Comedy Central's dark comedy Corporate debuted in 2018 to decent reviews; after all, the central focus of the show was depression surrounding office jobs — perhaps a problem with which viewers were all too familiar. Much like the problems faced by main characters Jake and Matt, it's possible all the aspects of your desk job are slowly killing you. Sure, there's the depression and anxiety aspect of work, conditions almost incubated in the modern American workplace, but there are also more direct physiological effects that you may inherit at your desk without even realizing it.
What constitutes the worst jobs is subjective, and while some may think office jobs are "cushy," that doesn't mean they lack risk. In fact, some risks are inherent or even exclusive to office jobs. Additionally, you could be taking those risks home with you — if you're having trouble sleeping, you can bet there's a good chance it's related to your office (good thing there are tricks to how to sleep at work).
Vote up the reasons your office job secretly hates you and uncover some good reasons to start looking for other options.
Boredom Might Actually Be Killing You
Depending on your job, mistakes at work can be fatal. John Eastwood, a psychologist at York University in Toronto, told The Guardian, boredom "has been associated with increased drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, depression and anxiety, and an increased risk of making mistakes." In the article, an airline pilot discusses a poll of people in his profession, claiming 30% of pilots who woke up from a nap "reported seeing the other pilot asleep too." Despite the existence of autopilot, the idea that both pilots might be asleep at any given time on a flight is terrifying.
And there are still the other side effects of boredom described, all of which have extremely adverse health effects. You may not be abusing drugs and alcohol at work, but overeating, depression, and anxiety are still prevalent in the workplace, all of which carry significant health concerns.
Sitting All Day Can Shave Years Off Your Life
"Sitting Disease" isn't recognized as an actual disease, but it's a term coined by the medical community as it presents a clear and present danger to society, especially Americans. The average American sits 13 hours a day, most of that at work, and with that comes serious health risks, as Business Insider reports:
- People who sit for more than 11 hours a day have a 40% increased risk of death in the next three years, compared with people who sit for four hours or less.
- Workers who have held sedentary roles for more than 10 years have twice the risk of colon cancer.
- The longer people sit, the shorter their lifespan, even if they exercise regularly.
- Sitting for long periods may also affect the development of musculoskeletal disorders.
Even if you're engaging in your recommended 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day, you're still at risk. A simple but potentially life-saving solution is a standing desk, which reportedly burns about eight calories per hour. Even with a standing desk, you should probably still take that lunchtime walk around the block.
The Computer Screen You're Staring At All Day Long Is Melting Your Eyes
While prolonged staring into computer screens doesn't literally melt your eyes, it still causes a fair amount of damage, so much so that it has a name: Computer Vision Syndrome (or Digital Eye Strain). According to the American Optometric Association, "The most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain are eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain." The center offers a solution: the "20-20-20 rule; take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes."
While the solution is relatively simple, it's one of those things that is easier said than done, especially because there's potential for trouble if your boss walks by and catches you staring off into space on "the doctor's orders."
A 10+ Mile Commute Could Cause A Number Of Negative Physical And Psychological Effects
According to a study conducted in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, "Commuting distance was negatively associated with physical activity and CRF and positively associated with BMI, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure." 10 miles is the magic number, so to speak, but this can vary greatly depending on location — even a five-mile commute in Los Angeles can take an hour, so time spent commuting is a better indicator.
Psychology Today also warns of "the stress that doesn't pay," noting the adverse effects of a long commute.
The ride to work is also associated with increased blood pressure, musculoskeletal problems, lower frustration tolerance, and higher levels of anxiety and hostility. It can cause bad moods when arriving at work and coming home, increased lateness and missed work, and worsened cognitive performance.
The solution to this is to at least consider moving closer to work – or find things to make the commute more zen. Podcasts, audio books, real books for public transit commuters, and meditation apps are all viable distractions that promote health instead of stress.