A country where women are working to earn money is a sign of growth and development. India includes women working in diverse sectors, categorically under-organized and unorganized. Different work cultures and different work environments pose varied health problems.
A woman has many sides when it comes to managing work and life. The race against time and juggling between different work can result in poor physical and mental health.
Health risks from work affect a woman differently than a man. Also, there is a different way society treats a working man and a working woman. Hence, women are differently affected by their place of work.
Some facts about working women
According to the article published in The Hindu –
- Women between the age of 32 -58 are mostly affected by health problems
- A major percent of women suffered from lifestyle health problems or chronic and acute conditions
- Most women do not seek medical help
Ways how work can affect health in working women-
- Work sector and type of work
- Responsibility for work and home
- Different job roles when compared to men
How can work profile affects a woman’s health
- Women working in the unorganized sector
Women working in the unorganized sector such as agriculture and construction are mostly married and illiterate. No proper work time and illiteracy amongst the women workers lead to mental health problems. women working in the unorganized sector commonly complain of tiredness, weight loss, knee pain, back pain, pain in joints, skin problems, etc.
Those working in the agriculture sector may get exposed to harmful chemicals and pesticides. This puts the women at risk of muscle problems, respiratory conditions, and other injuries. Also, it affects the development of a baby of a pregnant woman.
- Women working in the organized sector
The late working hours, shift work, and continuous desk job commonly causes carpal tunnel syndrome, anxiety, stress, etc.
Common health problems in working women
Women going out for work fall under the reproductive age group. The stress and anxiety at the workplace can affect a woman’s fertility and may also cause exposure to harmful substances, and chemicals that can harm the development of a baby. Poor lavatory hygiene can be a birthplace of UTIs (urinary tract infections) which affects the reproductive health of an individual.
Work profiles that require exposure to hazardous substances can cause cancer especially cervical and breast cancer in women.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
The problem affects the hand of a person. The continuous movement of hands has a damaging effect on the nerves and muscles of hands and fingers. The long hours spent on the system that requires continuous hand movement causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
Lower back pain
The long sitting hours cause lower back pain. It is one of the most common health problems in working women. Apart from the sedentary position, the wrong sitting posture contributes to low back pain.
Infection (bacterial or viral)
Your workplace is also a place for the growth of viruses and bacteria. The habit of eating food on your desk enhances bacterial growth. This can affect a woman who is pregnant.
With a hectic work schedule, office snacks, junk foods, stress, etc are the contributing factors to weight gain. Excess weight is an open gateway for various health issues.
The long working hours and less time for physical activities expose one to cardiovascular health problems. It causes stress, sleep problem, and other factors that put a load on the heart.
The health concern of women at work needs to be addressed for the betterment of society and business. Hence it is essential to take all possible steps to ensure the health and safe of women employees.