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Stress Awareness Month: Beware! Long work hours at desk may give stress and anxiety

04-28-17 Category: Mental Health

Stress Awareness Month: Beware! Long work hours at desk may give stress and anxiety

The world has shrunk into a cubicle, constricting the periphery of working professionals within the space of individual workstations. Staying glued to the desk is what millennials are doing. With the world at their feet, these young achievers have everything they want. They earn, they splurge and they enjoy like there is no tomorrow.

Yet, there is something amiss in their lives. For all the good things in life, they have traded it with peace and invited the wrath of insurmountable stress in their lives. Their desk job is a veritable glut of stress and anxiety.

A desk job may disrobe an individual of peace and happiness. Numerous studies have revealed that prolonged sitting at one’s desk is associated with a plethora of health issues. Ranging from type 2 diabetes to increased rates of heart disease and obesity, and in extreme cases even premature death, continuous sitting on the desk can precipitate serious trouble for workers.

Psychological woes of desk job

Previous studies have revealed that sitting at the workstation for more than six hours can cost an employee dearly. Putting in unbridled long hours at the desk may increase the risk of mental health issues like depression and anxiety. A strenuous desk job corrodes the psychological health of a person.

A 2014 study, led by Michelle Kilpatrick, a psychological scientist at the University of Tasmania, found that the employees who put in long hours and stretches at work, experience increased rates of anxiety and depression compared to others who refrained from sitting longer at work.

Mental stress from desk job tied to overeating

The pressure of meeting a deadline, preparing a presentation, convincing a client over video conferencing or the boss throwing down the gauntlet every now and then may lead to immense stress, derailing eating habits and changing the perception toward food. Studies have found that stressed workers tend to indulge in overeating. Psychological stress induced by prolonged work hours changes one’s perception of food, leading to binge eating. When things go awry, it may even give rise to eating disorder.

At times, even options like hitting the gym after a grueling day in office fails to dissipate the accumulated stress. Those spending long hours at desk continue to exhibit higher occurrence of depression and anxiety symptoms in spite of exercising or staying physically active as compared to those who sit for less than three hours a day.

This proves that sitting for longer hours, recoiling in one’s conch and escalating job pressures only translate into more gloom. Experts recommend a few breaks in between long work hours to overcome stress and anxiety that might also affect the overall psychological health of an overburdened employee.

Snap out of the cycle and break free

The best way to overcome the problem is to go for a break and take it easy. Once the cycle snaps, much of the stress would invariably dissipate. Whether it is for a few days or a few minutes every two hours, looking from a detached point of view will calm the nerves and give a fresh perspective to tackle any stress and anxiety piled up in a desk job.

Therefore, this Stress Awareness Month, observed in April every year, let’s make a resolution to deal with the pressure accompanying the desk job, preparing for a peaceful, happy and fulfilled life.

Whatever be the reason for stress and anxiety, it is paramount to address the issues, so that the symptoms do not exacerbate and snowball into other serious mental conditions. Sovereign Health is a leading mental health care provider in the U.S. with anxiety treatment centers at some major places in the country. Call our 24/7 helpline if you want to know more about our anxiety rehabilitation centers.

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