Techies threatened by stress and thrombosis

Summary:Working in IT could be hazardous to your health

IT workers are the most stressed of all professionals, and are putting their lives at risk from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by sitting down all day, experts have warned.

Last week freelance computer programmer Chris Simmons told how he collapsed with DVT after an eight-hour shift at home.

Simmons, 42, has warned other desk-bound workers to get up and move around to cut the risk of DVT. "I was sat at my desk and suddenly I was hit with the most excruciating pain in my lower back, I collapsed at the desk with my head on the keyboard, the pain was just so severe," he told the BBC.

Thrombosis charity Lifeblood warned that while the risk of DVT to fit people is low, moving around more is the key to staying safe.

The charity said: "Immobility is really the key to the issue. DVT occurs most commonly in the veins of the legs, which can be caused when blood flow is restricted, such as by a chair digging into the back of the legs.

"Everyone who sits at a desk or computer terminal for long periods of time should get up from their desk on a regular basis, walk around and generally take a break."

Dr Beverley Hunt, medical director of Lifeblood, said in a statement: "You can help avoid getting DVT by clenching your calf muscles. It's helpful to stand up and stretch your legs often, and be careful not to get dehydrated, as this makes clotting more likely."

If this wasn't enough, separate research has shown that IT workers are also the most likely to suffer from stress.

The survey by online learning company SkillSoft, found that 97 percent of people working in IT find their life at work stressful on a daily basis.

Four out of five IT consultants feel stressed before they even enter the workplace, fearing another day juggling complaints, pressure from managers and daily targets. And one in four claims to have taken time off suffering with stress.

One IT consultant who took the survey said: "It is amazing the amount of time I spend teaching people where the on/off button is. And when I do actually find a technical problem to solve, I have my manager breathing down my neck wondering why I have a backlogue of complaints."

Topics: Networking

About

Steve Ranger is the UK editor-in-chief of ZDNet and TechRepublic, and has been writing about technology, business and culture for more than a decade. Previously he was the editor of silicon.com.

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