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You sit at a desk during the workday, for most of the day. With your busy schedule, you don’t get up and move around much except for a few trips to the bathroom and to get your lunch. While this may sound like a low key day without any risk for physical injury, you may be surprised to find out that you can do a lot of damage to your body by having an office job.
A new Quarterly Data Report (QDR) from the Center for Construction Research and Training examines trends in work and non-work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), the soft-tissue injuries caused by exposure to repetitive or sudden motions, forces, and awkward positions. In 2017, the rate of employer-reported, work-related MSDs in construction was 31.2 cases per 10,000 FTEs, less than one-quarter of 1992's level.
Working in a manufacturing setting requires many people to perform the same task repeatedly every day. That can mean eight hours or more a day on your feet, as well as straining your back, hips, knees and hands.
For those who hope to retire from manufacturing jobs, repetitive-motion injuries — also called repetitive-stress injuries — could prove a bigger risk than a catastrophic workplace accident.
Using your phone on a regular basis is taking a toll on your body. Here are examples:
Smartphone pinky: Twitter users have been sharing photos of how their pinky fingers are bent, dented, and deformed thanks to too-big smartphones. Popular Science suggests these dents are temporary, but hand surgeon Rachael Rohde warns that these dents could be a sign of a different condition.
People who spend lots of time on their smartphones may be scrolling, tapping and swiping their way to carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful wrist and hand disorder.
A small study found a link between extended use of smartphones and other hand-held electronic devices and a greater likelihood for experiencing the telltale wrist and hand pain of the syndrome.
Office workers can develop damaged thumbs from texting and emailing on their phones.
Smartphones force your thumb to make repetitive, awkward movements. “We’re getting more thumb and wrist tendonitis,” says Karen Jacobs, an occupational therapist at Boston University and the founding editor of the interdisciplinary journal Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation. “It’s an issue we all have to be mindful of.”