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How Pain Affects Productivity

Chronic back pain is one of the main problems that employees face when it comes to their work.

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.

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How Employers Can Help Relieve the Pain

Employers can be proactive about helping their employees alleviate neck and back pain, resulting in increased productivity at work. Here are three suggestions:

  1. Examine practices in the workplace to see if there are any hazards associated with office duties. This includes engineering physical hazards out of the work environment that may cause undue neck and back strain. For instance, a simple reorganizing of the copy room to make the most used items easily accessible can reduce the risk of back strain.
  2. Organize a corporate onsite chair massage for employees. As one of the premier organizational wellness companies in Utah, On-Site Corporate Massage focuses on enhancing employee productivity while saving businesses money and time, and preserving employee health. In a corporate chair massage study, research showed an 85% decrease in stress! Not only can On-Site Corporate Chair Massage help decrease stress, anxiety, and headaches, but it increases employee’s energy, mental clarity, and ability to focus on their job responsibilities and goals. Take a look at our Event Services to see which is best for you.
  3. Talk with the Human Resource Department about training employees to make small work habit changes that decrease neck and back strain. For example, FedEx initiated a simple training to teach employees how to stretch properly before shifts. The same principle can be applied to more ordinary and repetitive office work.

Creating a stronger wellness culture in the workplace is possible and cost-effective. With the proven monetary costs of neck and back pain, employers should consider ways to address the needs of employees, not only to improve efficiency in the workplace, but to enhance workplace culture, resulting in happier and more positive employees. Contact On-Site Corporate Massage today to start your business on the path to greater efficiency.