Is your job bad for your health?

What is a typical workday like for you? Do you work between 7 to 12 hours a day? If you do this consistently then during the weekdays you’re working between 29% to 50% of the total available hours. Did you know that working more than 11 hours a day increases the risk of heart disease by 67%? (Source: University College London). We might think we’re invincible or are just too busy to contemplate anything different, but maybe it’s not our job that’s bad for our health. Instead, we just might need to rethink our approach to work.

Sitting at a desk hunched over a computer for excessive hours can result in an aching neck and back and headaches. I know I’ve been guilty of doing this countless times. Now add in unhealthy diets (food and coffee!!!), stress, sleep deprivation and insufficient exercise and it shouldn’t surprise that the World Health Organisations predicts depression will be the second leading cause of disability by 2020.

Balancing the demands of our job on top of everything else we do isn’t always easy because targets need to be achieved. We’re more likely to tolerate a bad situation than taking positive steps to improve it because the internal conversation we have is along the lines of: “I have to work like this otherwise I won’t get my work done. If there was another way, I’d already be doing it.” While we think this is logic, it's just our ego reasoning a self-defeating conversation that serves no purpose.

Effective not excessive

The real question is how effective are you? Can you proactively manage your workload, perform at the peak of your abilities, maintain energy to embrace pursuits outside of work and get sufficient rest to recharge? If you can’t do so to the level you’d like then consider maximising personal productivity to help break the cycle. If done well you’ll not only achieve outcomes in less time but notice a ripple effect to every facet of your life that lets you reset what’s important.

There’s nothing more important than our health. Maybe it’s not our job but our approach to it. Time to hit the reset button.