Most on-the-job-injuries and accidents are caused by overexertion

Do you push yourself to the point that you don’t even think about your success? Or what you’re already working on? The problem that almost all of us suffer from is that we want to be praised for our efforts, achievements, and skills, so we work tirelessly day after day - with little regard for rest, self-care, or work-life balance. At some point, you lost your way. Rushing seems to be the norm, even if there’s no real reason. Ask yourself,” What’s (all) the hurry? What am I really working towards?” to connect to your deeper “why.” 

People everywhere have to put up with the hustle culture, which advances the idea that there's always more to strive for, whether it’s money or a big promotion, and that working long hours leads to better results. The fact is, it’s often to the detriment of other facets of life. The burnout culture, as it’s often called, leads to serious health problems, meaning that going above and beyond your usual effort does more harm than good, so break free from this toxic cycle. Overexerting yourself on purpose – and boasting about doing so – can have surprising impacts on mental and physical health, so make time for something other than work or productive activities. 

No pain, no gain has its limits – disregarding the signals from your body is dangerous 

Yes, you’ve heard it before, either from your gym instructor or at work: No pain, no game. Used since the 1980s, this catchphrase promises better rewards for the price of hard and painful work, but the fatigue isn’t as beneficial as you may think, so break up with burnout and reclaim your peace. Shifting into high gear to work intensely or for long hours can lead to injury, illness, and exhaustion. Pain is a warning signal that tells you something’s gone wrong in your body, so the best thing to do is to back off…for instance, don’t lift with an injured hand. 

If you think along the lines of “achievements require some sort of sacrifice”, you’re tempted to push yourself every time, so you need to make changes to better take care of yourself so you can stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well. Working hard is important and you can’t expect to see a change if you don’t make one – but then, the relationship between the hours worked and productivity is non-linear. In other words, things don’t develop/progress smoothly from one point to another. The biggest mistake you can make is to treat hustle and overexertion as a badge of honour instead of prioritising health (and family, of course). 

Other than pain and fatigue, an overuse injury indicates you’re being too hard on yourself and setting impossibly high standards. As the name clearly suggests, an overuse injury is a consequence of using the same parts of the body again and again; it usually begins with a slight discomfort that, left untreated, progresses to pain. Examples include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Stress fractures
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

The most widespread forms of injury are in the back, shoulders, and knees. Please be mindful that it can happen at work or at home, so pay close attention to how you’re moving your body. 

Injuries from overexertion can happen in many ways in the workplace 

Overexertion injuries are surprisingly common in the service industry and trade industries, not to mention transportation and utilities. Giving extra effort, particularly in a way that exceeds expectations, leaves you drained, so you’re prone to making errors and mistakes, which increases the likelihood of accidents. Overexertion poses a risk to employees, no matter their roles, and more serious incidents can have a long-term physical and emotional impact. Employers are often a contributing cause of workplace accidents, so they can be held accountable, which is why you must figure out if pursuing compensation is a viable option for you

Without further ado, here’s how overexertion happens: 

  • Slouching, slumping, and other types of poor posture: Poor posture from sitting in an office chair, staring at the computer, or cradling a cell phone can lead to back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, and potbelly.  
  • Working in an inappropriate place: Being productive means having enough space to work quietly. You can’t move forward if you don’t have room to do your job, as you can severely injure yourself. 
  • Carrying weight until you’re passed out: At times, the load you carry can be too heavy. You don’t expect things to go wrong, but they do, and when that happens, you risk pain and injuries to your arms, legs, and joints. 
  • Using worn-out tools: Worn tools are still usable, but you may need to use more force. A wrench that’s warped, rusted, or sprung can break or slip and cause cuts, abrasions, and amputations. 

If you feel overwhelmed from work, see if you can delegate tasks and responsibilities to others, schedule a vacation or a long weekend (it’s not far fetched), and reach out to a mental health professional. 

Pushing tourself too hard can cause lingering mental fatigue you can’t shake off 

Contrary to popular opinion, you can overexert yourself mentally if you don’t change your work style, evaluate your priorities, or take time off. It’s more than just being a little tired – it can derail your well-being. Mental exhaustion can impair your attention and memory or affect your ability to process emotions, so it can lead to problems in your daily life and relationships, making for tense moments. Bear in mind that giving up doesn’t mean you’re weak, so just be strong enough to let go. Overwhelming as it might seem, you can regain mental clarity. 

Preventing burnout is a shared responsibility between employers and employees, so if you’re dealing with stress, come clean to your manager – it’ll be better for both of you in the long run. You can’t just sign off when things become mind-boggling, and the constant act of balancing can lead to you reaching your breaking point. Prevention is the best medicine.

Read about: the significance of cancer in the workplace.

Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of all living organisms. Full medical glossary
The growth within a laboratory of microbes, organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye. Full medical glossary
One of the three main food constituents (with carbohydrate and protein), and the main form in which energy is stored in the body. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
In physics it is the tendency of a force to twist or rotate another object Full medical glossary
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Relating to injury or concern. Full medical glossary
Capable of survival. Full medical glossary