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What are the top 5 most common office injuries? Facts and Observations

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Repetitive strains, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, backaches, slips and falls, and eye strains are the top 5 most common office injuries

The office is indeed a place of sanctity but at times it can be the breeding ground of mishaps, ailments, and injuries. Probably because the push for revenue generation is so strong that both the employers and employees become indifferent towards physical and mental well-being. The indifference is aggravated by the need to outwit the competitors. We are not saying that work should be taken for granted. The idea is to have a compassionate eye for working professionals who have played a big role in the company’s success. Well, many injuries can be avoided by using a sit stand desk.

Significantly, office injuries stem from an unergonomic environment where there’s no element of care and comfort for employees. While many suffer from muscle tenderness and pain, others writhe with stiff necks and aching backs. It has also been observed that employees are forced to work in uncomfortable positions wherein the laptops and monitors are placed dangerously close to the eyes. Headaches and eye strains ensue in such conditions. That’s why ergonomic furniture, and sit stand desks in particular, have become so popular.

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Often, the cramped spaces in offices hamper smooth movement of employees. And this leads to slips and falls. Some tendons and ligaments, if torn in any mishap, take a long time to recover. Higher the delay, higher the immobility of the individual. This might even lead to unproductivity, and in extreme cases, cancellation of employment contracts. From the employer’s point of view, a high rate of injuries implies high medical bills. Therefore, the company would be forced to channelise a higher share of revenues towards medical claims. Instead, it’s better to invest in sit stand desks.

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Here are the top 5 most common office injuries

Repetitive Strain Injury

The name itself is quite suggestive of the injury. Repetitive Strain Injury (RPI) results from prolonged use of muscles at the workstation. RPI is an offshoot of poor office ergonomics and takes time to manifest. For example, employees working with a slouch for a long time might develop neck issues. On the other hand, standing and working without proper ergonomic arrangements might render the feet and ankles swollen and stiff. Unsafe lifting of merchandise causes many RPIs at retail outlets and warehouses. Paining shoulders is another plight with which working professionals have to contend with. These are some symptoms of RPI:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Throbbing
  • Dull ache
  • Degenerative changes
  • Tightness

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Prolonged usage of wrists in an uncomfortable working position leads to the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). In CTS, the Carpal Tunnel, which moves from the wrist to the forehand, gets compressed. The CTI is characterised by pain, numbness, tingling, and tightness in the forearms. CTS often strikes those employees who use unergonomic mouse for extended durations; and those who bend their wrists and forearms during other office tasks. If gone untreated, CTS can make one critically debilitated.

Backaches

One of the most common occupational hazards, backaches hardly spare any sedentary worker. They usually result from usage of chairs that do not have proper lumbar (lower back) support. Poor posture is also a major reason for backaches. A serious problem, it needs to be wriggled-out at the earliest if employee longevity is to be ensured.

Slips and Falls

There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip. But this proverb becomes very unpalatable if office employees slip and fall in offices. Slips and falls can be very devastating and can debilitate people for life. Unergonomic offices are the root cause of employees slipping at regular intervals.

Strain on the eyes

Eye strain occurs because of various reasons such as improper lighting, extended staring at the computer screen, and improper placement of the monitor. If gone unchecked, eye stain compounds into severe headaches, blurred vision, and fatigue. We don’t want the office to be a blinding scenario!

Conclusion

We have had a look into the 5 most common office injuries. And it’s the employers’ responsibility to safeguard their workforce. The only solution lies in office ergonomics. 

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