Pain cripples work place performance
The burden of pain on employee health and productivity at a major provider of business services. Allen H, Hubbard D, Sullivan S. J Occup Environ Med. 2005. 47: 658-670.
To investigate the prevalence of pain and estimate its impact on employee productivity.
1,039 employees of a US-based Fortune 100 company.
Participants completed a short validated internet-based survey with questions on pain, health status, medical conditions, absence from work, presenteeism, healthcare utilisation, and health risk behaviours.
- Of the study population, 28.6% reported significant levels of pain.
- Individuals reporting the most severe pain had an average 0.83 absence days more than those without pain over a month.
- People with the most pain had 5-times more health-related suboptimal performance per month while doing their job, compared to their healthy colleagues.
- Those with any form of pain lost over three and a half working days over a month.
What does this mean?
Initiatives to improve pain management could yield considerable returns to employers through reduced absence and greater work performance.