This post brought to you by American Osteopathic Association. All opinions are 100% mine.
Have you ever been injured at work? What did you do about it? Did you go to the doctor or just suffer through it, assuming it was just the price you pay for having a job? I was injured at the job, and I still sometimes have some problems. I didn’t fall down or anything like that. I wrote code 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, and all that typing did a number on my wrists. I had a huge ganglion cyst on my right hand that caused limited movement in that wrist, but my left hand was the “bad” one. I had so much chronic pain in that wrist that I ended up having to wear a wrist brace 24 hours a day for nine months! Since I became a work-at-home mom, I don’t spend quite as much time at the keyboard, so my problems aren’t as bad now. I shudder to think what could have happened to my hands if I hadn’t gone to the doctor and gotten some help when it first happened. I might not be able to even work from home now if I hadn’t gotten help then.
I might have been able to get out of that wrist brace in less time if I had been able to quit writing code, but that was not an option. Sometimes you can’t avoid the activity that causes your pain and injury, but there are often things you can do to minimize the risks of your job and prevent or lessen the injury. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) created the above infographic about workplace injuries. Click the image, and you’ll be able to see that 2 in 3 office workers have experienced pain in the past six month that’s attributable to their jobs – most of them experiencing back pain from sitting more than 5 hours a day. Most of them can identify work habits that contribute to their pain, but they are too swamped to even consider getting up from their desk and walking over to a colleague’s desk if they needed to talk to them about work.
While they may be able to identify habits and practices that contribute to their pain, they may not know how to change things to improve their comfort and reduce their risk of injury. The AOA has launched a new phase of their Break Through Your Pain public education campaign to help office workers learn how to identify and correct the causes of their pain. Go to the Break Through Your Pain link to find tips that will help you learn to modify your workplace environment and habits to prevent injuries and to learn what to discuss with your doctor to treat your current injury and pain and prevent further injuries.
Most of your friends and co-workers could benefit from this information, too. Why don’t you help them out by sharing the above infographic with them through your Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest accounts? (Here’s a link to the infographic.) If you’ve been injured in the office, why don’t you tell us about it in the comments? Maybe your experiences can help another Gadgeteer reader.