proper hydration – along with less sedentary lifestyle are keys to reducing obesity. Many times, it is suggested that 60 minutes of physical activity is what we should strive for each day. In today’s article, the author asks if 60 minutes of activity is needed in her home country of Australia, despite national guidelines of 30 minutes? In the United States, it is recommended that people try to get 60 minutes of activity each day. To me, whether 30 or 60 minutes, everyone should strive to get some form of physical activity each day, as some activity is better than none. In our busy lifestyles, I think many of us wish we had the hour to spare, but many of us do not have this time. But, research suggests that the 60 minutes can be broken up in segments. So, if you go for a 30 minute jog some time during the day, but make time to walk or perform calisthenics at some point during the day, it may be possible for many to get their 60 minutes. Regardless, take the time to read Ms. Baker’s wonderful article. It was insightful and informative. The link is provided below.”

From the article…..

Is 60 minutes how much exercise we should be doing a day, despite national guidelines of 30 minutes?

Stepping up your exercise – even in small ways – is the best way to ensure optimal health and well-being.

Half an hour of activity a day may be good for general health but it’s half as much as most of us need to avoid becoming overweight or obese. That’s the growing consensus as the developed world’s obesity epidemic gathers speed and people’s activity levels fail to keep up with their food consumption.

Now Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has suggested the daily activity recommendation may need to be doubled to an hour to fight the nation’s growing weight problem, unless we make big changes to what we eat. “In the current environment of abundant availability, promotion and consumption of energy-dense food, it is now internationally recommended that 45 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity daily physical activity is the minimum required… without reduction in current energy intake,” the NHMRC writes in its newly released report, Eat For Health.

“At least 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (a day) or lesser amounts of vigorous activity may be required to prevent weight regain in formerly obese people,” it says.

Dr Amanda Lee, the chair of the NHMRC’s Dietary Guidelines working committee, is careful about being too insistent that activity levels need to rise or double to slow the obesity epidemic. She doesn’t want Australians to feel overwhelmed by the need to find more time to exercise when many struggle to even clock up 30 minutes a day.

“At this stage the national activity guidelines still recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. Even then, not even 50 per cent of the population is managing that,” she says. “So I would be reluctant to tell everyone that they now need to find an hour.”

To read the complete article…..Click here