In this fast paced world and chaotic life there is no denying the fact how dependent we have made ourselves on technology. All the more, worrying is the fact that countless people are engaged in feeding the technological monster day in and out. Somewhere in between what got ignored is our overall wellness.
What Is Wellness?
In simple terms it means being healthy. To categorize it further it involves physical, mental, emotional and social state of a person. Any habit which contributes to health, peace and stability rightly attributes to wellness. In broader perspective if you are at peace with yourself you are healthy in a lot of ways.
What Does Being Healthy Mean?
Health is all about being active physically and mentally. The two most important factors which go hand in hand. Ignoring one can be disastrous for the other beyond imagination. It is as important to appear healthy as it is to feel it deep within. Therefore, it is rightly advised to maintain a balance between all the contributing factors.
The Wellness Trends
As evident, the growing trend of emotional dis-balance along with rising levels of anxiety in IT professionals has formed the basis of numerous studies conducted world wide in recent years. The expectations have sky rocketed many folds. As per Robert Walter’s Whitepaper alarming statistics stare us in the face.
- 56% of professionals think their employer doesn’t do enough to support health and well-being.
- 76% of professionals would value flexible work options as part of workplace wellness program.
- Workplace wellness is a $48 billion industry as per Global Wellness Institute studies.
- Alarmingly, as per the same Global Wellness Study, only 10% of the world’s workers have access to workplace wellness programs and services. Interestingly, majority is concentrated in North America and Europe.
The Information Technology sector is quite cruel in this regard. Every technocrat has a huge burden to carry. Constant up-gradations, work pressure, odd working hours and the pressure to deliver to name a few. The momentum can’t be broken for there are costs involved. The grim reality staring us in the face is of an unfit and unsatisfied work force.
Major Health Concerns Among IT Professionals
The dynamic culture of round the clock and rotation has been the biggest contributor in this regard. Over utilized resources and ill managed systems can be seen everywhere. Any level of stress can neither be good or productive, personally or professionally. Listed below are some prevalent physical ailments affecting a tech soldier.
- Thrombosis – In simple terms it is the formation of blood clots which may lead to strokes. It is highly advisable to maintain mobility all throughout the work hours. Frequent stretches, fetching water and loo breaks serve the purpose well.
- Heart Disease – Sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to this cause and is synonymous to being an IT professional. Work desk or the commute vehicle, situation remains the same. Utilize those breaks wisely for they count.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – It results from the major nerve in the wrist getting compressed due to constant physical stress. The situation is common in people working out (excessively) with weights and computers. I would personally advise each one of you to be extra cautious for the pain and discomfort is beyond expression. I have been a victim myself.
Also Read – Freaky Fingers
- Vitamin D Deficiency – Pretty common in people spending days and night indoors and disregarding one of the most important elements for life. The principles of an IT setup would never encourage you to live but to drag. So decide for yourself what your purpose in regards to life is. It is very important to fix our lifestyle and eating habits to supplement our bodily requirements appropriately.
- Anxiety, Stress and Depression – Managing crises and fighting disasters are routine for an IT professional. Add to it the lack of personal time and space due to extended work and commute hours leading to crazy mood swings and recurring stress. It is quite important to feel energetic both physically and mentally and connect with the most important aspects of life like family, self and surroundings. Do yourself a favor and push the reboot button for a change.
Also Read – The Art Of Reboot
- Physical Ailments – Lack of physical activity and static postures may lead to lower back pains and other concerns like spondylitis, neck sprains and eye strain. Hence, it becomes all the more important to be aware about the ergonomic practices at workplace to stay in the right physical shape.
Social And Emotional Strings
Often ignored and considered taboo or discomfort topics to talk about. But they carry as much weight as the physical aspects of wellness. An emotionally stable and socially content employee can do wonders for the organization. But the irony is quite contrasting not for one but various reasons.
- Pressure of lagging behind in the absence of appropriate technical upgrades which are never ending and ever demanding.
- Alienation amongst colleagues and lack of communication due to enforced politics and disparity in recognition.
- Zero margins for error and unjustified work pressure.
- Ignored respect for personal space and time in the form of untimely calls and support requests which translate to a sin if ignored.
- Suppressed thoughts and lack of freedom to voice concerns
The whole structure stands on a fragile foundation of compromises and sacrifices.
Simple And Inexpensive Remedies
- Start with setting expectations with yourself and your peers about your wellness.
- Respect your mind and body alike.
- Take frequent breaks at work and relax.
- Treat yourself with quality self and family time.
- Shake a leg and break a sweat.
- Spread on job wellness awareness.
- Smile for it’s effortless.
- Indulge in something creative to appreciate the beauty of life.
- Stop worrying and cribbing for you are much better than many.
- Practice yoga, ride a bicycle to work, play your favorite sport… stay focused and sharp.
Wellness Of The Employers
Any organization showing concern for its employees always gets the brownie points. Welfare and prosperity are decisive in helping them take their pick. Moreover, offering something expected can work both to attract as well as retain talent. A healthy workforce not only saves expenditure over health related absence but contributes to productivity. Balance and growth are the adhesives for a professional to stick around.
At the organizational level, planning and effective implementation of employee friendly policies need to be taken up. Support and discussion groups to motivate them to express themselves can do wonders. Healthy lifestyle habits should be included in the core culture of the organization to bring about overall wellness throughout.
Life is neither a race nor a war. If you can’t be motivated to be happy and sound, every piece of advice is a waste. You chose this profession and the baggage that comes along, but nobody can force you to lose control of your health and peace. Remember, needs are always few, it is the desires that don’t let us rest.
Till then keep SMILING and LIVE some more while you can, for there’ll be plenty of time to drag on!
Stay tuned for more interesting and thought-provoking posts 🙂 .