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Preventing headaches at work

Headaches at work are often the result of stress or bad posture. These tips will help you avoid this debilitating and painful condition.

Headaches are far from rare. According to the World Health Organization, 47% of the world's population suffered from a headache at least once last year. The commonest causes are stress, unsatisfactory work situations, poor air quality, noise, a lack of physical exercise and tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. Of course, it's possible to take painkillers, but there are also natural methods for easing the pain.

Regular meals
Reduced blood sugar levels can lead to headaches, so eat regularly throughout the day. To keep your insulin level constant, you should try to eat three main meals, plus two small snacks if you need them. Foods which are rich in magnesium (e.g. bananas) make an ideal between-meals snack and help calm frayed nerves.

Be sure to drink enough fluids. A lack of fluids leads to a drop in oxygen levels in the blood, which can result in headaches. Try to drink three litres of water over the course of the day. Sometimes a cup of coffee can help ease severe headache pain because caffeine stimulates the circulation and boosts the supply of oxygen to the brain.

Regular exercise
Try to take some exercise out of doors. This could include walking briskly or simply cycling to work. Three 30-minute workouts each week will help prevent headaches and keep you reasonably fit and healthy. It's also a good idea to deliberately interrupt your work for a few minutes from time to time. Take your eyes off the computer screen and allow them to relax.

Workplace ergonomics
Correctly adjusted office furniture helps prevent poor posture and the associated health issues. Suitable lighting can also reduce the risk of headaches and migraines.
Tip: If you are suffering from a severe headache, try the following relaxation exercise. You can easily do it at your workstation. Link your hands behind your head and press your head back against them. Hold this position for about a minute and then relax. Go here to find other exercises that you can do in the office.

See a doctor
If you experience headaches over a long period of time, it's a good idea to consult a doctor or other medical specialist.

Generous contributions towards preventive healthcare
SWICA rewards activities relating to fitness and prevention, such as exercise, nutrition and relaxation (e.g. fitness centres, nutritional advice, yoga) by offering generous contributions of up to CHF 800 per year. We look forward to giving you free no-obligation advice on our helpline 0800 80 90 80.