What Makes A Desk Job Stressful?

One of the biggest misconceptions about a desk job is that it is simple or easy. You may even be sitting there wondering what makes a desk job stressful when all you have to do is sit at a desk all day and focus on your work.

In reality, there’s a lot about a desk job that makes it stressful. From your mental health to physical well-being, a desk job can really do a number on you, particularly if you’ve worked in that job for several years. I was recently reading a Quora post on why office jobs are so stressful and it’s shocking the number of replies it got! I could have ticked a huge YES checkbox against everyone!

In this blog post, I’m going to outline just some of the things you should consider in what makes a desk job stressful, which may help you figure out if a desk job is right for you, or why someone in your life who works a desk job may seem so run down.

It’s hard to be active with a desk job

When you’re constantly stuck at your desk working, it can be really challenging to keep yourself active. That means that the fitness benefits you get from job where you are on your feet and moving around all day suddenly don’t apply and you’ll spend most of your day sedentary. In fact, you can spend 8 hours or more sitting.

Because of this, you’re likely to experience weight gain, muscle soreness, and cramping when working a desk job. So when considering what makes a desk job stressful, you have to consider the physical stress that sitting down all day can put on someone’s body.

I know. It doesn’t seem like sitting all day would be all that challenging but actually NOT moving your body for extended periods of time can cause serious discomfort.

Before starting my desk job weight loss journey, I would regularly experience back aches and pains and, well, considering the journey I’m on it’s obvious I gained a bunch of weight!

A desk job can be lonely

Before 2020, most desk jobs were in an office and you’d be able to regularly chat with your colleagues while you worked. If anything, it could have been one of the most sociable parts of your day.

But we all know what happened in 2020 and as a result of that, a lot of us who work desk jobs are now able to work from home.

This means we can spend our entire working day without speaking to anyone which is seriously, pretty damn lonely. Even if your job has offered you a hybrid role now that people are returning to the office, you’re likely to find fewer of your colleagues showing up at the office and you’ll still have days working from home when you won’t speak to anyone.

Staring at a computer screen all day is draining

It may seem easy to sit and work on a computer all day but believe me when I tell you that your eyes can get tired. Yep, if you’ve never experienced this then you just won’t get it but for those of you who have, staring at a computer screen is the number one culprit for tired eyes.

Since starting my desk job, I’ve actually started wearing glasses to try and overcome this. So basically, it’s made my eyes SO tired that they’ve decreased in quality and now I need glasses. Ha. Ha.

Desk jobs often come with last-minute deadlines

Because most desk jobs are computer-based, there’s an assumption that most tasks don’t take you very long. Even with your own colleagues and work peers, people just seem to “push” more when it comes to office-based work and last-minute deadlines are commonplace.

Not only that but as you’ve likely got a computer at home, even if you don’t work from home all of the time, you are technically available for your boss to ask you to “take 5 minutes to look at this” for them, no matter what time of day it is.

Unfortunately, since 2020, this expectation has only become bigger and bigger with office workers and there’s very little we can do about it if we want to keep our employee performance up.

It’s super hard to diet with a desk job

When you’re sitting for most of the day, you aren’t really burning a lot of calories. This means that if you want to lose weight then what you can eat in a day is extremely limited if you also need to stay within your target calorie goals.

The best way to combat this is to be more active at your desk, by incorporating a DIY treadmill desk, or taking exercise breaks whenever you can but if you can’t make these changes then you’ll find yourself very grumpy and hungry if you’re trying to diet with a desk job!

Not only will this impact your physical health because you’ll struggle to maintain a healthy weight but it can do a number on your mental health if you’re self-conscious about your weight.

And let’s not forget, if you do go into the office, there’s always one Karen bringing in “office treats” to mess with your diet. Screw you, Karen.

Co-worker relationships aren’t always fun

We’ve all had a work husband or wife before, or maybe you prefer the term “work bestie”. Whatever you want to call it, if you’ve worked in an office environment before, you’ll have had a colleague you’re super close with and it’s a truly special bond.

You get to see them most days, you can bond over lots of common ground as you work together and they’ll often become your go-to person because of how accessible they are to you most days.

Let’s flip that on its head and consider you are working with someone you don’t particularly like. Maybe you even hate them.

But due to the nature of your job, you’re regularly in meetings with them, having to liaise with them on projects or, even worse, they’re your manager so you have to report to them for all of your work.

Now, this doesn’t apply only to desk jobs, but it definitely contributes to what makes a desk job stressful.

How To Reduce Desk Job Stress

I want to leave you on a positive note. Although there are some things on this list you can’t control, there are some things that you can and by doing so, you will improve your working day.

If you’re looking to reduce desk job stress, here are some positive changes you can make to your working day:

  • Create a DIY treadmill desk to keep active while you work
  • Take regular mental health days when things feel overwhelming
  • Ensure you have healthy snacks on hand to stick to your diet
  • If you have a hybrid job, make the effort to go into the office as much as possible

Leave me any extra tips you have in the comments!

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