Absenteeism is one of the major costs of doing business. Now researchers at NEC-Mitsubishi say a major reason for this is “Irritable Desk Syndrome” (IDS): long working hours, cluttered desks and poor posture are making people sick. Other researchers have discovered that if you have too much stress after you get your flu shot, it may not work!

NEC says workers should take regular breaks and bring items to work that make their desks and cubicles more personal. When they interview 2,000 workers, 67% said they stayed at the desks longer now than they did two years ago, and 40% said they were too busy to clean up the clutter on their desks.

“Deskologist” Nigel Robertson says, “What most individuals fail to realize is that desk symptoms typically escalate very quickly, from persistent discomfort to chronic pain which can end a person’s career and reduce their quality of life in a wide range of ways. The two essentials for less stressful, more productive desk management are: don’t endure?act today, and do it yourself?don?t wait for someone else to fix it for you.”

Lee Bowman reports in Scripps Howard News Service that researcher Gregory Miller asked 83 college students to record their stress levels for two days before getting a flu shot, the day they got the shot and for 10 days afterward. Most of the students responded normally to the vaccine, but those with high stress levels had difficulty producing antibodies to one strain of the flu. Miller says, “At one month and four months, subjects in the high-stress group had significantly fewer antibodies compared with subjects in the medium- and low-stress groups.”

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