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Poll: Have you ever had health problems due to job stress?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 15:36
Nov 25, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever had health problems due to job stress?".

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Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, I did Nov 25, 2008

Some years ago, when I was starting an English Language Academy, I was working full time in a company and after teaching classes, translating, etc. I di this for about a year, and finally developed a bleeding ulcer in my stomach, whch caused me to 'decide' between the two. I opted for my academy and after many months of strict dieting and 'onions' I felt a lot better.


Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:36
English to Spanish
Yes Nov 25, 2008

But back when I was a full-time inhouse translator with work overload + a difficult boss.

Now, being my own boss, things are quite merriericon_smile.gif



Bea Geenen  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2008)
Chinese to Dutch
+ ...
RMI Nov 25, 2008

I've suffered from Repetitive Movement Injury in my arms and shoulders, mainly from a bad sitting position while working, and usually when I'm overloaded with work - exactly the time you DON'T need this!!! Luckily, regular yoga classes have helped me to keep it under control.


Ingeborg Gonizzi  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
French to Dutch
+ ...
The healthy life of a translator Nov 25, 2008

I was having health problems (RSI, causing horrible headaches), but since I became a freelance translator things are getting far bettericon_wink.gif

I don't drive my car anymore (just riding my bike), I'm forced having a nice quiet long lunch (kids at home for lunch) and I can't work overtime anymore (just working day & night haha)...


xanthippe  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
Member (2008)
Italian to French
+ ...
NO Nov 25, 2008

job stress is good for my health.

When I don't have so much work I usually get depressed.


Theo Bernards (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes, but not as a freelance translator Nov 25, 2008

In my days before I ventured into translating I had a very obnoxious (i.e. thick) manager who's idea of obtaining results was overloading staff with his own tasks. This went on for a good few years (I generally don't like to complain, so I just did whichever task that was dropped on my desk) until I started to develop a chronic headache. The result was a meeting in which (I kid you not!) my manager told me I smoked (still do, by the way), drank beer at company do's and that he had every reason to believe I lived a very unhealthy life style, and what was I going to do about it? I completely lost the cool (or blew a gasket, or went berserk, whichever way you wanted to call it) and informed the company director (which was my manager's manager, by the way) that my life style was none of their goddamn business and that I would expect such nonsense to be put in writing om company letterheaded paper signed by the HR department. It would help when taking the company to court if I had it in writing. I also went to my doctor asking for and getting a sick note due to stress (magical word in The Netherlands, it pretty much allowed you at that moment in time to unload any amount of tasks to someone else) and I started to plan working somewhere else. Shortly afterwards I left the company and as if by magic my headaches disappeared. They have yeat to come back.


Carol So  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:36
Member (2008)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I get both Nov 25, 2008

When I dont have much work, I get depressed.

When I have too much work, I have IBS and really painful shoulders, headaches and stomachaches, plus all kinds of aches and pains that you can think of. I would get cramps on my lower calves when I go to sleep, probably for prolonged sitting, or just because I am too tense.

Not really major health problems but annoying enough.


Dennis Seine  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:36
Member (2006)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Advice for back pain and desk chair Nov 25, 2008

For about a year now I have been having some pretty bad back pain, and I was wondering if there's any translators out there having the same problem. The fact that I am 6'5'', or 1.98 m, doesn't help much either... I am considering changing my desk chair, and was wondering if anyone has a recommendation? I have started doing daily stretching, getting up out of my chair every hour or so, but my chair is old and not very comfortable, to be honest... Thanks, stay healthy!


Catherine Salbashian  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
Italian to English
+ ...
RMI/RSI Nov 25, 2008

Bea Geenen wrote:

I've suffered from Repetitive Movement Injury in my arms and shoulders, mainly from a bad sitting position while working, and usually when I'm overloaded with work - exactly the time you DON'T need this!!! Luckily, regular yoga classes have helped me to keep it under control.

I also suffer from the same problem in my right arm, this month the pain has been excruciating and I'd had to cut down on work. My doctor doesn't seem to take me seriously... perhaps yoga is the way forward! In the meantime I've found that adjusting the position my workstation has helped.


Joice Costa
Local time: 19:36
English to Portuguese
crappy right hand Nov 25, 2008

I am currently struggling with my crappy right hand and arms as I have a big load of work to get done. Also I often have cramps on my legs at night or even when walking, and all sorts of little pains. It's most likely you people may not believe it but I do practice tai chi chuan everyday at home for years.

On the other hand, when I am out of work I get so depressed and nervous that many other problems would show like liver or stomach problems and so on. So that I use to say I tend to 'enjoy better' the pains from the working times than the non-working ones.icon_smile.gif

But I am really considering changing my chair, desk or both and would be glad to hear some advice from you who have found some great comfortable ones!




Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
French to English
+ ...
Chairs... Nov 25, 2008

For those wondering about chairs and back pain, if you read French, have a look at this forum post from the French forum a few months ago:èges_ergonomiques.html



Miranda Joubioux  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:36
French to English
Both in my previous job and now as a freelance Nov 25, 2008

I've have had variations of migraines, neck pain and back pain and sometimes all three.
In my previous job, I got so stressed out that my neck froze for two weeks, but those were difficult times. I now pay a lot of attention to my position in front of my screen. I often increase text size in my browser (where possible) or in Word to avoid leaning forward to see small text. I have a foot rest, because I couldn't find a comfortable chair at the right height.

I've also eliminated stressful areas of my business.
I've got rid of all the bad payers. I work with fewer agencies.
I don't accept projects that arrive on Friday morning for Friday evening.
I subcontract when I'm overloaded.
I take a 30-45 minute walk everyday for exercise and to air my brains!
I also drink a lot more water.

These all help a lot.

I think its only natural to be stressed at times, but it has got to be manageable.


Stephen Gobin
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:36
German to English
+ ...
The other way round Nov 25, 2008

I've been a Type 1 diabetic for almost 30 years (most of my life) and stress, anxiety, depression (about having too much or too little work) just exacerbates this chronic condition, i.e. makes it harder to maintain good diabetic control in an attempt to avoid a whole host of diabetes-related complications that can lead to an early death.

So I try and pace myself, which isn't a bad idea, because it means I can get a good translation done and hopefully delight the client who, with any luck, will see a positive benefit to his business;-)


Anita du Plessis  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 00:36
Member (2008)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
A lot is in the shoulders Nov 25, 2008

Most stress is situated in the shoulders and between the shoulder blades. I myself tend to pull my shoulders up until they are just under my ears when stressed and must constantly remind myself to relax them. You can also roll your shoulders backwards every hour and take deep breaths while doing so.

I go for a relaxing pedicure after a difficult project, and also take frequent hot baths while I am working. Lavender oil in a little burner helps, and also lemon grass. I know some people will laugh about the oils, but massage therapists firmly believe in their therapeutic value.

I did a course in massage therapy a few years ago, and find the techniques really helpful. The main thing is to allow yourself to relax, because your productivity actually improves when
you are not so stressed.

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Poll: Have you ever had health problems due to job stress?

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