Workers with back pain take 12 sick days a year. More prevention is needed as it is revealed that only 6% are encouraged to take breaks from sitting at their desks.
A third (33%) of Brits have taken at least one day off work due to back or neck pain in the past year, resulting in 12 days off work on average, a survey shows.
A further fifth (23%) feel it has a negative impact on their working life, according to the research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA).
The poll also found two fifths of workers (40%) who spend the majority of their time at work sitting do not feel like they are able to take regular breaks, with only 6% reporting they are actively encouraged to.
This is in spite of almost half (45%) of people who have experienced back or neck pain identifying sitting for long periods of time as a trigger for their condition.
Only a minority of employers are proactively offering support to workers. Less than a quarter (23%) of respondents had been offered advice or tips by their employer on how to sit at their desk to prevent work-related back pain, and only a fifth had been offered a desk assessment, ergonomic chairs or laptop stands.
Catherine Quinn, chiropractor and BCA president, said no one should feel they need to be chained to their desk all day at the expense of their health.
“With so many workers missing work due to the condition, it is truly in employers’ interests to offer proactive help and advice to protect the health of their employees,” she advised.
She suggested workers make the most of their lunch hour to get moving.
The BCA research follows new analysis of The Lancet research series on low back pain, which highlights that musculoskeletal pain causes almost half of work absences in the EU.
According to Professor Jan Hartvigsen, Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark, the condition presents a significant cost to both businesses and economies, costing healthcare systems between 2% and 3% of the gross domestic product in most European countries, including the UK.
This article was first published in HI daily. You can see the original article here.