Office syndrome is a combination of many diseases or conditions caused by environmental factors many experience in their work place every day. Misuse of muscle, staying is the same posture for a longer period with minimum movement and unhealthy office habits are the major causes of office syndrome. Office syndrome is a condition characterized by symptoms such as back pain, migraines, shoulder pain, numbness in fingers and arms, poor eyesight, dry eyes. For many people, this condition occurs very suddenly.
Office syndrome seems to be associated with certain types of working conditions or buildings. In most cases, it occurs in open plan offices such as those found in schools, museums and libraries. There have also been reports of individuals getting symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue and migraines at home – The Leading Physicians of The World
Who is affected by Office Syndrome?
Anyone can be affected by office syndrome. However, the condition mainly affects office workers who spend most of their time working in offices. If you are working in modern buildings with no opening windows, poor ventilation or poor air conditioning, you are at higher risk of getting office syndrome.
You are also at high risk of getting this syndrome if you work routinely in offices that involves display screen equipment. So, in case you use computers in your place of work or your workers use them, you should ensure that the offices are set up correctly and are in line with healthy and safety office regulations.
Women are at high chances of getting office syndrome compared to men of the same age. This happens since more women are involved in office work compared to men and in turn, fewer women are involved in physical exercises after leaving their place of work.
Risk factors of office syndrome
Much research has been conducted but researchers have not yet identified the cause of office syndrome. Many scientific experts believe that office syndrome is caused by a number of things.
Below are the possible risk factors that can lead to office syndrome:
- Low humidity
- Poor ventilation
- Airborne chemical pollutants such as those from printers, photocopiers, cleaning materials and furniture
- Change in temperature or high temperature the whole working day
- Physical risk factors such as electrostatic charges
- Airborne particles such as fungal spores, office dust and carpet fibers
- Improper usage of office equipment such as computers and tablets
- Psychological factors such as low staff morale, anxiety and stress
- Poor ventilation in offices when using chemical cleaning products and air fresheners
- Poor office conditions such as poor cleaning conditions
- Poor lighting which may cause stress when viewing display units.
Symptoms of Office Syndrome
Office syndrome is caused by a number of factors you should know. Below are the most common symptoms and their causes:
- Cardiovascular Diseases- gastrointestinal diseases are caused by frequent usage of caffeinated beverages, smoking, poor sleeping habits, stress or depression and poor nutrition.
- Obesity- This is a condition that is caused sedentary lifestyle, malnutrition or overweight.
- Gastrointestinal diseases– These diseases are caused by poor eating habits such as snacks eating and malnutrition.
- Hemorrhoids– Hemorrhoids and other types of inflammation can also cause office syndrome. These conditions are caused by prolonged sitting in one place or position.
- Respiratory diseases- These are diseases caused by colds and transmitted through the air. Air transmission of respiratory diseases occurs mainly in highly populated places and poorly ventilated houses.
- Dry eye syndrome- The causes of such symptoms are simple. They can occur due poor air conditioning and prolonged sitting in an office.
- Muscle and bone pain- This is the common ailment for office workers. Muscle and bone pain can occur due to prolonged stationary sitting.
Other symptoms of office syndrome include:
- Nausea or a feeling of sickness
- Migraines accompanied by dizziness
- Poor concentration in work place
- Chest tightness or breath shortness
- Back pain or aches
- Fatigue or extreme tiredness
- Runny nose
- Throat irritation
- Shoulder pain or aches
- Skin rashes or dry itchy skin
The symptoms of office syndrome can occur on their own or as a combination of many symptoms which may vary day to day. This means that people working in the same office may experience different symptoms. These symptoms improve with time after leaving office but they sometimes reappear when one resumes with his or her office work.
How can you prevent office syndrome?
Several measures can be used to prevent office syndrome. Such measures include:
- Stretching exercise- Stretching your muscles every day after leaving the office can help maintain muscle flexibility. This is one of the best measures one can use to prevent office syndrome. Stretching exercises can also help you avoid symptoms of office syndrome such as obesity
- Create healthy working conditions in offices such as:
- Opening of windows to allow better ventilation and also avoid too hot working conditions
- Going outside after a few hours of working to get fresh air. One can walk out during break time or lunch time
- Taking regular breaks of about 5-10 minutes for every hour in case you sit all day at your desk
- Organize and prioritize your office workload to help avoid stress
- Exercise regularly to help boost your energy and good poster while at work
- Eat healthy foods to avoid obesity and other conditions caused by your nutrition
- Avoid works that require muscle contraction for longer periods
- Create an ergonomically friendly condition for your working
Treatment of office syndrome
You can treat office syndrome by treating symptoms accompanying the condition. Some medications used to treat this condition include non-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen, aspirin and pain killers such as paracetamol.
Other treatment measures for this condition include physical therapy, rehabilitation and acupuncture therapy. Treatment of office syndrome involves finding the cause of the condition and then fixing it accordingly.
Although the above symptoms are not necessarily related to office syndrome, it is good to ensure that your office is a safe environment for better working. Keeping your house clean and in good order can also create a better environment for you to live.