Health in the IT industry - Five Common Health Challenges

 


The job prospects of IT professionals may seem to be quite bright and prosperous.

However, the work life of software engineers isn't easy! In fact, IT engineers typically encounter some of these common job-related problems, such as long working hours, heavy workload, stressful work environment, bad posture, lack of exercise, and poor eating habits.

Collectively, each of these issues may result in various health concerns, for example, lower back pain, stress and anxiety, insomnia, and more.

In this context, this article will examine five common health issues for IT professionals and effective ways to alleviate such health concerns.

Lower Back Pain

Cause -- This is one of the most common health problems that IT professionals often encounter. The primary causes of this health concern include long, tiring, and stressful working hours & bad posture.

A vast majority of software engineers usually spend approximately 8 - 10 hours in front of a computer screen. This sitting posture can place huge stress on the joints, cartilage, and spinal cord.

Consequently, IT professionals often suffer from lower back pain. Please note, lower back pain needs to be treated on time. Or else, the continuous strain and stress on the ligaments will lead to chronic back pain and severely worsen the health condition.

Remedy -- According to physiotherapists, right posture (sit upright and avoid bending the back and head) must be adopted when seated at the desk for long hours. Also, simple exercises must be performed throughout the day to improve the blood circulation on the muscles.

Anxiety and Stress

Cause -- Due to the poor work-life balance, rigorous job pressure, and tight deadline, many IT engineers develop the health problems like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Remedy -- Maintaining a proper work-life balance is the key to avoid stress and anxiety. Also, simple exercises (like swimming, cycling, and running), yoga, meditation, and relaxation therapy

Insomnia

Cause -- Insomnia is another common health problem for IT engineers. Insomnia can be associated with sleeplessness, inability to sleep, and habitual sleeplessness etc. The fundamental causes of this health concern are odd working hours, depression, lack of exercise, anxiety and sitting in close proximity to a computer screen for many hours.

Remedy -- Software professionals are recommended to maintain a proper sleeping habit. They must ensure at least 7 - 8 hours of peaceful and uninterrupted sleep per night. If the condition worsens, they must consult with an experienced physician and undergo appropriate treatment.

Heart Disease

Causes -- Due to the nature of their job (i.e. long working hours, deadlines, pressure), IT professionals suffer from an increasing risk of potential heart diseases including stroke, heart blockage, high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, and excess body fat.

Remedy -- To avoid these health concerns, software engineers are recommended to indulge and follow a good exercise program. Plus, they must take a short break in every thirty minutes and opt for a brisk walk inside the office premises.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Cause -- Carpal tunnel syndrome leads to numbness and tingling in the hands. Due to restricted movements of the wrist joint, this condition gets developed where the median nerve which passes through the wrist gets abruptly compressed. Software engineering professionals suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome due to the repetitive tasks like uninterrupted typing.

Remedy -- As a remedy to this problem, software engineers should perform some simple wrist exercises like stretching and bending. These workouts not only release the tight tissues, but also they accelerate blood circulation and reduce pain, strain, and stiffness.

Additionally, while working on a personal computer, the keyboard needs to be placed in such a way so that the elbow forms a 90-degree angle with the table.

Health in the IT industry - Key Points to Note:

If you are working in the IT industry, then you're most likely to encounter some of the aforementioned health issues.

In such cases, do not forget to follow the remedial steps (that are explained above) and quickly alleviate the problems before they cause a more serious impact on your health.

For your reference, the key points are summarized below.

• Maintain a good work-life balance

• Follow a regular exercise regime

• Dedicate some time to practice yoga and meditation

• Maintain a healthy and nutritious eating habit

• Ensure 7 – 8 hours of interrupted sleeping

• Get moving – do not sit slouched at your desk for long

Mayfair, we care

Source : https://www.computerworld.com/article/2533251/it-careers/health-hazards-for-it-workers----how-that-desk-job-wears-your-body-down.html

Telemedicine - Is It Beneficial for the Seafarers?


 

What Is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine can be described as the remote delivery of healthcare service that includes both health assessments and consultations. The process allows the healthcare service providers to easily detect, diagnose, and treat a patient without any in-person visit.

In simple words, it can be further stated that telemedicine features the use of medical information that's exchanged to evaluate and improve a patient's health. As mentioned earlier, a patient doesn't need to come and visit a physician's chamber if he/she is receiving medicinal advice/consultation through telemedicine.

Advanced technology, for example, video conferencing and audio conferencing are primarily used for telemedicine. Considering the notable benefits of telemedicine (such as remote patient monitoring and better convenience), it's now being widely used among the seafarers and maritime professionals.

Please note, according to a recent research study report, around 98% of seafarers have admitted that the use of telemedicine can treat emergency medical conditions and even save lives. Especially, for those vessels that do not have an onboard medical supervisor, the benefits of telemedicine are absolutely unquestionable.

The Usage of Telemedicine – and the Benefits to Seafarers. 

In its early days, telemedicine was originally adopted for the soldiers and military professionals as well as in rural areas where the residents do not have a direct access to a nearby medical facility.

But the benefits of telemedicine to the seafaring community quickly became obvious.    Seafarers have a pretty hectic work schedule and due to the critical nature of their job, they encounter a myriad of health-related issues, starting from stress and depression to epidemic diseases and Musculoskeletal Disorder – please see our earlier blogs.

Each of these potential health concerns may turn into a permanent disability if they are not treated on time. For example, if an illness or injury occurs at sea, then the main concern becomes how the seafaring community will provide an adequate care? Or, how can they handle a critical medical emergency?

So, the underlying concern is -- how can the seafaring community receive the much-needed healthcare support when they are away from their homeland and traveling in a vessel? In such situations, the remote delivery of healthcare service using the telemedicine facility becomes the most convenient, viable, and appropriate solution.

Needless to mention, telemedicine is considered to be the most convenient way of receiving the healthcare assistance for the seafarers. It doesn't require to schedule a pre-appointment or in-person visit to a doctor's office. In fact, seafarers can receive top-quality healthcare service promptly and efficiently with the help of telemedicine.

An experienced and trained medical consultant will evaluate and assess their medical conditions via phone calls, video conferencing, or live chat and recommend/advise them the best-possible solution to cope up with the situation.

The Final Takeaway:

The increasing rate of potential chronic diseases among the seafaring community has become a major challenge. Telemedicine will provide seafarers a better and easier way to maintain control of their overall health. In addition to this, it's a valuable tool for receiving preventative healthcare support.

Mayfair, we care.

 

 

Seafarers and managing their health at sea


The experiences and prospects of someone working away at sea are considered to be adventurous, exciting, and lucrative. However, their job role is quite challenging and hectic too. That's why the seafaring community often encounters the various health problems that were the subject of a previous blog and which can seriously impact their physical and psychological health.

In order to avoid and or reduce such common health issues, we look at five effective measures that could be undertaken and practiced in order to ensure better welfare and well-being of the seafarers.

Work pressure needs to be balanced:

In many cases, it has been discovered that seafarers experience tremendous work pressure. Due to the long working hours, hectic work schedule, and minimal rest, they face various health issues, starting from stress and fatigue to deterioration of their physical health and well-being.

Work life balance at sea is key. Research studies and reports have already highlighted the growing levels of stress, distress, and fatigue among the seafaring community. That's why it's important to promote a positive work culture and behaviour.

By reducing the excessive work pressure and promoting a healthy work-life balance, the seafaring community will feel more motivated, relaxed, and focussed. Consequently, the instances of their common health issues reduce.

Knowledge is Power:

The master & senior crew should research and be aware of any outbreaks of illness, epidemic and pandemic diseases before docking in a specific port.

Due to the nature of their job, seafarers need to travel around the entire world and visit many international ports. That's why the seafaring community often gets exposed to various epidemic and pandemic diseases, for example, cholera, yellow fever, malaria, and tuberculosis etc.

Advance knowledge and awareness of a potential issue may help overcome this problem, but seafarers should also be medically checked and vaccinated prior to visiting the infected ports.

By using these preventive measures, the spread of infectious and contagious diseases can be avoided.

Quality of life for seafarers needs to be improved:

This is another effective measure that helps the wellness and well-being of the seafaring community. To improve the quality of life for seafarers, it's important to promote a healthy work-life balance. Apart from that, it should be further ensured that seafarers are offered enough rest and sleep.

To boost their morale, some fun, engaging, and interactive activities need to be arranged frequently. Such activities will make them feel more unified and motivated.

Self-awareness and personal health:

Self-awareness is vital when it comes to avoiding and handling health hazards. And, it's also not an exception for the seafaring community. Once onboarded, seafarers should be provided adequate training on the common health issues and how to tackle such situations in a timely manner.

Additionally, they should be encouraged to follow a proper fitness regime. Their fitness regime should include the necessity of practicing regular workouts and maintaining a healthy diet.

Needless to mention, self-awareness is a proven and meaningful way to avoid various health issues that are mostly faced by the seafarers.

Finally:

Seafarers should be encouraged to regularly visit a physician or medical supervisor so that a disease doesn't turn to a permanent disability

Certain health issues (especially Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Musculoskeletal Disorder, and CVD) may turn into a permanent disability if they are not treated on time.

That's why seafarers must be encouraged to regularly visit a physician for periodic health check-ups. In this way, a potential disease can be easily detected and treated so that it doesn't cause a long-term impediment or disability.

Mayfair, we care.

 

 

Common Health Issues of the Seafaring Community


 

Seafaring is considered to be one of the most strenuous of occupations. The seafaring community encounter a multitude of issues and challenges due to the critical nature of their job. In recent years, the spotlight has fallen on specific health issues among seafarers which have become a growing concern.

We examine some of the more common health issues that affect the seafaring community.

HAVS or Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Hand

Transmitted vibration or HAVS is one of the most common health hazards that's found among the seafarers.

Operating power tools, for example, needle guns, hand-held grinders and chipping machines generally cause this syndrome.

Prolonged exposure to power tools such as these may result in HAVS that can lead to a permanent disability if it's not treated properly and quickly. Some symptoms of HAVS include numbness, tingling of fingers, blanching, and acute pain in the wrist and arm and can be distressing for the individuals concerned.

CVD or Cardio Vascular Disease

Compared to the general population, CVD is commonly found among the seafaring community. The primary reason behind CVD is the hectic and often stressful workload of the seafarers.

Other influencing factors include poor diet, stress, and lack of exercise.

MSD or Musculoskeletal Disorder

Seafarers are reported to suffer from various disorders that are mostly related to the skeleton and muscular structure of their body. Their long working hours and round the clock schedules are the fundamental causes of MSD. If not treated properly, the musculoskeletal disorder may turn into a disability.

Cancer

Officers and crew members have a continuous exposure to various toxic substances, such as beryllium, lead, and cadmium.

Overexposure to these harmful substances leads to different types of cancers, for example, renal cancer, lungs cancer, lymphoma, and leukaemia.

Compared to the general public, the seafaring community is more susceptible to these deadly diseases.

Pandemic & Epidemic Diseases

Seafarers can often be worldwide travellers visiting numerous international ports. Whilst this can be exciting, it can also leave the seafarer exposed to dangerous epidemic and pandemic diseases. A recent, and high profile example is the Zika virus but other examples include malaria, cholera, tuberculosis, and yellow fever.

Not only are such illnesses distressing for the individual, if they become carriers who take such viruses home with them, the potential for spreading the problem to family and friends is high.

Mental Health Issues

(Hypertension, Stress, and Fatigue) Seafarers also suffer from various mental health-related issues that can seriously impact their psychological health.

Excessive stress, loneliness, smoking, fatigue, lack of physical activity, and consumption of alcohol are the primary causes of their mental health issues.

Summary

These are just 6 common health issues that are observed among the seafarers.

Each of these health problems may lead to potentially disastrous consequences if they are not treated in a timely manner. But, why do such health issues occur? Well, the underlying reasons behind such health problems are bad quality of sleep, extended work, lack of rest, long working hours, heat, vibration, noise, restricted movement, social exclusion, climate change, dehydration, and other factors.

To overcome these situations, the following five measures can be undertaken.

• Work pressure needs to be balanced.

• The master & crew should be informed about various epidemic and pandemic diseases before docking.

• Quality of life for seafarers needs to be improved.

• Seafarers should be trained about the common health issues for an increased self-awareness. • Seafarers should be encouraged to regularly visit a physician or medical supervisor so that a disease doesn't turn to a permanent disability.

We will examine these measures in more detail in our next blog.

Remember Mayfair, We care

Source: 

1. M. Oldenburg, H. Jensen, U. Latza, X. Baur, "Seafaring stressors aboard merchant and passenger ships", Int J Public Health, vol. 54, pp. 96-105, 2009.

2. A. Sliškovi?, Z. Penezi?, "Occupational stressors risks and health in the seafaring population", Review of Psychology, vol. 22, no. 1–2, pp. 29-39, 2015.care