Do office workers suffer from occupational diseases? - Riga Stradiņš University

Do office workers suffer from occupational diseases?

15:46, 10 May, 2016
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Lecturer of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and the researcher of RSU Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Jeļena Reste reminds that those employees spending hours in the office are at risk of occupational diseases, unless they observe work safety regulations and work regime. She mentions the most common occupational diseases faced by the office workers.

Not only those working in unhealthy environment are at risk of occupational diseases, office workers alike are endangered. “Most often people face health disorders if they fail to observe work safety requirements and work regime,” reminds RSU researcher Jeļena Reste.

Though, often work conditions within the office are not harmful and occupational diseases are reported rarely, still office workers may face various health disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. It affects people having a long-term and heavy load on their wrists and in case of intensive and repetitive work, such as sorting documents.

“Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition due to compression of the median nerve at the wrist.” Symptoms include tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, that starts gradually and typically during the night. “As time passes by, weak grip strength and difficulties to hold things may occur. If you experience tingling hands, do not ignore it and turn to your GP,” warns the occupational diseases specialist.

“A computer does no harm, unless you do not observe several conditions. Take a break, do some exercise and observe work regime.”

Office workers often face heavy workload and long-term stressful situations. The burnout syndrome is another disease that typically affects office workers. “Psycho-emotional overload affects psyche that eventually leads to various psycho-emotional disorders, even depression,” explains RSU lecturer.

For office workers to avoid overload-related occupational diseases, it is essential to observe the basic principles of ergonomics and arrange the office correctly. For example, adjust your computer screen and position it correctly, and try to avoid psycho-emotional overload as much as possible.


Rīga Stradiņš University, 16 Dzirciema Street, Rīga, LV-1007, Latvia, +371 67409261 (UTC +2), international@rsu.lv