What’s Wrong with This List of Painful Professions

Pop quiz: what do these 10 various occupations have in common with each other?

  1. Police
  2. Firefighter
  3. Long-distance truck driver
  4. Pilot
  5. Musician
  6. Blogging
  7. Motorcycle racing
  8. Construction worker
  9. Nurses aide
  10. Dancing

I see some of them as the five-year-old’s dream — police, firefighter, pilot, dancer. Some as the 15-year-old’s dream — musician, motorcycle racing. And then there’s blogging.

According to 10 Painful Professions on abcnews.com today, what they have in common is chronic pain.

Police, firefighter, truck driver or pilot, dancer of course, and motorcycle racer, absolutely. But wait a minute. Blogging? Does that say blogging? Who writes this stuff? Just last month the New York Times said blogging can kill, and now it’s blogging on a list of the top 10 most painful jobs.

Here’s the expert quote:

Sean Conroy, director of pain management services at Beaumont Hospitals, said bloggers are the extreme version of any administrative work that requires using a computer because bloggers spend more time locked in one place.

“Many people who read computer screens lean forward and tilt their head up, causing back, neck and jaw strain,” Conroy said. “Typically we don’t think of bloggers and jaw pain.”

See, you always have to have an expert quote for one of these. And then there’s the up-close-and-personal example:

Kim Stagliano, managing editor of the blog Age of Autism, describes the blog world like a game of cat and mouse. Everything is faster on the Internet — and bloggers feel the need to catch up.

“I always feel like I’m behind,” Stagliano said. “I always think, ‘Is this story old now, did I grab it fast enough … OK, now what’s next.'”

Stagliano handles all the physical work required to keep the blog active. She monitors the interactive components of the site, answers comments and now enhances the blog’s appearance.

“I’m constantly clicking, going through stories, writing, posting content, clicking,” Stagliano said. “Some days I’m on from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.”

That too, is required; somebody who can be the example.

Here’s a true confession. Dear reader: don’t worry, I’m doing fine, thanks. Blogging is much better for my health than running the whole company was. I’m not “constantly clicking” from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. myself — (should I be?) — but I appreciate the thought. Makes me feel brave. Damn the carpal tunnel, full speed ahead.

Whew, having said all that, tongue back out of cheek, here is a very interesting quote from that same story:

“The instance of chronic pain goes up with job dissatisfaction, a feeling of helplessness about your job,” Freedman said.

That’s Mitchell Freedman, director of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. All kidding aside, I’ll bet that’s true.


  • Kelly says:


    "The instance of chronic pain goes up with job dissatisfaction, a feeling of helplessness about your job," Freedman said.

    If that's the case then what's wrong with this list is finding bloggers on it! Most whom I know haven't got an ounce of dissatisfaction or helplessness with blogging.

    Including you, I hope. 🙂



  • David Mackey says:

    Yeah, have to say – can't really see blogging as one of the most painful professions. I worked in Alaska for a summer as a set-net fisherman…And I think I had worse carpal tunnel from pulling on nets hour after hour than most get from typing (and I've been typing for twenty years).

  • Steve says:


    It's interesting how quickly blogging has moved from the fringe to being on lists like this. And I do know several bloggers with carpal tunnel. But it's just silly having blogging on this list – unless they are referring to compulsive cellphone-based Twitter microbloggers. That has got to hurt:).



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