Pain leads to drop in productivity and financial losses
To estimate the amount of productive time lost caused by common painful conditions and approximate the resulting economic costs.
28,902 individuals employed in the US who had completed the telephone-based American Productivity Audit between 2001 and 2002.
Data from the audit were used to analyse, time absent from work, reduced performance at work due to overall pain, and that relating to specific painful conditions.
- 53% of respondents reported at least one specific painful condition in the two weeks preceding the survey.
- Lost productive time was most commonly caused by overall pain (13.0%), headache (5.4%), back pain (3.2%), arthritis (2.0%), and musculoskeletal pain (2.0%).
- The majority of lost productive time (77%) was explained by reduced performance at work rather than absence days.
- On average, each week individuals with a painful condition lost approximately 4.6 hours of productive time.
- This loss in productive time was estimated to cost US employers US$61.2 billion per year.
What does this mean?
Strategies to reduce and manage pain in employees could have a positive effect on employee productivity and overall business performance.