When you think about employees sustaining injuries at work, you may envision dangerous jobs. Maybe construction or farming comes to mind. In reality, millions of Americans are injured on the job each year – no matter what type of job they have.
This includes office workers. Even in a generally safe and comfortable office setting, certain injuries are prevalent:
- Lower back pain: About 80% of adults will suffer from chronic lower back pain at some point in their lives. In an office, this may be due to long periods of sitting. Back pain is the top cause of disability worldwide, accounting for approximately 26 million days of work lost each year.
- Falling: Falling is the most common office accident. Office workers are twice as likely to fall at work than non-office workers. Some common reasons for this include lose wires or cords, wet floors and unstable chairs.
- Sore eyes: When you focus on a screen for many hours each day, your eyes may start to strain, itch or burn. This can result in headaches and blurred vision. While these could be minor injuries at first, your sight could be impacted over time.
- Lifting injuries: It’s common to lift certain objects in an office: boxes of files, computer monitors and more. But if you lift these things improperly, you could hurt your neck, shoulders or back.
- Carpal tunnel: Overusing your wrists can result in carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). And when you work long hours – typing, using a mouse and more – then have to use your wrists for activities at home, you may be susceptible to CTS.
While these injuries are common, there are certain ways you can protect yourself. Here are a few key ways to prevent these injuries:
- Shift your chair position and desk height to alleviate back pain.
- Stretch your legs multiple times per day.
- Look for any loose objects before you walk.
- Walk slowly in wet or congested spaces.
- Take time each hour to close your eyes and give them a break from your screen.
- Lift objects by squatting with your back in a straight position.
- See a doctor immediately if you suspect CTS.
By being aware of these injuries and taking precautions, you may be able to save yourself from an office injury.