Bad health can affect us all from time to time and it can come with a cost. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can also affect our work and workplace. The strain bad health puts on your job can be devastating, although sometimes it happens slowly and is only noticeable when it is too late.

Bad health starts on the inside

The truth is, bad health starts on the inside. If you are unhappy with your job or relationships, if you are frustrated and angry or depressed and feel powerless, you will eventually fall prey to bad health. Of course, we all suffer from these feelings, but if we do not acknowledge them and do something about them, they will grow and manifest in an emotional explosion or physical disease.

Then we find that bad health is making our problems worse. We can’t go to work or get on with our lives, so we feel even more depressed, powerless, angry and frustrated.

Unhealthy habits

No one is a saint. We all have good and bad habits. It’s important to realize that allowing anger, disappointment or depression to grow is an unhealthy habit. It will affect not only your personal life but also your working life. It is every bit as unhealthy as being a couch potato and not getting any exercise. When we carry this extra ‘baggage’ with us to work, we become sluggish.

Whether the extra baggage is emotional or physical, it will mean we do our job slower, with less energy and less efficiently. It will mean we tire more easily and even give up on more difficult tasks completely. Furthermore, anger has close links to heart disease, which can literally be a killer. You can’t work at all if you’re dead!

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Why don’t we follow the advice?

Given all this information, why do we keep on doing what we’re doing? There are websites all over the place with good advice about bad health and its negative effects, but often we don’t listen. I believe this is because we simply don’t see how bad health affects our jobs, and therefore our lives.

We carry on eating foods that are bad for our hearts and we fester in emotions that are bad for our hearts, but we do nothing about it.

How bad health affects your work

I have already mentioned that bad health can make you feel sluggish and significantly affect the quality and quantity of your output. However, there are other effects too. Unhealthy habits can be catching. The work you do (or don’t do) will have a knock on effect. If your work is sloppy or slow, the person on the receiving end will become frustrated or angry. You have affected that person with their own ill health.

Unhealthy people in the workplace tend to create other unhealthy people, until the whole culture becomes unhealthy. Food is also an issue. If everyone is eating healthily, you will too. If everyone’s eating doughnuts all day, the same will apply.

Too much sick leave

It hardly needs to be mentioned that bad health means taking sick leave. Even the healthiest of us will catch the flu, or have an accident, and there is little we can do about that. Sick days are inevitable and occasional. However, if ill health is with you a lot, taking too much time off could mean you lose your job. Most employers sympathize to a point, but they need the job done and you can’t do the job if you’re never there.

Unhealthy working conditions

Of course, some of our health issues are linked to conditions at work. Perhaps we have a difficult relationship with the boss or one of our colleagues, and our frustration and anger stem from that. Or perhaps there isn’t enough time for a decent lunch break so we snack on junk food all day to keep going.

Some people work in hazardous conditions; they are exposed to dangerous chemicals or do hard labour that can lead to injuries. If you are in this situation, take precautions. Insurance will probably be important, but so will a bit of extra effort to keep your body and soul intact.

So what can you do?

Keep relationships sweet at work

Good relationships will benefit your personal life and your career. Always think the best of colleagues and superiors, and ask questions if you don’t understand something. If you do find yourself frustrated with someone, speak to them directly about what is bothering you and do this with respect. It will pay off. Most people want to clear up misunderstandings and get on with each other.

Take care of your health in work hours

Working hard at your job is healthy in itself. Putting your best effort in, whether it is with your mind or body, will benefit both. Always do your very best every day, and you will be healthy. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast and bring healthy food for lunch or snacks. Start a trend at your office, if it’s not what everyone is used to. You will bring a breath of fresh air into your workplace that will benefit everyone. And remember, it’s for a good cause. If your body works well, your work will be done well, and if your work is done well, your body will love you for it!

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If you know anyone who would benefit from the advice in this article, feel free to share!