5 ways your job is harmful to your health

Find ways to keep work from weighing you down


When you start work at a new company, you become part of the daily culture. You may help shape that culture or you may sit back and get swallowed up by the more dominate personalities and policies around you.

Some people are passionate about what they do and are excited to pop out of bed in the morning, fuel up with a cup of joe and bounce out the door to make a difference in the world. Others hate their existence because of colleagues and tasks but don't want to move on for one reason or another.

Either way, your job could be hurting you. Some have problems striking a balance when it comes to work, others work too hard to fit in, waistlines suffer, other parts of your body suffer and the ethics instilled in you could be compromised.

Read on to find out exactly how your job could be harming you ...

No. 5: Striking that work/life balance

Workaholics come in two forms -- some that love their jobs and can't stop working and some that hate their jobs but aren't allowed to stop working.

If you fall into one of these categories it's likely that the word "balance" isn't in your vocabulary, and if it is, it's probably a dream.

While long hours are great to prove that you belong with the company or deserve that "it's about time" raise, your job may not always be there.

The best way to strike a work/life balance is one step at a time. Loosen the grip a little, take a lunch break, actually leave at 5 p.m. -- at least one day a week.

Once you start to discover the balance, you might want even more. The beauty of it is, once you find balance you may actually be more productive at work, less stressed and happier.

No. 4: Becoming one of the group

It's definitely easy to get pulled in to office gossip and politics, sometimes that's the easiest way to fit in. Water cooler talk can be fun, energizing and empowering, but if you're talking about other people, just bet they are talking about you. That hairball may affect you in the long run.

Co-workers can influence you in other ways -- office behavior and colorful vocabulary, for instance -- and when everyone is grabbing fast food for lunch, it's easy to jump on board every day. Do your heart, and your waistline, a favor and enjoy the grease in moderation.

Happy hour is a great time to unwind and bond with co-workers, but sometimes office mates and gallons of alcohol don't mix.

Be true to who you are and who you want to become and navigating the world of peer pressure may be a little more pleasant.

No. 3: Beware of work injuries

You don't have to be a hardworking construction worker to be affected physically by your job. Lifting a heavy box in your office and twisting wrong can throw your back all out of whack.

Of course, there's the common computer injuries: carpel tunnel from too much typing, neck pain from looking down at your computer screen, tight hips from sitting in an office chair all day and shoulder pain from carrying your laptop or large purse to and from work.

Jobs also bring about stress injuries -- probably the most common are tension headaches and tightened muscles.

To prevent your job from hurting you so severely in this way, remind yourself to take time to stretch occasionally and give your eyes a break from your computer screen. Take a few deep breaths before you dive back in.

No. 2: Management that can't lead

Let's face it, there are a lot of jerks out there and there are a lot of managers and bosses who have no business being in the positions they are. If you pick up on that at your office, every bad decision and every offensive comment they make might drive you a little batty.

Others may be great business leaders but aren't great at communicating exactly what they want or communicating. Dealing with bosses who are micromanagers or who are so hands off that you're doing their job can cause you extra stress on top of the stress you have from producing work.

Sometimes personalities just clash. If you're able to work it out with your boss, assert yourself and get your way, more power to you.

But, if it gets to the point where your boss is just pushing you too far and affecting your health, it might be time to find other employment. It's not worth sacrificing your health for a dumb boss.

No. 1: Compromising your ethics

Ethical compromises come up no matter what type of professional you are: doctor, lawyer, office assistant or journalist. Each profession has either a written or unspoken ethical code. Some people get dangerously close to the line, while others cross it willingly.

If your boss or supervisor wants you to conduct a task that feels ethically wrong and you do it, it can chip away at your soul. If the behavior continues, it can just get worse and become tougher on your conscience.

There's a time and place to bend the rules, but if your gut is telling you there's a problem or it's quite black and white, then you have two choices: go along with it, or say no. Going along with it can be a great short or long term solution and the same goes for saying no -- it all depends on the situation.

Your job may hurt you no matter what -- there are so many ways that can happen. But you know where your line is. As long as you're not crossing your line, you're staying true to yourself.