Staying Healthy Working in the Tech Industry: What You Need to Know

What is the Tech Industry?

The term “tech industry” is wide-ranging and includes a wide variety of different sectors, all the way from business to finance to web development. As well as software in the tech industry there’s also computing hardware and communication technical equipment, to name just a few. Still another sector of the tech industry is coding, which is the backbone behind software apps and almost everything internet related.

How far back does the history of technology go? The booming tech industry has been evolving since the invention of the two-element electron tube in 1904, with new developments and advancements happening all the time. In the 1990s, the Internet became widely available to everyone, with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at the forefront of innovative tech software and hardware.

These days, in 2019, the IT industry is still just as innovative, with tech start-ups raising funds every week, trying to get their foot in the door alongside some of the big names in tech, such as Apple, Microsoft, and IBM, as well as companies that are tech-driven, such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

With the tech industry thriving, the IT workforce is larger than it’s ever been. Here’s a closer look at the tech industry, including why it’s such a desirable job and career, some of the health issues linked to tech, and what you can do to stay healthy when working in IT.

Tech Industry vs Other Industries

The IT industry is one of the top growing industries, with major advancements being made every year. These advancements are revolutionizing the way other industries progress and drive the way we use technology in our everyday lives. Choosing a career in the tech industry offers not only diversity in technical skills and knowledge but also ensures that you’re never without a job. In the next few years, the demand for skilled workers in tech is expected to increase more than in any other industry.

Benefits of Working in the Tech Industry

One of the biggest reasons so many people, both men, and women, are choosing a career in the IT industry is the diversity of employment opportunities. No matter what your interests are, there’s a tech job that uses technical skills, such as telecommunications, software publishing, and call center support. Here are some of the other benefits of working in the tech industry:

  • Flexible Hours – Depending on what type of job you have, many jobs in tech have flexible hours, allowing employees to work the hours they want rather than the usual 9 to 5. This allows them to choose a work/life balance schedule that best suits their lifestyle.
  • Higher Salaries – Jobs in the tech industry come with higher salaries than traditional jobs.
  • Work Remotely – Many tech jobs allow people to work remotely without being tied to a desk. Working remotely comes with several benefits which include avoiding a daily commute and being able to work in a more relaxed atmosphere in your own home.
  • High Demand for Jobs – Jobs in IT are in high demand. With the continuing development of new technology, the demand for tech jobs will only increase.
  • Relaxed Atmosphere – The culture of tech is more relaxed than other industries, such as finance and healthcare.

Health Issues Linked to Working in the Tech Industry

Despite all the benefits, there are numerous health issues linked to working in the IT industry:

  • Eye Strain – Tech workers spend most, if not all their time, looking at computer devices. This can cause short-term vision problems and symptoms such as eye strain, redness and irritability, dry eyes, blurriness, and headaches.1
  • Lower Back Pain – Many IT workers spend many hours sitting in a chair in front of the computer. This can cause back aches and pains, particularly in the lower back. If not addressed, minor back pain can lead to chronic back pain.2
  • Neck Strain – Neck strain happens when IT workers are viewing monitors that aren’t properly adjusted. Monitors that are too high or too low can cause neck strain, sore muscles, and headaches.
  • Stress – Many people working in the IT industry put in 10-hour days. This can lead to a lot of stress, both healthy and unhealthy. When stress becomes chronic, it can cause other health problems, such as depression, sleep problems, and heart disease.3
  • Obesity – Weight problems and obesity are common in the IT industry. Workers spend too many hours sitting and often forget to get up and take breaks away from their desk. This can lead to weight gain.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Continuous movement of the wrists using the keyboard, mouse, and other computer devices can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include tingling and numbness in the hands and fingers as well as pain and stiffness in the wrists.4

Tips to Be Your Healthiest While Working a Tech Job

If you work in the tech industry, it’s imperative that you take measures to be as healthy as possible. Here are a few tips for being your healthiest when working in IT:

  • Make time for exercise – Schedule in time to exercise each day. Studies indicate that being active for at least 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression and anxiety.5
  • Get enough nutrients – Using supplements is an excellent way to make sure you are getting enough of your daily required nutrients. This can include a standard multi-vitamin, protein supplements, and even testosterone support for men (like HF Labs Delta Prime ).
  • Use a standing desk – If budget allows, consider using a standing desk, which can ease the stress on your back and promote good posture. Standing desks are adjustable and allow for switching between standing and sitting.
  • Take a daily walk – During breaks, take a walk around the block. Even a 10-minute walk gets you up and moving away from sitting at your desk. Not only are walks beneficial for exercise, but they can also help to reduce stress.6
  • Drink plenty of water – Staying hydrated throughout the day has many benefits for your overall health. Even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and moodiness.7
  • Get enough sleep – Whether you’re working long or short hours, getting enough sleep is imperative for your health. Lack of sleep puts you at risk for stress, depression, insomnia, and chronic health problems.
  • Use an exercise ball – Alternate between using a regular office chair and an exercise ball. Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to use your core muscles and strengthen different muscle groups.
  • Stretching – Every couple of hours, take a few minutes to stand up and stretch. Stretching is beneficial for both your body and mind by getting the oxygen flowing.
  • Eat breakfast – Don’t rush out the door without eating a healthy breakfast or taking it with you. Skipping breakfast can cause you to feel tired and unable to focus throughout the morning.
  • Don’t skip lunch – The tech industry is often fast-paced. It’s important to make the time for lunch so you can feed and nourish your body.
  • Skip fast and junk foods – Eat healthy meals so your body is getting the proper nutrition it needs for optimum health. Avoid grabbing fast food or junk food for a quick meal during the day – these foods are full of unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar that can have an adverse effect on your health.

Following these tips can boost your health when working in the tech industry.

References:

  1. Coles-Brennan, C. & Sulley, A. (2019). Management of digital eye strain. Clin Exp Optom. 102(1): 18-29. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29797453
  2. Shete, KM. & Suryawanshi, P. (2012). Management of low back pain in computer users: A multidisciplinary approach. J Craniovertebr Junction Spine. 3(1): 7-10. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23741122
  3. Stadin, M. & Nordin, M. (2016). Information and communication technology demands at work: the association with job strain, effort-reward imbalance and self-rated health in different socio-economic strata. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 89(7): 1049-1058. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5005402/
  4. Newington, L. & Harris, EC. (2016). CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME AND WORK. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 29(3): 440-453. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4759938/
  5. Warburton, DE. & Nicol, CW. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 174(6): 801-809. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402378/
  6. Matzer, F. & Nagele, E. (2018). Combining walking and relaxation for stress reduction-A randomized cross-over trial in healthy adults. Stress Health. 34(2): 266-277. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28840638
  7. Popkin, BM. & D’Anci, KE. (2010). Water, Hydration and Health. Nutr Rev. 68(8): 439-458. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

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