April 15, 2021
How Your Job Impacts Your Health
WRITTEN BY Shayna Dunitz

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” While this is a nice sentiment, I don’t think it’s completely accurate. No matter how much you love your work, sometimes it’s still…work. It’s hard and it’s frustrating and it might make you wonder why you chose it.

However, similar to fitness goals, if you’re connected to your why then you can push through the hard days and recognize that those tough days get you closer to where you want to be in life. Everything we do has an impact on our health, including our jobs. Today we’re going to discuss the ways that work affects health and how we can optimize this part of our life for optimal health.

  1. Stress: This one is pretty obvious. Often our work causes us stress and this can lead to poor health in a number of ways. When we’re stressed, we don’t make the best nutrition choices, don’t sleep as well, spend more time in a “fight or flight” state with an elevated heart rate, and more. Additionally, statistics indicate that Americans work longer hours, retire later and take fewer vacations than most other countries. As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, all of these factors affect our body composition as well as our overall well-being. They can lead to a variety of physical and mental health problems, including heart disease and depression.
  2. Conflicting Values: This is one that I personally experienced a couple of years ago. I was working at a job that I loved that required somewhat frequent travel. I really enjoyed getting to go to new places and perform the work we did, but it was difficult to maintain my training routine. This was okay at first; then it started to take a toll and I realized that I valued my health and fitness more than travel for the time being. This is what eventually led to me transitioning to my role at Central Athlete.
  3. Environment: The physical place we work can also have an impact on our health in different ways. Do you need to commute and spend a lot of time in the car? That never feels great for our bodies. Are you required to be in an office 40+ hours a week? That may not be how you do your best work and could lead to frustration. Do you work somewhere with an endless supply of snacks and junk food? It can be difficult to avoid the temptation day in and day out, which could lead to making poor food choices regularly.
  4. Culture: The culture at our job is always a crucial determinant in our overall mental and physical health. If your company pushes long work days, celebrates all wins with alcohol, provides feedback in a negative way, doesn’t create a supportive path for professional growth, etc., you’re certainly not going to feel your best. This can contribute to the stress discussed above and make day-to-day life difficult.

So what can be done if work is impacting your health in negative ways? There are a few options:

Everything we do, from work to relationships to hobbies, has an effect on our health. This is unavoidable and not inherently a bad thing, but it does require us to monitor our physical, mental, and emotional health regularly and perform an “audit” when things feel off to get at the root of the problem. Central Athlete’s holistic model of programming takes all of these factors into account and helps clients build a life that supports the sum total of their goals, both inside and outside of the gym. If you’re ready to make a change, schedule a free strategy session with one of our professional coaches below!

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