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How Your Job Is Aging You

by Grace Sianna

As you age, your body changes and some of the cells in your body might start to die off without getting replenished. Other cells in your body start becoming more prone to damage, which can cause inflammation throughout your body. Chronic inflammation is responsible for many of the diseases and health concerns that are associated with the aging process, including cancer, dementia, arthritis, diabetes, impotence, infertility and obesity. Therefore, you definitely want to try and avoid engaging in unhealthy habits and many of these habits are things that you might be doing in the workplace.

Your sedentary day job might cause you to age faster than average.

Studies show that sitting for too long at work might be about as bad as smoking because prolonged lack of physical activity can result in serious inflammation. The human body is not built to be still and many of your muscles rely on various gravitational pulls in order to stay flexible, healthy, and free of any inflammation. Therefore, if you have to sit on chair and do nothing for at least six hours each day, then some studies show that your cancer risk increases by about ten percent. Life expectancy goes down a lot more from sitting too much if you are female, but male life expectancy may also go down by approximately seventeen percent.

Unfortunately, many people work for over eight hours of the day and much of that work often requires you to sit in meetings or in front of a computer. Even if you do get exercise for the remaining hours of the day, you still have to worry about all the health concerns associated with the sedentary lifestyle. Luckily, research shows that simply standing up to do a few stretches or simple exercises every thirty minutes has similar benefits as quitting smoking.

Lack of sunlight can lead to inflammation and related illnesses.

How Your Job Is Aging YouIf you stand up and do twenty jumping jacks every half an hour at work, you still have to worry about spending too much time at the office if it is causing you to sacrifice much of the time that you can be spending outside in the sun. Vitamin D is extremely important for your health and it helps a lot when it comes to preventing cell damage, inflammation, and aging. The easiest place to get vitamin D is from the sun because, when your skin comes in contact with sunlight, your skin cells start to synthesize vitamin D. Therefore, if you spend a lot of time working indoors, then you might want to consider getting some more time in the sun. If you have to work inside during all the hours of daylight, try to spend some time outside over the weekends or whenever you have any time off.

Luckily, you can still get vitamin D from the food you eat, even though research shows that the health benefits are definitely more pronounced if you get your vitamin D from spending more time in the sun. Dairy products and a few other types of animal products tend to have vitamin D. Spinach, soy, kale, and orange juice can also provide you with the necessary vitamin D intake.

Coffee cannot replace getting a goodnight’s sleep.

Sometimes, your work may be keeping you up all night or forcing you to get up in the early hours of the morning. It probably comes as no surprise that continuous lack of sleep can take its toll on your body. You need at least six or seven hours of sleep every night and, while coffee can help you stay energized if you do not get the required hours, nothing can truly replace too much lost sleep. Without sleep, many of your cells start to experience damage, which can lead to inflammation and even cancer. Additionally, your arteries will tend to get stiffer, which can eventually cause heart diseases and other age related conditions.

Sleep deprivation can also trigger and exacerbate any preexisting conditions that you might have, including mental health disorders, infections, dementia, obesity, and more. Therefore, if your work schedule is wrecking your sleep schedule, then you might want to find ways of getting some more sleep. Naps can definitely help, but you cannot rely on them too often. You really need multiple restorative sleep cycles to occur throughout the night in order to reap all the benefits that sleep can provide.

Job satisfaction is extremely important to your mental and physical health.

How Your Job Is Aging YouThere is a definite correlation between high life expectancy and high job satisfaction. Many lurking variables might be responsible for this correlation. For example, people who manage to follow their dreams tend to live in nicer and healthier neighborhoods. However, more and more research that controls for multiple variables is suggesting that, if you hate your job, then you are probably going to age fast. Much of this research indicates that mental health plays a much bigger role in life expectancy than previously believed. Chronic stress can seriously wreak havoc on your body from the hormones associated with stress.

Additionally, stress can lead to bad habits, including smoking, substance abuse, and overeating. Unfortunately, some reports indicate that nearly 20% of adults are, in some way, unhappy with their jobs. If possible, you might want to consider finding a job that you find more enjoyable. Of course, changing career paths is not always easy, but there are ways to make the jobs that you do have a little bit more pleasant. These methods include taking lunch breaks with your favorite coworkers and doing exercises whenever you do not have to be 100% focused on your work.

Whether you love or hate your job, some of the habits that you might be engaging in to keep up with your work are probably somewhat detrimental your health. You need to stay active, happy, and energized in order to avoid any of the health conditions that might age you. It might be difficult to find the perfect balance between working hard and staying healthy. However, it is still clear that, while making a living is definitely important for your mental and physical health, you still need to make sure that working does not come at too much of a cost.

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