How much does lost productivity cost you each year? On Segment #25 of Business is ART (“Get Off My Back”), my guest was Dr. Justin Vinson. We discussed various aspects of workplace health and the economics associated with it.
Sick Days Cost What?!
Sick days in the U.S. alone costs employers around $600 billion dollars annually just in compensation to the sick employees alone. That is nothing to say of the lost productivity and extra expense required to make-up for it, nor does it include the difficult to measure things such as customer service/satisfaction and lost opportunities.
How Many Get Lower Back Pain?!
According to Dr. Vinson, approximately 80% of Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their adult lives and low back pain is one of the leading causes of work disability and missed work. There is no statistical difference in the percentage of males versus the percentage of females who experience lower back pain, nor does it discriminate between blue-collar and white-collar workers. The odds are virtually the same.
Lower Back Pain Costs What?!
There is no winner in this equation. The employee misses out on lost wages and the employer misses out on productivity. Now compare the cost of missed work due to low back pain with the $600 billion mentioned previously. The number of hours of missed work amounts to 149 million days at a cost of $60 billion to $120 billion per year.
What Does It All Mean?
What does this mean for business owners and business or organizational leaders? It means there is tremendous economic reason to do what you can to minimize this risk of lower back pain caused by or in the workplace. Vinson says that information and education is the first most important step to being proactive.
He urges employers and workers to focus on things like:
- Proper lifting
- Core strength
Another growing trend he discussed is that companies are now looking at representatives of the healthcare industry as consultants to their business. He also discussed the option for businesses to provide free services to employees such as massage and chiropractic therapy in a regular basis and that the savings realized from it can more than pay for it.
For example he quoted a study in which employees received a comprehensive, free, proactive, chiropractic, health and wellness education and services, resulting in a 90% reduction in workers comp premiums in 4 years.
The data is out there. Now it’s up to you to do something with it.