Monday, 25 June 2012

The Impact of Back Pain on Sickness Absence in Europe

a research paper from The Work Foundation (part of Lancaster University) by Professor Stephen Bevan published June 2012

Opening paragraphs

Back pain is one of the most common conditions reported by adults across Europe. In fact, it is estimated that half of the European population will suffer back pain at some time in their lives and in excess of a third of the European workforce suffer from low back pain. In fact, the latest survey of workers from across the EU suggests that 46% of women and 47% and men reported back pain at some time in the last 12 months. Thus, it is a condition which regularly affects:
  • 14.2m Germans
  • 9.6m Britons
  • 8m French people
  • 6.4m Spaniards
  • <5m Poles
  • 1m Danes
We know, then, that back pain is common, episodic, often recurrent and generally self-limiting. Long term absence from work is greatest amongst the minority of employees whose condition is chronic (if pain lasts for more than 12 weeks) or is recurrent (if there are several episodes of pain in one year lasting less than 6six months).

Continue reading the full report (PDF 8pp)

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