Forget impenetrable glass ceilings and painful high heels. According to a 2000-2001 Canadian study, women face a bigger pain when tackling “traditionally” male jobs: they have a greater risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
Reported last week on CTV, the survey conducted by Statistics Canada indicated that jobs like farming, forestry, fishing, mining, processing, manufacturing or utility work had high incidents of MSD reporting, particularly for women in those fields. Other jobs that reported higher-than-average incidents of MSDs for Canadians were sales positions, service industries, trades, transportation and equipment operations. “Management” was the job category reporting the fewest MSDs.
Statistics Canada estimates that 2.3 million people over the age of 20 reported an MSD during 2000-2001 and that overall, the incidence of MSDs rose from eight percent to 10 percent in Canadians between 1996 and 2001.
Twenty-five percent of the MSDs reported were in the respondents’ necks or shoulders, 23 percent were in the wrist or hand and 19 percent were reported to be located in the respondents’ backs. Work-related activities were listed as the primary cause of the MSDs.
Where the MSDs were located also varied by sex. Canadian women reported more injuries in their arms, legs and backs while men were more apt to have injuries surface in the neck, shoulder and hands.