Krista Wolfe

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3 Dangers hiding in the office & how to defeat them

Are you feeling worn down and drained from your time in the office? That daily grind does more than exhaust your mental resources. It may also subject you to serious physical strain or hazardous conditions that are made more dangerous by the fact that you don’t realize them. Here are some hidden dangers to watch out for in your office so that you can stay healthy and happy at that desk.

  1. Dangerous Desk Time

    Have you found sitting at your desk all day surprisingly strenuous? Though you don’t have to work up a sweat or strain your muscles at your job, your body is still suffering. Sitting for long periods of time slows the metabolism, and inactivity increases your risk for numerous health problems including:

    • Obesity
    • Cancer
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Osteoporosis

    To counter these effects, find ways to get moving more in the office. Take frequent walks, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and park at the back of the lot. Consider working at a standing desk for part of the day, or sitting on an exercise ball. There are also exercises that you can do at your desk, from leg lifts to arm stretches, that will get you moving.

    Make sure you’re getting lots of active time when you’re away from the office as well. After a long day of sitting, hit the gym, take the dog for a long walk, or go hiking instead of sitting in front of the TV. The more you move, the better you’ll feel.

  2. Poor Indoor Air Quality

    The air you breathe in the office isn’t always clean. Do you notice asthma, allergy, and other respiratory symptoms worsening at work? New furniture, carpet, and paint can off-gas dangerous polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) that build up in the body with regular exposure. One study found that a particular PFC known as fluorotelomer alcohol is three to five times higher in offices than in homes.

    If the environment isn’t properly cared for and mindfully maintained, you may also be exposed to excessive dust from dirty HVAC filters or mold and mildew from poorly ventilated areas that are always damp. Don’t ignore these problem areas. Speak to your office manager to make sure your air is getting the care and attention it needs.

  3. Unseen Fire Hazards

    Office spaces are often filled with fire hazards that no one thinks to address. At home, you know that you’re responsible for safety issues, but at work, everyone may assume that the issues belong to someone else. Some commonly overlooked problems include:

    • Frayed or damaged power cords
    • Blocked sprinkler heads
    • Poorly placed space heaters
    • Extension cords or power strips that are improperly used

    Do you know who’s responsible for inspecting and resolving these issued in your workplace? Find out so you can report fire hazards properly, making sure that these issues don’t get stuck in a memo loop that never reaches someone who can take action.


Though offices are safer than some other workplaces, they aren’t without their dangers. Stay on top of these issues to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy on the job.

What do you think? Let us know below in the comments!

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