CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Desk jockeys endure a lot of ribbing behind-the-scenes: Jokes about taking naps at work like George Castanza on "Seinfeld," enjoying long lunches outside the building, and always getting off work at exactly 5 p.m.
That may not be the reality for the American office worker in 2013. But there's no denying the perception among many blue collar workers that a desk job is pretty cushy. Yet there's evidence it comes with real dangers. So with the help of MarketWatch.com, FOX19 has compiled the Top Ten Dangers at Work.
#10 Criminal Co-Workers: Everybody wants to blame the janitor or the security guard in your building, but a security consultant says you'd be amazed at how many expensive iPads, smartphones, and other devices are stolen by co-workers.
#9 Thermostat Battles: Somebody's always freezing; somebody else is always boiling hot. The actual comfort zone starts around 73°, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
#8 No Walls: So much for teamwork. When those cubicle walls come down and everybody's supposed to be one happy team, what you really learn is who's got money problems and who's got relationship problems because you can hear everything your co-workers and managers --- excuse me, "team leaders" --- are saying on the phone.
#7 Shrinking Legroom: It's not just the airlines who are guilty of this one. A facilities management association has found that individual office space has shrunk more than 20% for middle managers since 1994.
#6 Bed Bugs: It's something all of us in Cincinnati have been forced to become familiar with. Unfortunately, those co-workers with bed bugs at home can bring them to work. So can your customers or clients. Yes, many workplaces in the Cincinnati metro area have bed bugs. Just ask any exterminator. So watch out for those bed bug bites. Seriously! They will feed on you during the day.
#5 Gross Co-Workers: This one may have you reaching for the disinfecting wipes. A recent study from the University of Arizona and San Diego State found that humans contribute 75% of the bacteria at work. Perhaps it's no surprise that men's offices tend to have more bacteria. But women have some pretty gross things, too, it turns out. Makeup cases, phones, and purses tend to be infested with bacteria.
#4 Eye Strain: This one may not be a surprise but the reason for it sure is. The move toward "greener," more environmentally friendly buildings is leading to big windows at office complexes. That lets in lots of light and cuts down on energy costs. But it also puts a glare in your eyes when you're trying to do computer work.
#3 Sitting Still: Researchers say this will literally kill us. MarketWatch points to research showing that the body loses 20% to 25% of its good cholesterol and becomes insulin-resistant after a full day of sitting. That leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and an early grave.
#2 Sick Building Syndrome: This is an all-inclusive term for workers experiencing illnesses that take some detective work to figure out because narrowing down the cause is hard and in some cases impossible. Sick building syndrome can be caused by mold, bad ventilation, chemicals, and other pollutants. The EPA says symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and sensitivity to odors.
#1 Slipping and Falling: This one's nothing to laugh at. St. Luke's Iowa Health System says slipping and falling is second only to car crashes for causing injuries. Citing the National Safety Council, St. Luke's says "…the major cause of accidental deaths and injuries in America are slip-and-fall accidents." It turns out that 286 people in administrative and support jobs died in 2011. And the most common cause involved slipping, tripping, or falling.
So now you know. All this information may have you looking at your workplace in a whole new way. Hopefully it'll be the key to helping you make your office more peaceful and healthier.