While working in an office environment might seem mundane, it is not entirely free of health hazards. You certainly won’t have to worry about falls from scaffolding or runaway forklifts, but more subtle and understated problems can (and often do) arise.
Office workers tend to spend long hours behind computer screens, repeatedly pointing, clicking, and typing. Repetitive motions like these can wear on the body, affecting nerves, muscles, and tendons. This eventually leads to chronic pain.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one common example of a nerve condition that develops due to repetitive motion. Carpal tunnel syndrome involves pain and weakness in areas such as the wrists or fingers.
Sitting improperly, straining the eyes while staring at the computer screen, or even writing for long periods of time can also eventually lead to health issues — especially when these habits take place over the span of a 40-hour work week.
So what can you do to prevent these issues?
Pay attention to the signals that your body is sending you, and remember to take regular breaks from the task at hand. For example, if you’re a typist, take a break every 45 minutes to work on a different task, such as sorting files. If there are no other tasks to handle, you should still take a quick break. Go to the bathroom, do some simple stretches, or simply walk around a bit.
Practice good posture when sitting and typing. If your workstation is uncomfortable in any way, mention the issue to your employer.
Aside from pain stemming from repetitive motion, office injuries can be caused by some of the same factors that lead to factory environment injuries. For example, some workers overexert themselves when trying to lift heavy boxes or slip on substances that were carelessly left on the floor.
Hurt at Work?
If you’re injured at work, it’s important to know your rights, as well as what steps to take to seek workers’ compensation. Office injuries can be subtle in nature, and so you might assume your case is relatively simple. However, there is often plenty of paperwork and deadlines standing between you and compensation for lost wages. Rely on an experienced lawyer to help you.