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Healthy work practices integral to successful professional life

Olympia Shilpa Gerald
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‘Healthcare assessment packages by companies are on rise'

More awareness on part of HR personnel can give an impetus to healthcare.— File photo
More awareness on part of HR personnel can give an impetus to healthcare.— File photo

The old adage ‘health is wealth' carries greater import today as a stimulating work environment is crucial to productivity and performance of individuals and organisations. With people spending significant time in offices, industries and corporate corridors, healthy work practices are integral to professional success.

Accordance of priority to healthcare by industries has increased over the years with companies adopting comprehensive healthcare assessment packages, confirms, Sheridan, executive corporate relations, KMC Hospitals.

Awareness of cardiovascular problems and complaints such as diabetes and hypertension are reflected in the screening tests.

On the other hand, women employees are still unreceptive to taking pap smear or mammograms recommended for early detection of cervical and breast cancer respectively, adds Mr.Sheridan.

Colleges and schools despite acknowledging the importance of health assessment, seldom offer the benefits to staff citing financial and academic schedule constraints. More awareness on part of HR personnel can give an impetus to healthcare.

Ear and voice care

Neglecting ear and vocal chords may prove detrimental to those whose profession demands their maximum use such as teachers, BPO, and customer care personnel. “Vocal chords that are strained for six or eight hours at a stretch should be given maximum rest during after-work hours.

Neglect of voice may erode into one's profession as there are no initial signs of voice strain till the voice begins to crack,” explains Dr.Jawhar, ENT specialist, Dr.G.Viswanathan Specialty Hospital. Professionals who are expected to stay hooked to headphones should ensure they spend less time on mobile phones, I-phones, and bluetooth devices; away from work.

“Hearing loss problems are increasingly identified in younger patients who report 50 to 70 per cent hearing loss that cannot be recovered. Hearing loss is often unrealised in early stages as it is the higher frequencies greater than the speaking range of 500-4000 hertz that are affected first. Warning signals like block or sounds in the ear should be heeded.”

Dry eyes

Dry eyes and eye strain are increasingly common and top the list of complaints stemming from work habits, says Dr.Tanuja, Joseph Eye Hospital.

The former is often caused by direct exposure to air conditioning (directed onto the face) or airflow from fans while the latter results from excessive computer usage. Matte finish for walls that reflects light is preferable to gleaming coats of paint.

Excessively dim or bright light or light falling directly on the face can increase eye strain. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is a must to soothe weary eyes.

Orthopaedic complaints

Orthopaedic complaints arising at workplaces are a combination of travel and positioning problems according to V.R.Ravi, orthopaedic surgeon, ABC Hospital.

Those who travel for long distances on two-wheelers are susceptible to back pain. “Positioning of back and neck is vital for those holding sedentary jobs.

Chairs should be adjustable according to height, computers should be placed in such a way that there is no strain in bending forward, the elbow up to the wrist should rest on the table.”

Unhealthy snacking

People with sedentary jobs that call for little physical activity are highly prone to non-communicable diseases including vascular diseases says Ravindranath, co-convenor, healthcare panel, CII. Incorporating regular exercise is as important as avoiding prolonged sitting in a fixed position.

“People with desk jobs should make it a point to stretch out and exert calf muscles.” Unhealthy snacking in the office canteen is often the route to obesity. Companies should consider introducing healthy high—fibre snacking options to substitute junk food and deep-fried snacks.

Coverage of medical expenses for employees of lower pay scale is essential as most private insurance packages cover hospitalisation but exclude outpatient treatment, diagnostic procedures and medication which burns a hole in the pay packet of employees, says Dr.Jawahar.


  • Rest vocal chords during after-hours in professions requiring maximum use of voice

  • Dry eyes caused by direct exposure to air conditioning is common


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