Whenever people hear about workers’ compensation, it’s not uncommon to think of those who do manual labor or have careers that keep them active. Federal workers’ comp is no different. But the truth is that not all jobs require workers to walk miles at a time or lift heavy objects. So, the question is, do you have to be a construction worker or an FBI agent to be able to get workers’ comp benefits for an injury?
In other words, can you get federal workers’ compensation benefits for an injury you get while working your desk job?
The short answer: yes. Any injury that you sustain as part of your duties as a federal employee is eligible for benefits. You just have to be able to show causation, file the right paperwork, and follow the rules for receiving your benefits.
Why Types of Injuries Are Common for Desk Workers?
But wait! Do federal employees who work at a desk even get injured? You might be surprised. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor’s office, and sitting for long stretches of time can wreak havoc on your spine and neck. And it’s not just your back that can be affected. Here are a few of the most common reasons for federal workers’ comp claims for desk jobs:
- Mouse shoulder
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Disk injuries
- Tennis elbow
- Lumbar sprains and strains
- Posterior cervical dorsal syndrome
Sitting at a desk and staring at a computer all day might seem like a pretty low-risk occupation, but all that sitting really adds up over time and can cause discomfort, pain, and life-long injuries.
How to Avoid an Injury from Sitting too Long
While your job might require you to sit at your desk and remain productive, you can avoid an injury with a few different strategies:
- Take Breaks – You can keep your body in good working order by leaving your chair every hour to an hour and a half. The human body wasn’t meant to sit in the same position for hours at a time, so getting up and taking a walk to the water cooler or going to the restroom periodically can be a lifesaver. If you feel any numbness or pain, try doing a few stretches before returning to your desk. Otherwise, you might be filing a federal workers’ comp claim.
- Optimize Your Workspace – Sitting for hours on end, while harmful, isn’t the only reason that so many desk workers have pain. It also depends on the way you are sitting for those hours. So many sitting work areas are not optimized for the person using them. Creating a space that works for you can be as simple as adjusting your chair to a height that allows you to keep your head level while working on the computer. You might even consider trying a standing desk for a while. When your workspace is misaligned, so are your joints and your spine, and if you have to sit and work for an extended period of time, just think of what that is doing to your body.
Get Treatment and Help with Filing Your Federal Workers’ Comp Claim
If you need help getting treatment or filing your workers’ compensation claim, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are experienced with federal workers’ comp claims and treat all federal employees.