We don’t often associate the workplace as a danger place, but we could actually be causing a surprising amount of damage to ourselves, from the comfort of our desk or vehicle.
While workplace injuries largely vary based on the type of industry, office workers often share identical injuries across the board.
Falling down is the most common office injury, and often leads to the largest amount of physiological damage.
Office workers are between 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a disabling injury from falling than workers that don’t work in offices.
All it takes is a single slip and before you know it you’re flying towards the ground at the speed of gravity at an awkward angle. Ankles sprains, dislocated joints, herniated discs; you name it. The body is very strong, but it isn’t prepared to fully absorb the brunt of the impact during an awkward fall.
Some of the most common causes for falling in an office environment include:
The reason that office falls can be so dangerous is because we don’t expect them. Our body isn’t braced for impact, and when it all comes crashing down at once our risk of injury is very high.
Believe it or not, sitting is one of the most dangerous things we do every day. Health experts constantly compare the dangers of sitting to things as extreme as the dangers of smoking cigarettes.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can have negative effects on our health. Sitting too long can’t be balanced out by doing extra exercise when you’re done sitting.
Many studies have found that sitting for extended periods of time is connected to diabetes, hypertension, some types of cancer, and even a higher probability of an earlier death.
When you sit for a long time, you create a stress on your back, knees, and neck, while also preventing your blood from circulating efficiently.
Additionally, sitting for long periods of time contribute to the risk of having a weak back, tight lower back, and rigid hips. This means you’ll be at a higher risk for back injury and strain in the future.
If you think you’re sitting too much or for too long at a time, why not try using a standing desk? If not a standing desk, I’m recommending all my patients to take a stretch break every hour or so to keep their body nimble.
Many office worker injuries are the result of an awkward jerking motion while lifting only moderately heavy things. Whether it’s a stack of files or a computer monitor, your back could still get tweaked if you lift with poor form.
If you’re lifting something moderately heavy, try to lift with your legs in a squatting motion. The key is to engage those huge muscles in your legs, and merely use your back and upper body to help stabilise the weight if needed. Your back should be a in a straight position, and you should be picking up things with your entire hand.
The same goes for when you want to put something heavy down. Use your legs and keep your back straight.
If something is too heavy for you, don’t be shy. Ask for help from a coworker or a manager.
Most office areas are relatively insulated from loud noise areas, but that doesn’t mean office workers are completely out of the clear.
Whether it’s an eager sales rep blowing the celebratory air-horn, or even the type of headphones you use, your ears could be suffering permanent damage.
Hearing damage can be gradual or sudden. Gradual hearing damage can be prevented by taking precautions to protect your ears from consistent loud noises. Having a pair of earplugs with you is a simple way to keep your hearing safe.
There’s only so much preparing you can do for sudden, extremely loud noises, but just be aware of your environment and anticipate them as best you can.
Many workplace injuries office workers often happen in the parking lot. Most cars weigh around 1,350 kilograms, and it only takes a minor acceleration for one of these metal weapons to do some serious damage.
In the mornings, we’re often groggy and dragging our feet out of the car to get into the office for a morning cup of coffee. In the evenings, we’re tired and drained from the workday and dragging our feet back to our cars. It’s no surprise that many of these parking lot offenders are your same co-workers.
Automotive accidents still happen in the workplace, and it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings.
Cuts in the office range from annoying little paper cuts to lacerations that require medical attention. Whether you’re using a power saw or a paper trimmer, be as focused as you can.
Understand how to use the machine and wear the appropriate protection. If you don’t know how, don’t be shy to ask around.
Office workers who absentmindedly throw one foot in front of the other are likely to end up kicking into something that is going to kick back.
Depending on how fast you’re going, bumping into something could cause some substantial damage to your feet. If you’re not careful, that innocent little toe stub could throw off your equilibrium and lead to hours of rehabilitation.
There are several ways you can prevent walking into objects, and the majority of them are taking precaution such as looking before you walk, closing any hanging drawers, and reporting hazardous electrical cords and carpeting.
If you work in an office and you’ve had an injury or your body is not feeling it’s best, we have a special offer for you:
Book an initial consultation on a Saturday for 40% off your initial. Just complete this form and note ‘Saturday Office Workers Offer’ in the comments to redeem your discount.