Office workers may not realize that minor routine office actions add up, but according to one recent study two-thirds of U.S. office workers (66 percent) said they experience some physical problems as a result of job-related stress or exertion.

The second installment of Swingline Office Outlook, a series of surveys that track trends and current issues in the workplace, was recently conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the Swingline Workspace Tools group, Lincolnshire, Ill. The survey examined what U.S. office workers would do in their free time if their job required less effort and what physical problems have occurred due to job-related stress and exertion.

The results showed a number of workers experiencing minor pains from work stress:
  • 40 percent of office workers have experienced fatigue as a result of job-related stress or exertion
  • 35 percent have had stress-related headaches
  • 27 percent have gotten back pain, while 26 percent have felt neck strain
  • 18 percent reported repetitive motion injuries (i.e. wrist sprain, hand cramp, etc.) as a result of at-work stress
  • Other listed physical ailments included stomach discomfort (17 percent) and vision problems (15 percent)
  • Only about one in three office workers (34 percent) said they had not experienced any physical problems due to job-related stress or exertion

Heading the list of causes for office stresses were other people. Asked which aspects of their job they would choose to alter because they require excessive effort, 43 percent of workers cited dealing with office politics. Dealing with problem clients came in second place, with 25 percent, and handling a difficult boss or client was third, with 21 percent of office workers wishing to alter that aspect of their job.