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.
"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.
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.
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."
Sick building syndrome is a phrase used to describe general symptoms related to any illness people generally experience in a building despite no specific known cause: headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, etc. It was initially thought these symptoms were directly related to people's lack of desire to be at work, that they were, in essence, psychosomatic. However, people are beginning to question that way of thinking as they come to realize that, for generations, building development has put very little research into ventilation.
Technical University of Denmark researcher, Jan Sundell, told Newsweek, “Outdoor air is a political hot topic. You get sick due to indoor air. You die due to indoor air.” The problem is clear: people aren't focused on indoor air pollutants. Reportedly, 100 times more money is spent on research for outdoor air pollution than indoor, but there are not only the same pollutants affecting office workers, there are more. Particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other gases are all regularly found in higher concentrations in office buildings.