Killer Jobs: 10 Painful Professions

Pain on the Digital Frontier

Their fingers rhythmically tap and tap and tap on the keyboard -- letter after letter rapidly forming word after word. And when they click "publish post," their words are transported to a new realm: the blogosphere.

For some people, blogs are leisurely Internet diaries. But for full-time professional bloggers who earn their living on the number of posts they publish and the popularity of their site, every word counts.

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."

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."

"Blogging has made me less healthy," said Stagliano, who said she drinks more coffee and lost weight because she does not eat full meals during the day. "My eyes get buggy, and I have to take a walk to get away sometimes."

Although Stagliano said she understands the physical health concerns from a job where the only movements she may experience on some days are her fingers pressing keys, Stagliano said she has prepared herself for long days in the blogosphere.

"I bought a good ergonomics keyboard, a huge screen, a comfortable seat," Stagliano said. "Nothing's going too south with my physical health right now."

Despite precautions taken by bloggers to ensure they feel comfortable as they surf, write and post for hours on end, Conroy predicts seeing more physical health problems due to blogging in the future.

"This is relatively new so many bloggers may not complain now," Conroy said. "But we will see more pain as we move further along in the electronic age."

Sacrificing It All for the Shot

Branko Racki calls himself the jack-of-all-trades.

"I can do fires, high falls, rolling cars, fights scenes, boat chases," Racki said.

This time Racki, 48, played a cop on a high-speed car chase. The car he chased was supposed to screech to a stop, and Racki's cruiser was to stop right behind the car. A tractor-trailer then slams into his cruiser. The impact should have launched Racki through the windshield and only a few feet through the air before he landed on the ground. But even though Racki rehearsed his scene numerous times, it still went wrong.

This time the cameras were rolling.

"I'll never forget being thrown 20 feet in the air, flying forward about 50 feet and thinking I'm not supposed to be this high up," Racki said.

Racki tore ligaments in his arm and leg and partially dislocated his hip. In the stunt world, Racki said, his injuries are equivalent to a few bumps and bruises.

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