Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yep, Your Job Can Kill You

After reading an AFP story out of Australia, I can officially say that studies have proven that your job can kill you. A professor for the Medical Research Institute in Wellington observed that 1/3 of patients sent to the hospital for deep vein blood clots were office workers. It is believed that sitting at a desk for an extended period can lead to the formation of these clots that can eventually kill you (and to weight gain which can kill you too, but we’ll leave that for later).

I don’t want you to be frightened by these results, I’d rather you look upon this as an opportunity for change and improvement in your working conditions, as I have chosen to do. If we now have medical proof that your job can be harmful to your health, even if it is just one small study, don’t we owe it to ourselves to make things better? After all, everyone knows what we did to Big Tobacco and we knew that was killing us for years. Of course, each of us was not getting paid for smoking as we are for working so I realize there could be a little push back. Let me ask you this though, if you could choose how you wanted to die, would a blood clot caused by sitting at your office computer really be that high up there? Probably not as high as being killed by drowning when the huge aquarium window you are standing in front of shatters pouring thousands of gallons of seawater and sea life on you instantly. At least then, your surviving family could enjoy the lifetime Sea World passes given to them so they won’t sue.

I thought about taking my new work demands immediately to my coworkers and then my boss, but they were all busy doing real work today while I was plotting my strategy to avoid death from clotting. Heck, some of them did not get up from their desks for almost an hour, which is surely inviting ‘Desk Death.’ The only exception to that was Mr. Socially Oblivious who wouldn’t leave me alone. To give myself some breathing space I finally yelled, “leave me alone man, can’t you see that I’m trying to save your life?” This only agitated him and drew the curiosity of the rest of our staff. When I attempted to warn them that their work could kill them, I received only blank or dirty stares. Telling them that they would be sorry really didn’t help my cause either. Those fools!

Though it’s early in my plan, I want to share with you all certain tips and strategies we can try to help avoid getting a ‘Work Clot.’ I believe that each workday one member of the office should be assigned to the ‘The Whistle.’ It is ‘The Whistler’s’ duty to blow their whistle every 15 minutes. When everyone hears the sound (preferably a duck call but that can be decided my majority rule of the office), they have to get up, go outside and run or walk quickly around the building three times. See what I’m doing here? The mandatory ‘Clot Break’ can also be used as exercise thereby keeping us all a little more fit. While I am no doctor, I suppose there is also the chance that running will throw any existing clots all throughout your body, but as I said, I am not a doctor and therefore will choose to ignore that potentially harmful side effect of what I believe to be a great plan. This plan will work hand in hand with not sitting at our desks too long snacking on junk food (or whatever our coworker keeps baking and bringing into the office) and drinking sugary beverages while those nasty clots are forming. Since we will be up and moving quite often through the workday, we can change the ‘Clot Breaks’ up a bit. We can have short limbo contests, long distance jumping contests, sack races, leapfrog or maybe even completely inappropriate-get ready to call HR-Twister sessions. I know it sounds like recess, but it’s helping us stay alive people, and it’s fun as well. You can thank me later.

Next, rising desks should be installed like they have in call centers and dispatch facilities. The desks allow you to lift them up so that you can work while standing or sitting. I had explored using a combination of raising desks, laptops and either Lay-Z-Boy recliners or reclining beach chairs, but sadly, most cubicles are not big enough to accommodate this life saving measure. That’s OK though because having the option of standing and taking ‘Clot Breaks’ every 15 minutes should provide a decent enough start to combating the blood clots.

So there you have it. Yes, we finally have scientific proof that our jobs can kill us, but we have also found a solution. It has been pointed out to me that office productivity will decline sharply, but continued living is worth it. I’m sure the workday will be extended to 11 or so hours, but I’ll find a way out of that eventually. Whoa, I gotta go blow the duck call again. I think we’ll play Dodge Ball for this ‘Clot Break.’ Hopefully I won’t be picked last again…

Wonderful World Of Nothing Worthwhile’s Useless Trivia Of The Day: It was this day in 1781 that Sir William Hershel discovered Uranus. Well not yours…oh, forget it!

13 comments:

Odat said...

"Desk Death" "Clot Breaks" OMG...where do you come up with these???? But I do think you're providing good public service here. I'm going to cut and copy this post and distribute it tomorrow at work...Thanks for the laughs...Wait..let me stand for that....you deserve a standing ovation!
Peace

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Death by clotting... Lovely. And desks should also be adjustable so that when global warming causes major floods in the workplace, people can perch on them to avoid drowning. Unless, of course, the stress of near-drowning causes fatal blood clots, in which case we're all really screwed.

Michael C said...

Odat: Thanks, but unfortunately I was not able to turn this little known workplace threat into a day off. At least I tried. Hopefully your work mates don't mock you when you post it like mine did!!
;-)

Heartsinsanfrancisco: Sadly, I think everything causes either clots or global warming these days. The world is really getting scary ;-)

Josie said...

I have co-workers who already take 'clot breaks' every fifteen minutes. They get up from their desks, go outside and have a cigarette. I wonder what they're going to do for 'lung cancer' breaks.

Josie

Josie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

seriously michael i think every cubicle needs a recliner or lounge chair of some sort, it only seems right to me!

smiles, bee

Abigail S said...

OMG- My worst fear is that I'd be in an aquarium, the glass breaks, and I die by drowning or eaten by sharks! I'm terrified by aquariums. *shiver of fear*

And how is shouting at Mr. Socially Oblivious" helping you to become "Mr. Lay-Low"?

Awesome Mom said...

I am sad to be the one to point out that since you are on blood thinners you are not at risk for DVT. I promise not to tell your boss though.

CSL said...

I went to a continuing ed semniar about health and the speaker insisted we take a walking break mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I thought it was a great idea. She also did a realxaton exercise, but I fell asleep, so I relax a little too easily, I guess. Can you imagine how office setting would change if people actually did have clot breaks and the like? Silly name, but I still like it.

mist1 said...

What's a job?

you'dneverguess said...

I knew it! This is why I take the following measures at work:

1. Drink only water, no soda. Hydrate yourself throughout the day so you are prepared for heavy drinking at night.

2. Walk daily. I walk on my lunch which ranges from 30 minutes to an hour depending on my mood.

3. Get up frequently to appear busy. This way the boss doesn't suspect that I'm wasting my entire day doing nothing.

That's my strategy anyway. Great post!

Natalie said...

Clot breaks are a great idea. I think we need national attention on this STAT. It will be like the new 40hr work week.

Manikandan said...

Hi .nice blog.I need to find jobs .can anybody send links of that job websites....
Thank you.....