Occupational health problems occur at work or because of the kind of work you do. These problems can include:
- Cuts, fractures (broken bones), and sprains and strains
- Loss of limbs
- Repetitive motion disorders
- Hearing problems caused by exposure to noise
- Vision problems
- Illness caused by breathing, touching, or swallowing unsafe substances
- Illness caused by exposure to radiation
- Exposure to germs in health care settings
Good job safety and prevention practices can reduce your risk of these problems. Try to stay fit, reduce stress, set up your work area properly, and use the right equipment and gear.
Rural Health Concerns
Around 15% of people in the United States live in rural areas. There are many different reasons why you might choose to live in a rural community. You may want a lower cost of living and a slower pace of life. You may enjoy having access to big, open spaces for recreation. Rural areas are less crowded and can offer more privacy. You may choose a rural area so that you can live near your family and friends.
But there are also challenges to living in a rural area, including when it comes to taking care of your health. Compared to urban areas, rural communities tend to have:
- Higher poverty rates.
- A higher percentage of older adults, who are more likely to have chronic health problems.
- More residents without health insurance.
- Less access to health care. For example, clinics and hospitals may be far away.
- Higher rates of certain substance use, such as cigarette smoking and opioid and methamphetamine misuse.
- Higher rates of chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and obesity.
- More exposure to environmental hazards, such as chemicals used for farming.
There are solutions to deal with these problems. A few examples include:
- Clinics offering telehealth to provide care for people who live far away from specialists or can't easily get to their providers' offices.
- Local public health agencies working with their communities to promote healthy living. They can provide wellness and exercise classes and start a farmer's market.
- Local governments adding bike lanes and trails to encourage people to bike and walk.
- Rural schools can offer counseling and mental health services for their students.