Working the famous 9 to 5, and sitting in a chair for 8 hours, leaves a mark on our bodies. After some time of neglecting the symptoms and not trying to prevent them, we get into a situation where we need time off work to heal – that is when sick leave becomes an option.
Time off work is necessary (and that is our right) since we cannot work through the pain anymore, and the body is in need of rest and treatment. When it comes to the reasons, back pain is at the very top, and this is very understandable. However, there is a different side to this story, and today we will take the time to talk about how much employee sick leave actually costs the employer.
Sick leave reasons
There are problems that work itself will cause, and if the job has us tied to a PC or laptop, most of the issues will be related to sitting and looking at the screen. In most cases, our back takes the hit, and this sets us back in every way possible. Not exercising to prevent this and neglecting the problem for a long period of time – makes it a lot worse.
Employers that neglect the well-being of their employees and keep pushing for work instead of balancing it all in a perfectly organized work-health environment – create an issue for their employees and themselves.
Of course, being hurt is not good from the employee’s standpoint. However, keep in mind that employees who are not feeling good and are being overworked have much less concentration and motivation, and thus productivity is lowered.
Lower back pain
We have had numerous articles talking about how sitting for a long time affects our back, for a start, and how it then transfers all the pressure and pain to our shoulders, neck, and head. If you haven’t already, we strongly suggest reading these articles:
How long-term sitting affects our shoulders
How a sedentary lifestyle affects our back and neck
How does too much screen time cause headaches
When we sit for a long period of time and have bad posture while working, our back stretches its muscles and wears them out, making them sore. Back issues can last for several days, and the treatment for this is medication, resting, and exercise afterward.
That is why we have created the Eudaemonio app, to help people build healthy habits through stretching and exercise while spending as little time off work as possible.
Back pain cost to employers
Employees that are not present at work still have to be paid. There is an article from the ONS in the UK that talks about how many hours are lost due to sick days. To make things short:
- 4.6. days per employee are absent days due to sickness and injury
- 149 million work hours of absence cross-country in the UK in total
Yes, it is true that 1/4 of the time, the reason was COVID-19 and another 1/4 minor illness, but what we are focusing on is that 2/4 of the time when the musculoskeletal/other issues were the main reason.
When it comes to the USA, there is a case study that was done by VPT that shows how things were in 2021. To make things as short and precise as possible, we will extract the most relevant data:
- More than 126 million Americans suffer from problems with their back and joints
- The cost of the issues that the people experience is over 790 billion in total
- More than 215 million workdays are lost due to back problems
- The average price for treating an employee with a back problem is over 7000 dollars
- Average lost work days a year – 8 to 11 per employee
The average cost of all that to employers in the USA:
-Over 100.000$ per 100 employees!
Reduce losses – improve employee well-being
Once a company begins to experience problems because of an increase in short-term absences, that is already a bad sign. A company’s inaction can eventually lead to a serious loss of working capacity if the problems don’t get fixed early.
Occupational well-being is the company’s responsibility, and It’s good for employers and occupational health care services to work together. It’s obvious that sick leave costs the company money, so it is critical to prevent all this as fast as possible. The Eudaemonio app can help with all that through challenges and interaction between employees, you can read all about the benefits here.
Prevention and exercise
The best ways to prevent back pain from work are to exercise and take breaks from the office chair. There are a number of exercises employees can do to feel good and prevent pain, and they are all pretty short and precisely made for certain parts of the body that take the biggest hit.
The exercises are meant to be done right where you sit and work. There is no need to move away from the table (even though it would be good). We have an entire article on those types of exercises, and we highly recommend you check it out.
Apart from that, the Eudaemonio app has an entire interface made to provide employee well-being and benefits that it achieves through gamification and connecting people. Helping people change their unhealthy habits, and become more productive and focused is our goal – the Eudaemonio app can help with all that – Check it out!