This is the story of a man in his early 30’s, Sumit Saxena. He is working in his dream job, earning a good pay package and is among one of the best performers at his job! Sumit is married and very soon going to be a father as well.
Sounds like a perfect story, right?
Here’s the catch: Sumit might be earning well or having his dream job and a good family, but in reality his health is deteriorating on a daily basis! You know the sad part of the situation? He isn’t even aware of it! To give you a better perspective, let’s share with you an average day in Sumit’s life.
He commutes to his job in his car and spends almost 1.5hours while going and another 1.5hours while coming back from work. His average working hours per day in a 5day week are 11-12hrs. Besides this, he sometimes works on weekends as well from home on his laptop. During a working day, his job involves sitting for long hours staring at a brightly lit desktop screen, running against the deadlines, trying to play political games to survive in his office and has to do all this while gorging on delicious but junk food at irregular hours. This is his life at work. However, he is amongst those workaholics who carry work back home too and spend time sending mails and checking messages even when he has retired to bed.
All this sounds very similar to your life? Or someone you know lives an exact life like this? Yes, this is how the life has become for most professionals these days who are trying really hard to ride up the ladder of success and achieve their dreams of living a luxurious life. But there is a cost for everything and sadly, most of us are paying this cost with our health! We all think we are young and our bodies can really endure any and every kind of hardship, which is not true. The reality is that all those small things we ignore on a day to day basis pile up to suddenly one day come and stand in front of us as a health disaster and by the time we realize it, it’s too late!
Not trying to put you into a depression (that’s what your JOB’s doing actually right now!!), but want to share how your dream job is slowly pushing you towards a point of no return!
- Long commute to and from work is slowly becoming one of the major reasons for neck and back problems, along with high blood pressure, heart attacks and according to a new research in Sweden, it is even affecting your relationship! If you walk to work it is still better, but travelling by car, train or buses is affecting your health in a host of negative ways.
- It is nice to slide into your comfy chair once at work and devote all your energy in earning money without caring whether you are sitting or slouching and for how long. It will simply damage your back and lead to obesity, spinal cord problems, and muscular skeletal problems and in some cases, even cancer!
- Life nowadays is lived in a virtual world, either on laptops/desktops or on your smart phones while working. Looking at these addictive devices will harm your vision, cause frequent migraines and headaches. Not only that, over-illumination around us makes our body consider it as total darkness and that plays havoc with our internal body clock! Result: fatigue, grogginess, high level of stress and blood pressure.
- Increasing use of mouse and typing way too much on your keyboard has created previously unheard of ailments. While the repetitive use of the mouse can lead to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), too much of the typing can cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). If it is not taken care of, CTS can cause permanent nerve damage and muscle wasting! Also, keyboards are considered to be the hotspot for all kinds of bacteria, including the deadly e.Coli and coliforms, major causes of food poisoning.
- The air you breathe in your comfortable air-conditioned office is almost 100 times harmful than the air outside, primarily because what you get is a recycled air to breathe. This includes all kinds of toxic particles, viruses and bacteria, pollutants from air conditioning and unhealthy gases and chemicals.
- You want to outdo your peers by spending more time at work, sometimes over 10 hours a day. This leads to heightened restlessness, aggressiveness, tension and hyper-competitiveness. You’ll be at a 60 percent higher risk of developing heart related problems like heart attack and angina.
- You perform best under pressure and love beating deadlines! However, these deadlines which are often considered to be short term stress have an equally hazardous impact like that of a stress lasting for weeks and months! This affects your memory and learning abilities.
- Having delicious pizzas and burgers with your favorite cold drink might sound a good idea, but they are a primary cause of obesity leading to diabetes, cardiovascular ailments, lethargy and drop in productivity.
These are just some of the major bad effects of your trying to achieve your dreams! Nothing in wrong with working hard to achieve your goals, living a good life, and take care of your near and dear ones, but then there is a way to live. Participating in a blind rat race without adequately taking care of your body will only bring bad results leading to spending more money on maintaining health rather than enjoying your hard-earned moolah!
Here are some simple tips you can follow to improve your work-life and ensure that it doesn’t affect your health in any negative manner.
- Firstly, work on the fuel that makes your body work, i.e. your diet! Eat on time, eat healthy foods involving fruits and vegetables and reduce sodium intake to help control your blood pressure.
- Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes, so that the sedentary lifestyle gets a hard kick. Walking, jogging or weight training, whatever excites you, make it a part of your life and think of it as an investment that will give you better returns than the share market!
- Try standing up, stretching, taking breaks from your rigorous work schedule and make sure that every half an hour or so, you are away from your second life partner: the laptop/desktop! Don’t worry; it will not create any relationship issues! In fact, some amount of space is actually good for relationships, isn’t it?
- Sleep. Oh no, not at work, but at home and for at least 7 hours daily to be fresh at work the next day. Also, make sure you’re not busy chatting away or watching forwarded videos on your latest smart phone right before you hit the bed. All of that can wait, not your healthy sleep!
- Obviously most companies don’t allow a nap at work, but finding time to take one or just relax for 10-15min without thinking anything and breathing slowly will help you de-stress and get your health back in order.
- Cut back on drinking and smoking. Some addictions are only going to harm, no matter whether you’re working or not working!
Work is what constitutes a major part of our lives and it is the reason for our survival. But it should not cut our lives short while we are trying to slog so hard to make a living. Instances of heart attacks, diabetes in people in late teens or early 20’s are increasing manifolds and the major cause is stress and a sedentary lifestyle. As such so many things are going wrong, why let your dream job, your passion, your only mode of survival become a villain in your life? Instead be a hero and take control of your life and don’t let work or colleagues or boss or your circumstances to walk over you! Let it be clear that you’re going to earn money and live a life of your dreams, but at your terms in a healthy state of body and mind. After all, you’re not just an employee, but a son, husband, brother, father and so many other things to so many people in your life. They want to see you happy, healthy and full of life, forever! Do it for them, if no one else!
You must take all these precautions to live a better and healthy life with a thought in mind that things still might go wrong, health might go for a spin anytime and your savings and expenses might not be enough to cover for your emergency needs. For such unfortunate times, do consider the idea of investing in some back-up for rainy days. Whether it is a Mediclaim or a health insurance or a life insurance policy, a sound investment will help you and your near and dear ones in times of need!
Jobs, businesses, employment opportunities will come and go. Health, on the other hand, once lost is lost forever! No amount of money, resources, and contacts will get it back for you. It’s better to spend time and money on maintaining your health instead of trying to restore it and failing at it miserably.
Invest in your health and reap the rewards of a beautiful, healthy and content life!
It’s one life, after all!