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Protect Yourself Against Workplace Injuries in the Office

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Most workplace injuries and accidents are dramatic - falls, motor vehicle accidents, shootings and explosions. However, office jobs can also result in injury - sometimes serious injury -- as a result of compromised workplace safety.

Here are some of the consequences of a seemingly safe office job that can reduce workplace safety:

  • Sitting all day can result in back problems and arthritis. It can also result in an increased risk of cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses, even if you work out regularly.
  • A treadmill desk - one that some think will help them avoid the consequences of an office job - can actually increase your risk of injury.
  • Office workers who skip breakfast are at greater risk for high blood pressure, being overweight and heart disease.
  • Fast food lunches - even infrequent meals -- increase your risk of heart disease; many office workers go out for lunch at least occasionally.
  • Motivational meetings can actually be depressing and have the opposite of the intended result.
  • Recirculated air in office buildings can make you sick. Known as "Sick Building Syndrome", this syndrome is the result of air that can be 100 times dirtier than outside air and jam-packed with germs, fungi and particulates.
  • Overexposure to printers and copiers can cause lung disease.
  • Staring at a screen all days hurts your vision.
  • Too much light can increase your blood pressure.
  • Boredom can cause heart disease and stroke, according to researchers at the University of London.
  • Dirty keyboards can harbour germs.
  • Too much typing and mousing can cause carpal tunnel syndrome if your keyboard is not correctly aligned.

Being aware of the potential for injury in your sedentary office job is the first step toward protecting yourself. It's also important that your employer provides a work environment that minimizes the dangers of being in an office for eight hours a day.

Source: Business Insider Australia, "21 Ways Your Office Job is Killing You," Jan. 7, 2014.