10 Ways Your Job Could Be Damaging Your Health

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Your day job is more dangerous than you may realise. Whilst you may not have the imminent dangers that a firefighter or bomb disposal technician faces, there may be more long-term and hidden health risks within your line of work. Here are just a few ways that you could be doing damage to your health in the workplace and how to minimise this harm.

Sitting down too long

Got a nine to five desk job? Sitting down all day could be doing all manner of physical harm to your body. Too much sitting down can waste away the muscles in your stomach and cause you to get overweight. Those craning over a desk meanwhile can cause damage to their spine and neck over time, whilst constantly bent knees can lead to these joints getting affected. Physical inactivity all day meanwhile has been linked to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

There are ways to combat some of these health risks. The simplest solution is to force yourself to get up more. This could include putting a phone on the opposite side of the room so you have to get up to answer it. There are even standing desks, which can allow you to use your PC whilst standing up. Another option could be to simply exercise more out of work hours. If you commute to your workplace by car but live nearby, you could even try walking or taking a bike. There even options whilst you’re at work – deskercises are exercises that can be performed behind a desk that allow you to stay active and can combat all the various health risks of sitting down all day. There all exercises out there for people with driving jobs that may see them sat behind a wheel all day.

Standing up too long

Those that don’t have a desk job and are constantly on their feet may also be putting their bodies at risk. Too much standing up can cause excess pressure on the hips, knees and ankles. This has been linked to musculoskeletal disorders such as heart diseases. Like sitting down all day, it can also cause heart problems.

Whilst these jobs may not give you the option to sit down frequently and take a break, there are still ways to limit the physical damage. Wearing comfy orthopaedic shoes can relieve the pressure on your joints. There are shoes in all professions that can ease this pressure. Heels are definitely not recommended for a job that requires you to be on your feet all day – these will speed up the damage to your joints. Taking the pressure off your feet whilst not at work can also help give your joints a rest (you can still do sat down exercises!).

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Noise exposure

Many jobs can leave workers exposed to high levels of noise which can cause hearing loss. Whilst some workplaces have to provide ear protection by law such as airports, construction sites and shooting ranges, other workplaces such as nightclubs and busy pubs don’t. Wearing ear protection is advised in any job environment which regularly exceeds 85 decibels, which includes nightclubs. If you don’t want to wear earplugs, you should at least consider taking a noise detox after every shift (i.e. not playing music loudly in your spare time or going to noisy places). This will give your ears time to recover and potentially allow damaged cells to rebuild.

Poor lighting

Working in a dimly lit environment can put a strain on the eyes and cause damage to your vision. This is especially the case with tasks that involve reading or looking at something closely. Contrasts in lighting can also be bad for the eyes. For example, staring at a bright computer screen in a dark room can cause strain.

Make sure that there’s always sufficient lighting in the work environment. As for computer screens, programmes such as Flux are useful to download, matching the lighting on your screen to the time of day to minimise the contrast. Try to minimise screen glare from the sun in summer as this too can cause eye strain.

Repetitive motions

Many jobs can cause people to develop repetitive strain injuries resulting in joint diseases such as tendonitis and arthritis. The most common RSI (repetitive strain injury) is tendonitis in the fingers as a result of too much typing on a keyboard. Many manual labour jobs may also come with their own unique RSIs.

Most of these repetitive strain motions aren’t easy to pick up until body parts start hurting. In cases, such as typing, it may be difficult to regularly take a break. There are programs out there such as Albion StopNow which can tell when to take breaks from typing to protect your joints. These breaks could be used to do other jobs such as using the phone, researching – or even doing some deskercises!

Poor air circulation

Poor air circulation indoors can lead to respiratory diseases such as asthma. With nowhere to escape dust and vapours from chemicals are more likely to enter the lungs and cause damage. Unclean air conditioning meanwhile can cause serious health problems and has been linked to the deadly lung disease Legionnaires.

An easy way to combat poor air circulation is to always keep the workplace well ventilated by keeping a window open. If the office faces a busy road, it could be worth fitting an extractor fan instead – this will stop pollutants from outside getting in the office. Air conditioning units meanwhile should be regularly cleaned out to avoid dust and dirt building up in them. Professionals can be called in to do this job.

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Unclean equipment

Many tools in the workplace can get regularly handled but never cleaned. These tools can often end up carrying bacteria which is spread amongst colleagues. This can cause illness to be easily spread. A common culprit is computer keyboards. All it takes is someone who is ill to sneeze on a keyboard and for another colleague to then use it. Computer keyboards meanwhile have been found to carry other bacteria as a result of crumbs falling between the keys and going mouldy, consequently causing illness.

It’s worth always giving such equipment a quick clean. It may even be worth giving your keyboard a deep clean once a year by taking all the keys off and wiping beneath. You can buy special cleaning kits for these items.

Chemical exposure

You don’t have to work in a scientist’s laboratory to handle chemicals. Many workplaces use chemicals for cleaning, although may not always use correct health and safety precautions. These chemicals can cause reactions in some cases that may result in rashes or respiratory problems.

You should always refrain from mixing cleaning chemicals and ideally use gloves when using such chemicals to prevent rashes on the hands. COSHH offer various health and safety laws concerning the use of chemicals – it could be worth talking to your employer if you do not think these rules are being put into place.

Too much coffee

Okay, so few jobs require employees to drink coffee. However, for many a regular cup of coffee comes part and parcel with the job. Too much caffeine however can cause high blood pressure, which can contribute to various cardiovascular problems. It can also cause dehydration and insomnia.

Try drinking less coffee throughout the day and more water. Whilst this may not wake you up like a hot cup of Americano, it’s far healthier and good for your concentration. Herbal teas may be a solution for those wanting a hot drink that’s healthy.

Work related stress

Constant stress at work is thought to be as bad for your body as smoking. Stress increases the blood pressure and leads to all manner of cardiovascular problems (it’s thought to be one of the biggest causes of heart attacks). It can also affect sleep and digestion, whilst muscle tension from being stressed can cause the body to feel tired and achy.

If your job is stressful to the point of being unenjoyable, it’s generally a good decision to find another job – even if it is well-paid your health is more important. If you can cope with the stress and otherwise find your job rewarding, it could be worth focusing on different ways to relax in your spare time. Taking a bath at the end of each day, drinking herbal teas, listening to music and meditating can all relieve stress. You should also consider how you get to work – commuting for many can be a stressful process that can often be made less stressful by taking alternative transport or doing a relaxing activity whilst commuting.

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Alleviate Your Car Safety Worries

People have a lot to say about the fact that cars have a lot of technology to them today, but that’s only a natural progression when you think about it. Gone are the days in which three wheelers were seen hurtling down the road, and we no longer have the luxury to spot some horse-drawn carriages running through the streets. However, these old time stylings are more than made up for by the amount of ‘smart’ cars we have available to us, and how they can make the world of automobiles a little safer.

Cars are made to last a little longer than they used to be, and that’s largely due to people knowing manufacturing tips and tricks, and how to talk to the mechanic. Information being a lot more accessible means we’re a lot more secure in our vehicles, so use this to your full advantage. Here’s a few little tips on keeping your car a little safer when you’re out and about.


Know About Car Recalls

When it comes to the first step in keeping a car road worthy, you need to stay up to date on any new information about your make and model. If the car designer needs all models brought back in for a safety check, make sure you’re one of the first to get your vehicle back to the dealer.

Don’t let yourself ignore any warnings about this, as you could be seen as driving with a ‘defective’ vehicle, and that’s not good for you or your insurance rates.

Park in the Right Places

When you’re driving around a busy city, or even in the countryside, try and find yourself an official parking space, lot, or garage in order to store your car safely and cleanly. Try and find an area that’s lit and in view of the road, especially if you are driving along a back lane near some fields, as you want to be able to find your car again if you live the vehicle.

Similarly, if you live next to the road, try and park your car in view of windows and doors, as this means there’s always a possible eye kept on them.

Keep the Interior Clean

Your car interior is like another dimension when you enter it, and if it’s dirty and cluttered, you’re not going to feel too great about your surroundings. Jackets and towels all over the backseat? That’s not going to be nice to spot in the mirror. That funny smell coming from the takeaway cup in your door? Where’s the next bin you can stop off to deal with it when you’re on the motorway? Keep your car clean, and you’re going to go far in your vehicle.

If you have a neat car, the inside is going to look extremely boring, and that’s a good deterrent. It also means your car is going to last that little bit longer, as no nasty particles are going to be able to dig their way into the engine or any door and dashboard mechanisms.

You know, if you keep the windshield and rear window sparkling clean, you’re going to be able to see better and a lot more, as no grimy areas are going to obscure your vision. Just sprucing up your interior, and maybe the exterior, could very well make you a better driveway.

Know Your Legal Options

Legal options can be intimidating to even think about, but often enough the law is on your side when it comes to the rules of the road. If you do get into an accident, don’t let yourself panic about it. You have plenty of options open to you, whether they be in terms of insurance or otherwise.

Speaking of, we hear a lot about cars being written off by insurance companies, but you don’t always agree when it comes to spending money on a beloved car! Try and get a second opinion on your vehicle, and then see what write off category it’s in. If you can prove it’s still drivable this way, you should be all set. If you were in an accident that caused a huge amount of damage to your car, be on the lookout for car accident attorneys that go the distance, instead of the alternative. If you know where to look, it’s going to be a lot easier to get plenty of coverage for any problem you may run into (or runs into you).

Road safety vigilance is really all you need.

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Converting Your Home To Business Premises: 5 Crucial Considerations

When you’re in pursuit of turning your business dream into reality, you have to think big.

Successful entrepreneurs are all united by the driving force of their ambition. Faced with situations that others might dismiss as unworkable, true entrepreneurs are prepared to throw themselves full-throttle into trying to overcome the obstacles in their path– even if that means sacrifice.

Sacrifices Start At Home

One such sacrifice that many business owners find themselves contemplating is a need for business premises… and not having the funds to rent and outfit entirely new premises. It’s at this point that many entrepreneurs may decide to rein in their business plans, or do something different, but a good entrepreneur knows that there are always options to pursue. If their business absolutely needs premises, then they’re going to obtain business premises– whatever it takes.

Unfortunately, what “it” sometimes takes is the home of the entrepreneur. After all, their home is something they are already in possession of. It’s a physical space, with a backyard they can use for storage, and there’s an established gas, electricity, and water supply to the property. When evaluated from a business perspective, there’s plenty of benefits there to consider. It really might work.

The downside, of course, is that their home becomes their office, their workspace. They lose that thing so crucial to a good work-life balance; having their own space.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur who is struggling to afford premises, then you may find yourself considering converting an area of your home into office space. You may have wondered just how much storage you can fit in the backyard; and idly considered how you might need to adapt your property to suit business requirements. Would it be worth it? Is this a step you should take, or a terrible idea from the outset? Let’s dive deeper into the things you need to know when considering converting your home into your business premises…

Know The Difference: Working From Home vs. Premises Conversion

Many people assume that there is little difference between “working from home” and “converting your home for use as premises”. However, this is an oversight, as the differences are actually rather stark. Many people work from home; this requires no adaptation for the most part, just a working internet connection and a laptop.

Conversely, converting your home into business premises is far more detailed and laborious.

So you have to figure out which you really need. Here are a few circumstances in which converting to premises is suitable:

    • You need a space to host customers or clients. Most people who work from home don’t need this; if they do, on occasion, have to meet a client, they will arrange it at a local coffee shop/business venue.
    • Your business requires you to hold large amounts of stock. While it’s possible to run some small ecommerce-type businesses without converting your home, anything more advanced will require larger storage capabilities than the average home can hold.


  • You want to offer a retail space. Some people choose to convert an area of their home into a retail space. This happens for various reasons; not being able to afford conventional retail outlets, wanting to take advantage of a good location (for example, if their house is close to an area that receives a high volume of foot traffic) or just out of preference– it’s a pretty short commute if you live above the store, after all.


If you don’t need any of the above, then you don’t need to consider a full-scale conversion.

If, however, you do need premises for one (or more) of the above reasons, then read on.

The Legal Hoops: A Guide To Jumping Through Them

The process of converting your home for use as business premises is an extensive, time-consuming one, and the biggest time suck of all will be the bureaucracy you have to deal with.

There are so many different legal areas you need to consider prior to a conversion. Here’s a primer on the areas you will need to investigate, the companies you will need to contact, and the notification you will need to give to ensure your conversion is allowed:


  • Call your home insurance provider. If you’re going to change the nature of your dwelling, then your home insurance company needs to know. In all likelihood, you will require an entirely new home insurance policy; one that covers you for business as well as domestic use.
  • Call your local authority. This is particularly necessary if you’re opening up a retail space; you must have permission to trade from the local government. Obtaining this permission can be a long, slow process; you neighbors will have a right to register their displeasure at your plans, and you will need to prove you are insured for business usage and public liability.


  • Learn your codes. You’re going to need permission for a material usage change for your home from three coding sections: Zoning, Business Ordinances, and Business Licensing. Hopefully, your initial call to your local authority will have directed your queries in the direction of these offices, but you are responsible for checking this has happened.

If all of the above sounds worrying, well, that’s because it should be. This road isn’t an easy one, and it will take time to ensure you are fully compliant with local requirements. However, there are plenty of steps you would need to take to register for any business premises, so don’t be unduly deterred by the list above– just focus on the paperwork and make sure everything is in order.


The Conversion Process: What Do You Need To Do?

When you’ve obtained all of the appropriate permissions, you now have to move into the conversion process itself. There are numerous areas you’re going to need to consider.


  • What rooms are you going to dedicate to the business? A common choice is to convert the ground level of your home and “live” on the second floor. This works well, but what about the kitchen? You may want to adapt your home, which will require consulting with an architect and building firm.
  • What about entrances and exits? Firstly, you will be required to provide adequate fire escapes as part of the process you undertake with your local authority. You need to make changes to ensure that all of your business visitors — be it suppliers making deliveries, customers arriving for appointments, or eager shoppers — are able to access your property comfortably. For supplier deliveries, you may need to consider extra wide safety gates to ensure trucks can enter your property boundary correctly to load and unload. For customers, you’re going to need to think about where they will park their vehicles; your neighbors will swiftly turn to anger if the street is blocked up by customer cars.
  • Which security changes do you need to make? Home security is always important, but this necessity moves up another gear when your home is also your business. You may want to consider installing extra CCTV systems, and if you have gates, you’re going to want some kind of intercom system installed.
  • What do you need to redecorate? If you’re converting a space in your home for business use, that space needs to stop looking like a home. You’re going to need to redecorate, install new furniture, and ensure you have adequate lighting. If you’re opening a retail space, you are pretty much going to be outfitting the entire selling area from scratch– so you need to have room for this in your budget.
  • What happens if you want to sell the house in the future? Unless you are lucky and find a buyer who wants a home/business premises combination, you might find that you struggle to set your home for the amount it would be worth if it was still just a home. This is an aspect you’re going to have to calculate into your future financial planning, so be aware of it.


One thing that’s important to remember is that the conversion process will not be rapid. You will need to manage the project efficiently, juggling multiple different issues at the same time, and ensure that you keep an eye on your costs, too. It’s hard work, which begs the question… is it worth it?

So Should You Convert Your Home For Business Usage?

The above sounds like an exhausting list of potential problems, issues you are going to face, and more red tape than you have ever dealt with before in your life. Is it worth going through all of that stress?

The answer is probably “yes”. If there’s a reason you don’t want to invest in commercial premises, then the home conversion is the next best thing. Not only are you able to control everything about the process — there’s no landlord whose preferences you have to take into account, for example — but you will also save a fortune on leasing fees in the long term.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you don’t mind the short-term hassle, then you may just find that converting your home into business premises is the right solution for your business.


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