Many jobs are risky, or dangerous if you will, but few match the perils of being a desk jockey.
The biggest risk that faces our current generation is that of inactivity. Sitting kills, typing causes hunched shoulders, driving takes up most of our “active” time, and after all of that, we go home and watch TV to “take a break”.
Worse yet, the risks of injury faced in inactive jobs is invisible. If you were working on a construction yard, and you forgot your steel-toed boots, you would SURE AS HELL notice when a nail got lodged in your foot. You would yell, and the mandatory first-aid officer would assess your injury and give appropriate recommendations. You would rush to the emergency room, you would get treatment, you would file for worker’s comp, and you would take adequate time off work to recover.
Contrast this with a typical desk-job injury. You’re hunched over your desk typing, your hands are feeling a little bit arthritic, your shoulders aches, and you have a dull ache in your back. You decide to stand up and walk to the bathroom for a break, and you immediately notice that your leg fell asleep from sitting too long. Once you’ve shaken your feet back to life, you make your way to the bathroom, your knee pops a little, and you might even feel winded from the short walk. But do we take time of work, seek professional and medical assistance? Do we have ANYONE on staff prepared to assess and treat these very obvious injuries?
Now, compared to a nail in the foot, all of these injuries seem minor; and they would be if they were treated correctly, and measures were put in place to prevent them. But unlike the case in a manual labour position, where we’d consider injury to be something avoided with protective gear, training, and (because accidents still happen) on-site medical treatment; desk-work employees are expected to ignore the pain, take some Advil if the arthritis gets too bad and maybe go to Ikea to get a cushion so they don’t NOTICE their back pain as much.
We've made a culture of IGNORING OUR BODY'S NATURAL WARNING MECHANISM'S
Life was not meant to be lived in pain. People are NOT this fragile.
Life was meant to be lived until there was some accident or disease that took us. People used to live well into their old age continuing to do the things that were necessary to live (like walking, hunting, lifting things).
Sure, accidents happen, but in a typical desk job, accidents aren’t the problem. The real problem is the INTENTIONAL injuries. The idea that we need to keep people in a chair, for a certain amount of time, or else we won’t get enough done.
As a society – as employees and employers – we need to make looking after our health our primary focus. Because if the ONLY thing you are healthy enough to do is your job, then you don’t really have a life.