Monday, February 26, 2007


Office Aches And Pains May Affect Younger Workers Most

According to a survey conducted by the stapler company, Swingline, 66 percent of American office workers suffer from physical injuries acquired on the job. Such injuries affect younger people in record numbers, due to the heroic sitzfleisch they endure in their efforts to move up the ladder. In fact, it is scarcely unusual for medical professionals to see patients with these maladies as young as 22. The main cause of these physical injuries is simply too many hours on the job. A third of American workers are putting in longer hours. 62 percent work more than 50 hours, 35 percent work more than 60 hours, and 10 percent work more than 80 hours a week. Such ridiculous work hours spent making repetitive motions while otherwise remaining almost completely immobile result in injuries that, according to a physical therapist with 23 years experience, are "one of the biggest problems I've encountered." Another therapist asserts, "The number of young people seeking treatment for these workplace injuries is huge." She adds, "Many are at the beginning or the peak of their career, so they're putting in long hours just sitting at their desks. From what I can see, senior citizens are actually more active than the average office worker."

Here are some common workplace injuries for the white collar crowd. I won't describe what they are, as their names are already quite self-descriptive. Nonetheless, I will pass on ways to avoid them.

1) BlackBerry Thumb - To avoid this, just don't overdo it. Give your thumb a rest at regular intervals.

2) Tech Neck - To avoid this, don't hunch over - sit up straight. A good massage helps though, once you are diagnosed.

3) Mouse Wrist - To avoid this, move the mouse closer to the keyboard, or beg for a more ergonomically correct model.

4) Cellphone Rash - To avoid this, clean your cellphone with alcohol or disinfectant on a regular basis. Can be treated by exfoliation or dermabrasion.

5) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - To avoid this, keep your keyboard at waist level. And, believe me, you will want to avoid this.

6) Computer Vision Syndrome - To avoid this, use a glare filter, take breaks from staring at the screen, and change your position regularly.

"A Pain In The Neck" from The New York Post

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