Allergic to work? Possibly...

If stepping into your workplace literally makes you sick, these may be the causes.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

If stepping into your workplace literally makes you sick, these may be the causes.

My Reading Room
It’s Too Clean.

As a newbie, you may have been impressed by the spotless environs when you first stepped into the office. However, overzealous cleaning of the place could limit your exposure to a variety of microbes, possibly leading to skin and food allergies. It’s enough to keep things tidy, dust-free and clean, but perhaps using antibacterial products on every surface is taking things too far.

You Love Your Wet Wipes.

These are so ubiquitous, they almost seem like standard office supplies. Worsening the problem of having a sterile office, your obsession with wet wipes could also cause blistery skin rashes, shares findings from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The culprit seems to be a preservative known as MI, which is also used in laundry detergents and some beauty products. As companies ditch controversial preservatives such as parabens and formaldehyde, concentrations of MI has increased, and it turns out that’s not really a good thing.

Dust Mites Love Your Seat.

These proliferate indoors, especially in warm, humid and upholstered areas where they can feast on dead skin cells. Inhaling their waste and body parts often causes symptoms like sneezing, and itching or red eyes.

Getting rid of them is tricky, but not impossible. Using washable seat covers helps, and you might want to steam clean your chair periodically.

Your Office Is A Jungle.

Decorating the office with plants everywhere is a good idea in theory, but moist soil and stagnant water can encourage mould growth, which is bad news for those with respiratory allergies.

The Work Is Too Dull.

Recent research presented at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society connected boredom with increased intake of snacks. Those who took part in the study tended to prefer unhealthy, fatty and sugary foods, which the scientists explained as an attempt to lift their moods. Perhaps a quick stroll outside may be a better and healthier fix.

There’s Too Much Pressure.

Several studies have shown that anxiety and stress lower your immunity, prolong sickness and exacerbate allergy symptoms. If you find yourself routinely battling illness, it’s time to speak up. If you can, take some time to recuperate, and consult with your team on better ways to split tasks. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a race.


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