The modern office seems like a relatively safe place — after all, you’re probably not dangling out of a 44th-floor window with a squeegee.
In fact, on any given workday, you encounter a number of health threats — think repetitive strain injury from using a mouse and anxiety from dealing with a tyrannical boss.
Below, Business Insider has rounded up all the surprising ways in which your office job might be slowly destroying your health.
Consider it an opportunity to swap some of your current work habits for better ones that will keep you happy and healthy.
Sitting all day could shave years off your life
Sitting for lengthy periods is terrible for your body. Aches and pains are the least of your problems — sitting too much can lead to an early death. You face a higher risk of musculoskeletal disorders, obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and more, even if you work out regularly.
Around 86% of American workers sit all day at work. If you’re one of them, your best plan of action is simply to move around for a few minutes every hour.
As Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin reported, one observational study found that participants who moved around for about two minutes every hour had about a 33% lower risk of dying three years later than those who sat the whole time.
Regularly slouching in your chair can lead to back pain and headaches
Take a look at your posture right now: Are you slouching — or sitting up nice and straight?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “when you slouch or stoop, your muscles and ligaments strain to keep you balanced — which can lead to back pain, headaches and other problems.” Yikes.
Business Insider’s Brodwin shared the best way to develop better posture at your desk, based on tips from the Cleveland Clinic:
“First, sit at the end of your chair (that’s right, don’t rely on your backrest). Let your body go into a slouching position.
“Now, try to sit up straight, accentuating the curve of your back as much as possible. Hold this position for a few seconds.
“Next, release the position a little bit — Cleveland specifies that you shouldn’t move more than about 10 degrees. This should be your sitting position!”
Using a treadmill desk may increase your chances of physically hurting yourself
A treadmill desk may help with the risk of obesity and heart disease — and at least for a while, they were pretty trendy. But a 2013 Wall Street Journal article reported the higher incidence of falls among those using treadmill desks and stability balls.
Besides, using a treadmill desk might not even make you more productive. 2015 research suggests that, at least when you first start using one, your cognitive performance may suffer, and you’re more likely to make typos.