Common Office Injuries and How to Avoid Them

We seem to spend almost every waking hour at work, slogging away in order to pay bills, keep a roof over our heads and have a little fun now and again. It can be tough, especially in the winter when it’s dark when we get up and dark when we leave work, but it is a necessary part of life. Because we are at work for so much of our lives, staying safe in the workplace should be of paramount importance.

Different jobs will require different levels of safety precautions but accidents and injuries can occur in pretty much every job. Your employer has a legal obligation to keep you safe and while the vast majority will do just this, sometimes an accident or injury is simply unavoidable. It may not seem like there is much danger in an office workplace but injuries can still be sustained. So what are the most office injuries?

Overuse injuries

An overuse injury, such as repetitive  strain injury, is probably the most common you can sustain in an office environment. Like many office injuries, this is not something that will happen suddenly, but rather built up over time. Not only can this make them harder to notice at first, but can also mean that the injury will be harder to cure.

Repetitive strain injuries most commonly affect parts of the upper body, as this is what is used most when sitting at a desk. The hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders are the areas usually affected, with typing the most common cause. To prevent repetitive strain injuries, try to type lightly and take regular breaks where you don’t use your wrists and hands. It also helps to stretch and relax your arms to avoid injury.

Eyesight problems

Using a computer all day can have a serious effect on your eyes, as a lack of natural light combined with close proximity to a computer monitor can do some real damage. This can result in headaches, blurred vision and painful eyes. Problems are usually short-term, but they can still cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Issues are usually caused by a poorly set up work station, so there are steps you can take to prevent them.

Try to avoid natural light coming in from behind the monitor, as this will cause you to strain your eyes, and avoid sitting too close to the monitor. It also helps to place your monitor slightly below your eye line, and take time to look at objects in the distance to give your eyes a break.

Back problems

Another common problem that office workers experience is back problems caused by poor posture as a result of sitting at a desk all day. Like repetitive strain injuries, back problems are caused over a long period of time and can be difficult to cure.

If you think you are having problems, it’s a good idea to tell your employer as they will be able to make improvements to your work station. Having your work area set up ergonomically, such as using a suitable desk chair or using a foot rest will help prevent back problems. It’s also a good idea to take regular breaks, so your back isn’t in one position for too long.

If you have suffered an office related injury why not visit for some free advice.