There are many benefits to becoming an accountant, and this field has seen a recent boom in popularity. Companies and individuals will always need financial advice and recordkeeping capabilities, and the outlook of job growth for the accounting and auditing professions is strong.
However, there are disadvantages to a life spent crunching numbers. While the health risks accountants face might not be readily apparent, there are hidden dangers for these hardworking professionals. Consider the common health risks of accountants below and learn how to minimize these risks.
Accountants are largely sedentary; sitting hours upon hours craned over their desks—it’s no surprise that back problems arise, even for those just starting out in their career. If you’ve noticed your back is giving you trouble, it may be time to consider new furniture. Ergonomic chairs can make a huge difference for those that sit the day away. If you’re looking for ways to decrease the amount of time you spend sitting down, consider purchasing a standing desk that can take you from seated to standing in a matter of seconds.
Thanks to the sedentary aspects of accounting, those in this profession generally don’t move as much as they should, without making an effort to head to the gym after work or break up the work day with physical activity. Thanks to this inactivity, accountants may struggle with weight gain. In order to mitigate this risk, it’s important to make a commitment to becoming active. Whether that be joining a gym or purchasing a Fitbit in order to track your steps throughout the day, increased physical activity can help you begin to take the weight off. It’s also important to consider your diet; sitting at a desk all day can make it easy to snack away, but it’s important to avoid grabbing the nearest candy bar or bag of chips. Instead, chop up fresh produce at the beginning of the week, and stick to healthy snacks from a company like Graze.
There’s been a concerning rise in mental illness rates amongst accountants and those in related finance fields, and it’s not hard to understand why. With stressful deadlines, seemingly stagnant career paths, and poor work/life balance, many accountants struggle with depression and other mental illnesses. This isn’t specific to the industry, either; according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least one in five adults in the United States struggles with mental illness annually. It’s never been more important to address any mental or emotional struggles you may be facing, and determine ways to advent these illnesses.
There are ways to circumvent depression and other mental illnesses. For some, feelings of stagnancy in their position can lead to feelings of inadequacy, and lack of purpose. In these situations, individuals can improve their outlook by pursuing new endeavors. It could mean cultivating a hobby outside of the office, in a completely different discipline. It may also mean making advancements in your career path. Whether that be signing up to attend accounting seminars and network more, or purchasing CPA study materials to finally get started on the path towards becoming a Certified Public Accountant, having goals and determining ways to reach them can reinvigorate your career.
While mental illness is a rampant problem, there’s still stigma surrounding conversation about the topic. If you’re struggling with mental illness, however, it’s time to get help. Talk to family members and other trusted loved ones, and consider seeking professional help.
Many accountants, specifically those in the public sector, find that certain parts of the year are easy going while others see them burning the midnight oil five days a week. This is most often the case during the end of the year and throughout tax season, and this heavy workload can result in exhaustion. While there’s no particular way to lighten your responsibilities, there’s much to be said about taking time to yourself and paying to your physical and emotional wellbeing during these stressful weeks or months. Practice meditation to realign every morning; use an app like Headspace or read literature on the practice to get started.
Accounting as a field can be very rewarding, but the profession does come with its drawbacks. If you’re in accounting and struggle with any of these maladies, consider the ways you can alleviate any pain or illness with these essential tactics.