At any given time, sixteen million adults in the United States are experiencing back pain.
Not only does back and neck pain have a negative effect on their personal lives, but it hurts their productivity at work. Employers spend an estimated $51,400 annually per 100 employees on diminished efficiency due to back pain, and employees with back pain miss four more days of work per year than those without it.
Furthermore, lost work time and underperformance at work (presenteeism) as a result of low back pain results in employers paying $34,600 per 100 workers. More specifically, the breakdown of cost to employers is as follows:
- Sick days: $13,100
- Presenteeism (or reduced performance at work due to pain or sickness): $8,300
- Short term disability: $7,100
- Long term disability: $4,200
- Workers compensation: $1,900
For this reason, employers benefit significantly by developing strategies to address employee neck and back problems. Finding and fixing workplace hazards, investing in corporate chair massage, and creating a stronger wellness culture at your business are all great ways to lower your costs.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain can be created by or aggravated not only by high movement jobs like nursing and construction, but by everyday office work as well. If employees experience this type of pain at the end of the work day, it may be related to prolonged, repeated activities at the office that affect their ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Work activities that contribute to neck and back pain include:
- Using a computer for an extended period of time. Research shows that holding your head forward to read a computer screen aggravates and creates neck and back pain.
- Repetitive arm and upper body movements.
- Improper lifting techniques.
- Cradling your phone between your shoulder and ear.
- Improper breathing.
- A lack of breaks from long periods of sitting.
- Crossing your legs.
- Unnatural movement in extending arms for items out of reach.
- Squinting eyes and straining your head and back muscles for extended periods of time.