Working mothers are often regarded as those superhumans who can lift the entire world upon their shoulders. From raising children and taking care of the family to carrying out professional duties and obligations, working moms juggle professional and domestic responsibilities while racing against time. Unfortunately, this round-the-clock do-it-all lifestyle takes a toll on their health. As per a survey conducted by ASSOCHAM, 75% of working women suffer from one health problem or another.
It is not hard to imagine the grim reality of women in a country like ours where the major onus of domestic responsibilities falls on the shoulders of women, whether working or not. Constant stress, poor diet, long sitting hours and practically non-existent work-life balance are the primary causes of most of working moms’ health issues. On top of all that, the chronic neglect of self-care and health ends up worsening the matters for working mothers. Let us take a look at some of the,
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Most Prevalent Health Conditions Affecting Working Moms
Stress & Anxiety
Most working mothers end up working round-the-clock and feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Longer working hours, rigid schedules and strict deadlines tend to cause chronic fatigue and mental stress. The constant pressure to fulfil professional and domestic duties leads to high levels of stress, anxiety and burnout in working moms. Additionally, the guilt of not devoting enough time to her children can also cause a working mother to feel depressed. Factors such as lack of sleep, nutrition and exercise can also cause depression among working mothers.
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Women struggling with constant stress and anxiety are also prone to cardiovascular diseases. Because of their sedentary lifestyle, working moms, even as young as 35 years, find themselves at the risk of suffering cardiovascular ailments. Poor eating habits, regularly skipping meals, leading a stressful life and lack of physical activities can lead to heart problems like high cholesterol and hypertension. Moreover, excessive workload and constant pressure from superiors and colleagues can cause stress, high blood pressure and other heart-related disorders.
There is no denying that working moms are breaking the glass ceiling at work, but in this process, they end up breaking their backs as well. Sitting glued to their chairs in front of a screen without breaks restricts body movement. When at home, working mothers end up looking after their children and family without taking any time to rest. As a result, many working moms complain of constant pain in their lower backs. It is mainly caused due to prolonged sitting hours, poor posture and excessive weight.
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Twice as prevalent in women as in men, thyroid disease is a common health condition affecting working mothers. Due to hormonal changes in the body during and after pregnancy and menopause, many working moms end up falling victim to thyroid disease. Most women have hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels), wherein the metabolism slows down, and women tend to gain excessive weight. Most common symptoms include fatigue and weakness, anxiety, unexplained weight gain or loss, menstrual irregularities and pigmentation around the neck.
Vitamin & Nutritional Deficiencies
A working mother’s diet often ends up bearing the brunt of her poor eating habits like erratic eating schedule, poor meal selection or skipping meals altogether. Since they often rush to their workplaces in the morning, they don’t find enough time to prepare wholesome meals. Similarly, fatigue and exhaustion prevent them from cooking or consuming a healthy meal once they reach home. The only options they are left with are quick meals, junk and unhealthy foods without any nutrients or vitamins. Consequently, most of the working mothers suffer from one or more nutritional or vitamin deficiencies.
Working mothers spend most of their time in selfless acts like attending to their children, taking care of their family and meeting professional expectations. In the midst of it all, they do not realise that unless they are healthy, they cannot continue looking after everyone else. It is essential that every working mother must listen to the needs of her body. Routine health check-ups, a healthy diet, regular exercises, frequent physical movements, timely breaks and adequate rest can keep most of the above health ailments at bay. At the end of the day, no man is an island. Keeping this in mind, working mothers should not hesitate to ask for help and involve their partners and families in sharing some of their workload.
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