8 Common Health Problems Caused by a Sedentary Lifestyle

Susan Bard Dermatologist New York, NY

Susan Bard, MD is a board certified general and procedural dermatologist with the American Board of Dermatology and a fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery. Dr. Bard is a native of New York City. She received her medical degree from the State University of New York – Downstate, where she graduated top of her... more

Office work is not associated with something dangerous or risky. A comfortable chair, computer, air conditioning, and the ability to have a meal during working hours. These things create comfortable conditions for those who work in the office. However, office workers are vulnerable to many diseases and health problems. Let’s review them.

1. Back and Joint Pain  

Office workers constantly sit and don’t stand up for at least 5-6 hours. This often leads to various spine and joint problems, especially if a person has an incorrect posture (for example, his/her neck is stretched towards the monitor) or sits in an uncomfortable chair. You should get up at least once every half an hour to walk around the office or do a light workout.

2. Dry Eye Syndrome 

We often forget to blink when carefully reading something on the computer. That’s why computer work or closely reading documents can trigger dry eye syndrome. Its signs are eye pain, dryness, and sometimes a foreign body sensation in the eye. You can use eye drops or do eye exercises to relieve the eye pain. 

3. Colds

Office workers most often suffer from flu or colds. This is due to the fact that office workers sit in a stuffy room for a long time along with a large number of people. The chance that one of the workers will get sick and infect their colleagues is extremely high. Air conditioning is also bad for our health since large temperature changes between the office and the outside can cause colds. You can drink vitamins and avoid handshakes during seasonal flu outbreaks.

4. Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are another common health problem among office workers. According to statistics, 30% of women and 10% of men turn to doctors because of this disease. It occurs due to blood stagnation during prolonged sitting. The walls of the vessels become thinner and cause spider veins on the legs. In the most severe cases related to varicose veins, hemorrhage and trophic ulcers can occur. Don’t ignore this problem if you have it. It’s necessary to get a regular massage and give up high heels (if you’re a woman). 

5. Carpal Tunnel 

This syndrome can occur in those who constantly type on the keyboard and use the mouse. It appears due to compression of the median nerve between the bones, transverse carpal ligament, and tendons of the muscles of the wrist. It’s manifested by unpleasant sensations in the thumb and forefinger. The pain can also spread to the shoulder.

6. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 

Constant stress, overwork, lack of physical activity, and a rapid life rhythm can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, which is also called manager syndrome. Diagnosing it is not so simple, but if you have constant fatigue and apathy, poor sleep and irritability, you should immediately visit a doctor.

7. Digestive Problems 

Improper and irregular nutrition can be manifested through excruciating abdominal pain, gastritis, colitis, obesity, and other disorders. This problem is aggravated by cookies and chocolates, and harmful snacks at work time.

8. Allergies and Respiratory Diseases 

For people who are prone to allergic reactions, it's difficult to work in the office because of the abundance of dust, printers, scanners, and other office equipment. The printer is a source of allergens, which is potentially dangerous if the filters are not replaced on time. Air conditioners can also sometimes cause allergies if mold appears inside of them.