Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, April 23, 2009 Johnetta, Community Member, asks

Q: Why types of Jobs are good for a person with RA?

I work in an accounting dept. I type all day and sit all day. I have been looking for jobs that are better for people with RA.

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Answers (6)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
4/27/09 11:48am

It really depends. On who you are, on what your skills are, on what your disease is doing, etc. If you're having problems physically doing your job, it is possible they could be solved with some fairly minor accommodation to the way you do your job - the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that you are legally entitled to accommodation if it can help you do the essential duties of the job. You may want to check out my recent post on working with RA, which includes links to a number of government agencies that can help you with this process. If you want to pursue another career, you can also read my post on going back to school to help you get started in thinking about where you want to go. My post on going back to school mentions a book called I'd Rather Be Working by Gayle Backstrom, which is a terrific resource for reassessing your career path and help you to keep working as long as possible. We will be posting an interview with Gayle within the next week or two, so you can keep an eye out for that, as well.

ger, Community Member
4/23/09 8:56am


 I think your job is too sedentary. You need to be moving around much more and be more active. Sitting down for hours is the worst thing you could be doing. It affects your posture and your flexibility. The human body was designed for activity on a regular basis, so gentle stretching every now and then is good especially if you are at a desk job. Maybe if you got up every 30 minutes or so and do some kind of movement, it would benefit you in some ways. Learn some gentle yoga poses you can use, they are brilliant for posture and flexibility.

Laura, Community Member
4/23/09 2:04pm

Hi Johnetta,

I don't think there are any specific types of jobs that are "better" for RA.  I think each person is effected differently by their RA.  As Ger said, sitting for long periods of time isn't good.  I also work at a desk job and I try to get up at least once every 30  minutes, to the copy machine, bathroom, fax or just a short walk to stretch for a bit.

My wpm typing has dropped a lot and I notice that I have to type carefully, because too much jarring on my fingers is very painful.  Holding the phone is painfull, sitting too long is painfull.  So in answer to your question, I truly think it will vary with each individual.

Good luck in choosing a new career path.

God Bless!

joy, Community Member
4/23/09 4:13pm

Hi Johnetta,

                     I on the other hand was a medical assisant and I was on my feet all day even my lunch break i ate standing up and at the end of the day i couldn't move my feet were on fire i would come home and sit for the rest of the night with my feet up i couldn't cook or clean so i quit now i need to figure out what kind of a job i could do also. I was gonna become a medical biller but I'm not any more after reading the comments so good luck I hope I was of some help to you if you find the right job let me know.


tarasgrace, Community Member
7/14/11 11:54am

Hi Joy,

I'm in school for medical assisting and I have very active RA. I was diagnosed after I started back to school. I've been in school for one year getting my core, and I'm supposed to start this fall the actual MA program for one year full time. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what to do. My hands are affected and my feet. My hands have been getting steadily worse, however I'm on a new medication so I'm hoping that will stop the progression. I'm wondering if just patient care tech or CNA would be better in home health care? My thoughts were you could hopefully pause and sit down after tasks (if in home health care), but there again I know it could be heavy lifting. That wouldn't have been a problem before, but I tried to lift a chair this morning in my house and I couldn't budge it. Usually I can, so it shocked me when I couldn't. I could go on and on, but just curious what your thoughts were regarding medical carreers. I'm 38 and have worked in non medical offices all my life. However I've always deeply wanted to work in the health care field (hopefully with patients). I'm starting to wonder though if I should change over to medical office assistant, maybe. However there's the sitting down thing. Oh well I'm sure it will be a day by day adventure, but would love to know your thoughts. I've been wanting to talk to someone with RA and doing a medical assistant job. Hope you're finding a job that is right for you. If you're like me I'm sure you want to be around people in your work, but your body just has to agree with the tasks.


God bless!


MonicaJo, Community Member
4/26/09 12:25am

I have had RA for 13 years and am a Manager in a retail store.  I do like that I move around a lot, I think it helps me keep flexible and not get stiff...on the other hand the constant physicality of my job sucks by the time I get home.  As the answer above stated,  I get home I can't do any housework, or barely get up because I am so exhausted.   I don't know what the happy medium is, but I am the breadwinner in my family and have medical through my job so quitting is not an option...just tough it out till I can't go anymore!  Wish there was a dream job though : )

Rob, Community Member
5/22/14 9:47am

I also work retail management and I have a tough decision to make because I can tough it out 50 hrs a week. But, my home life is suffering and I'm not happy. Thinking aboutbstepping down because my quality of life is suffering.

llaird, Community Member
7/14/11 4:02pm

I have been a Nurse for about 20 years. I quit pt care about 8 years ago to get into administration. Regular hours no heavy lifting etc. I will say I am not sure which is the lesser of the two evils. I now am on the computor all day typing and some days i think my hands will just absolutely break off. They swell and hurt so much sometimes. I try everyday to come in and do my best. I can't even think about tomorrow. I have a feeling there is no "dream" job but a means to an end. I am also going back to school to get a coding degree to go with my nursing. Working from home would be the closest to a "dream" job there is to me. That way I could lay down periodcally when i become fatigued.

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By Johnetta, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/22/14, First Published: 04/23/09