What Are the Most Common Office Illnesses and Ailments?
What kind of workplace atmosphere do you work in? Is your current occupation your “dream” job?
More often than not, people aren’t content at their place of employment, but maybe you’re one of the lucky ones. You might work in the best office environment there is and have an outstanding team of employees that you work with.
But even if that job is perfect, you’re likely not aware of the germs your coworkers are spreading.
There are some common illnesses and conditions that all employees experience at one time or another in their jobs. Some of these include sicknesses like influenza, stomach flu, and allergies. Other conditions might be headaches and backaches.
These are some of the most common ailments that office workers may have to deal with at their job:
A bad case of the flu can spread like wildfire in an office setting. And once that happens, managers and bosses alike can expect a dip in productivity.
The virus is already extremely contagious, only made worse by circulated air and a packed office. While it can spread through person-to-person contact, indirect contact can also give someone the flu.
These germs lurk in the most obvious places. Doorknobs, faucets, computer equipment and countless other items could be harboring the virus. But, they also are in the least expected areas too and seek your interaction with them for their survival.
Many surfaces in your workplace harbor these germs; from your keyboard and telephone to your desk drawer handles to the top surface of your desk. You may want to keep disinfecting wipes on hand to decontaminate these surfaces regularly to further prevent getting sick. To help prevent a flu outbreak for the whole office, on-site flu clinics can offer the best protection.
The stomach flu is its the common name and what most people know it as, but your diagnosis will be Gastroenteritis.
Gastroenteritis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of your stomach and intestines. As with the flu, the stomach flu is highly contagious but it requires shared air to spread. Stomach flu can infect a person by breathing in tiny, contaminated particles, and touching infected surfaces. One of the best ways to avoid this illness is to wash your hands every time you go to the bathroom and enter and exit your building.
Allergies are also prevalent at work, especially during spring.
Once those allergies hit, a workers’ productivity can plummet. As many can attest, it’s hard to focus on work when that nasal congestion and fatigue is ailing you.
To aid your success at work and your seasonal allergies, keep the windows closed and turn on the HVAC system to help purify the air. The allergens become trapped in the system’s filters and helps keep them at bay.
Tension headaches affect all of us and are one of the most common conditions in the office. These headaches are usually caused by straining your eyes while in front of the computer for extended periods and can also be exacerbated by poor posture.
You may want to invest in a blue-light filter for your computer screen to reduce the strain on your eyes. Of course, you can take over-the-counter medicines to relieve headaches as well.
Your skeletal structure, including your muscles and tendons all help support your body. Sitting for long periods of time puts extra pressure on your hips and back.
Depending on how high your desk and chair are, you may be pushing your shoulders up and scrunching them without even realizing it. A desire to improve posture while at work has even driven the standing desk trend. If you can’t use a standing desk, occasional breaks and stretching throughout the workday can help.
There are other ailments and diseases that are in your office, but these are the most common. To help improve both your productivity and that of other office workers, it’s wise to take action to prevent these ailments.
If you’re looking for help to keep the office flu free this season, Passport Health can help! Give us a call at or fill out a contact form for more information.
Written for Passport Health by Sabrina Cortes. Sabrina is a freelance writer with a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgian Court University. She currently lives in the Smokey Mountains of western North Carolina.