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Surprising jobs that can cause repetitive stress injuries

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

It is easy to overlook the potential toll that certain professions can take on the body. For instance, did you know that repetitive stress or strain injuries are not limited to the usual suspects like typing or assembly line work?

Surprisingly, some jobs that might not immediately come to mind can also contribute to these painful RSI conditions.

Dental hygienists

While taking care of teeth, dental hygienists often face the challenge of repetitive hand and wrist movements. Constantly using dental instruments to clean and polish teeth can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

Chefs and cooks

Behind the scenes in the kitchen, chefs and cooks tirelessly prepare delicious meals. The repetitive motions involved in chopping, slicing and stirring can result in RSIs, affecting their hands, wrists and shoulders.


Crafting the perfect haircut requires precision and dexterity, but it can also lead to musculoskeletal issues. Hairstylists are prone to developing RSIs due to the continuous use of scissors, blow dryers and other styling tools.


While surgeons receive praise for their life-saving skills, the nature of their work can have physical repercussions. Hours spent in intricate procedures, often in awkward positions, may lead to RSIs, particularly in the hands and wrists.


The artistry of playing musical instruments conceals the physical strain on the musicians. String players, for example, can develop RSIs from the repetitive finger movements required to produce harmonious melodies.

Graphic designers

Creating visually stunning designs on a computer involves prolonged periods of mouse and keyboard use. Graphic designers may experience RSIs like tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome due to these repetitive motions.


Constantly scanning and bagging items at the checkout may seem routine, but for cashiers, it can result in RSIs. The repetitive motions of handling products and typing on the cash register can lead to hand and wrist discomfort.

Flight attendants

While jet-setting around the world may sound glamorous, the physical toll on flight attendants can be surprising. Lifting heavy luggage, pushing food carts and performing repetitive movements during safety demonstrations can contribute to RSIs.

Understanding the potential risks and implementing ergonomic practices can help mitigate the impact. For those experiencing RSIs, it is important to be aware of workers’ compensation options that can provide support and assistance during the recovery process.