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Viewpoint: How Zoom and the ‘Quarantine 15’ Created a Perfect Storm for Soft Tissue Injuries

By Mary Reaston | Claims Journal | June 22, 2021

In a normal year, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), also known as soft tissue injuries, account for roughly 34% of lost work-days in the U.S. and one-third of the dollars spent on workers compensation claims. But this was anything but a normal year. A perfect storm of weight gain, more sedentary lifestyles, increased stressors, hours spent hunched over kitchen table on Zoom calls and a booming ecommerce industry have many environmental health and safety experts projecting a surge in new reported injuries as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Add the effects of a nationwide labor shortage that has existing employees working longer hours and hiring managers compromising their standards to bring in people that might not be the right fit for the job and the stage is set for a wave of workplace injury crises.