31 million back pain days

On the BBC website today there is a piece talking about the number of days lost at work due to various musculoskeletal problems. The new ONS Labour Force Survey  shows that there were 31 million days lost at work due to back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal problems.

Whilst many work places offer work station assessments they are often not taken advantage of and misses the point that we have evolved for movement and not sitting at a desk for 8+ hours day. I think the first step in helping alleviate many of these conditions is, as Prof Steve Bevan, director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at the Work Foundation, says “Many office workers make repetitive movements, allowing people to move around and take breaks is essential.” Having said that I would take it further and not just allow this but actively encourage people to move around and, in bigger organisations, have programs that encourage exercise, on-site gym facilities, walking groups and classes etc.







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