Did you ever wonder if working as a medical virtual assistant will make you encounter any health hazards while on the job?
Turns out there may be some health issues related to the job – very dangerous ones at that.
The routines that are at the bottom of it all
The typical scenario of your work day as a virtual medical assistant will have to be sitting on your swivel chair behind your desk all day long. You make phone calls, reservations, appointments, reports, medical transcription, and a whole bunch of paperwork for the health care professional you work for.
The sweet clingy romance with your chair will only be disrupted by lunch breaks taken in the cafeteria with your workmates or the corner deli for some variation. This is if you are part of a firm that caters virtual assistant services. But, it will also be the case if you are a freelancer working from the comforts of your own home. You will take your breaks in the kitchen or more typical for those working at home – still on your chair munching on a bowl of anything edible. The amount of time you are apart from your chair will be equal to the amount of time it will take you to get your lunch.
In this case, you and that chair will have cultivated a very loyal relationship. You are probably so comfortable on it that you are most of the time slouched or slumped over it. This practice does not only make you develop a bad posture, it is really one of the main reasons why you will have some dangerous health issues in the long run.
The arising problems that follow your work habits
It can’t be avoided then that you will have different health problems that result from lack of movement for long periods of time. Less movement means fat is not burned properly and converted into energy. This in turn obstructs blood flow, making it sluggish as gravitational pull will cause a good amount of your blood pool on the region of your body with the lowest elevation. Not only will some parts of your body experience low blood supply; some would be poorly oxygenated. Oxygen as we know needs the blood to flow unobtrusively in order for it to reach other parts of the body, especially the brain.
A brain that does not receive enough blood and oxygen will less likely to work properly. In this case, your work will be greatly affected. How can you be creative and intuitive in handling your work if your brain is not working to its optimal capacity?
But, it’s not just those more obvious issues that can arise from your lack of movement from sitting too much. (Admittedly, this author is as guilty as the next person.) It turns out there are even more complicated and dangerous issues that you could pick up in the course of time. With the widespread germination of business process outsourcing opportunities like being a virtual medical assistant, these issues are gradually becoming more of a job hazard. In a distant future, these problems might potentially become the world’s most secretly diligent killers. Well, as Lifehack’s very enlightening infographic would lead you to believe, carpal tunnel syndrome is a walk-in-the-park kind of problem you encounter compared to the ones they enumerated with very plausible reasons.
What kind of problems, you might be wondering? Lifehack’s reporter Bonnie Berkowitz and graphic artist Patterson Clark compiled some facts on the hazards of prolonged sitting to human anatomy in a very descriptive infographic. But, they did balance the whole thing with some exercises recommended by experts on how to alleviate the side-effects of sitting to your health.
What can you do about them?
As a virtual medical assistant, it is paramount that you are able to take care of your own health, not only because it will help you keep your job. More importantly, it is also part of your responsibility. You indirectly help propagate health maintenance to others, so how will you be convincing or be an effective partner to your healthcare practitioner if you are sick? It defeats the purpose of the industry you are trying to uphold.
So, as early as now, you need to ask yourself: What different habits can I inject to my daily activities to avoid all the issues or to lessen the impact that the very routines instigated by my work can do to my health?
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